Latest Book Sales and Updates on the Feminist Spec Fic Anthology

Jeff VanderMeer • September 19th, 2012 • News

Two new book sales to report, as a stop-gap blog post as I work on deadlines…

The Steampunk User’s Manual, to be written with co-author S.J. Chambers. It’s a follow up to The Steampunk Bible but will focus on the bleeding edge across a variety of media. Neither of us expected to do another steampunk coffee table book, but the concept was too mind-blowing (details later) not to pitch. Our editor will be the most excellent David Cashion at Abrams Image.

The Time Traveler’s Almanac, edited by me and Ann VanderMeer, is a reprint anthology almost as large as The Weird, covering the breadth and width of time travel fiction from the last century or more. We will have an open reading period for reprints for this anthology in November. Our editor will be the magnificently amibitious Nic Cheetham at the new major UK publisher Head of Zeus.

Thanks very much to our agent Sally Harding and to her UK counterpart Ron Eckel, at the Cooke Agency. More information on both books in a month or so as everything comes more and more into focus.

In other news, we will have updates on the ODD anthology series and the feminist speculative fiction anthology shortly. If you submitted fiction to the feminist anthology, please note we haven’t yet made any decisions—it might be another month to six weeks.

Cheeky Frawg Special Pre-Order Offer on E-Books from Tidbeck, Tutuola, and More

Jeff VanderMeer • September 13th, 2012 • News


Through October 1, you can pre-order the e-books of not just the stunning Jagannath but also the forthcoming Don’t Pay Bad for Bad, and Tainaron for one low price of $13.00. At this time, we are not offering these books for pre-order separately. Add Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month (see listing here) for just $2.00 more.

You can order directly through paypal to vanderworld at, noting whether you prefer epub (Nook, etc.) or mobi (Kindle) formats. You can also mail a check made out to Jeff VanderMeer, to POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315 USA. Make sure to include your email address with the check. When the titles are available, they will be emailed to you.

Some information on the forthcoming titles…

Don’t Pay Bad for Bad & Other Stories by Amos Tutuola—A selection of previously uncollected and rare tales by the Nigerian master storyteller. Introduction by Tutuola’s son and afterword by Matthew Cheney. (E-book only.) “Tutuola’s work is under-celebrated, overwhelming, deliciously mad and many times just plain hilarious. In his worlds, Death isn’t even safe from misfortune. His tales are both local and universal. If you are a fan of speculative literature, Don’t Pay Bad for Bad is required reading.” – World Fantasy Award winner Nnedi Okorafor (E-book only; $4.99 when to be released in October)

Tainaron by Leena Krohn—This World Fantasy Award finalist short novel by one of Finland’s most highly regarded writers is a personal favorite of ours, detailing an anonymous narrator’s trip to a strange city whose inhabitants consist of intelligent insects. “Krohn is a writer of the first rank—comparable to Kafka, or a more generous Lem. The novel contains scenes of startling beauty and strangeness that change how the reader sees the world.” – Locus Online, year’s best article (E-book only; $4.99 when released in October)

And, of course…

Introduction by Elizabeth Hand
Afterword by the author

E-book (available in October; see pre-order special deal above; will retail for $6.99)
Trade paperback (available in November)

“I have never read anything like Jagannath. Karin Tidbeck’s imagination is recognizably Nordic, but otherwise unclassifiable–quietly, intelligently, unutterably strange. And various. And ominous. And funny. And mysteriously tender. These are wonderful stories.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

“Restrained and vivid, poised and strange, Tidbeck, with her impossible harmonies, is a vital voice.” – China Miéville

Enter the strange and wonderful world of Swedish sensation Karin Tidbeck with this feast of darkly fantastical stories. Whether through the falsified historical record of the uniquely weird Swedish creature known as the “Pyret” or the title story, “Jagannath,” about a biological ark in the far future, Tidbeck’s unique imagination will enthrall, amuse, and unsettle you. How else to describe a collection that includes “Cloudberry Jam,” a story that opens with the line “I made you in a tin can”? Marvels, quirky character studies, and outright surreal monstrosities await you in what is likely to be one of the most talked-about short story collections of the year.

Tidbeck is a rising star in her native country, having published a collection there in Swedish, won a prestigious literary grant, and just sold her first novel to Sweden’s largest publisher. A graduate of the iconic Clarion Writer’s Workshop at the University of California, San Diego, in 2010, her publication history includes Weird Tales, Shimmer Magazine, Unstuck Annual and the anthology Odd.

“In these wonderful, subtle stories, magic arrives quietly. It comes from the forests or the earth or was always there in your own family or maybe exists in another realm entirely…leaving you slightly dazed and more than a little enchanted.” – Karen Joy Fowler

“Jagannath heralds the arrival of a bold and brilliant new voice, which I see too few of these days. You must read Karin Tidbeck.” – Caitlín R. Kiernan

“In Karin Tidbeck’s collection Jagannath, the mundane becomes strange and the strange familiar with near-Hitchcockian subtlety. I loved Tidbeck’s clean, classic prose. It creates beautifully eerie music for a twilight domain.” – Karen Lord

“I can’t think of when I last read a collection that blew me away the way that Jagannath has, or one that’s left me somewhat at a loss to describe just how strange and beautiful and haunting these tales are.” – Elizabeth Hand (from her introduction)


Book Murderer Excerpt for Hal Duncan’s Storybusking

Jeff VanderMeer • August 31st, 2012 • Fiction, News, Uncategorized

Hal Duncan, the juggernaut responsible for Ink and Vellum, is storybusking. Go help him out–he’s a great writer. And in solidarity with him, here’s an excerpt from a novel I’m working on, The Book Murderer. If you like what you read, go donate something to Hal.


Ann VanderMeer Joins Editorial Staff, Acquiring Short Fiction

Jeff VanderMeer • August 29th, 2012 • News

The news just broke at that my wife, Ann VanderMeer, will be consulting fiction editor for the website. Which I believe is among the highest-paying markets in SF/F. She will be acquiring short fiction for Tor.

“She brings a sharp eye for adventurous fiction to all of her projects, and we look forward to the stories and authors she’ll bring to”

This is richly deserved and only poetic or karmic justice in many ways. I’m really thrilled for her!

Dean Francis Alfar: Read New Fiction, Buy His New Collection

Jeff VanderMeer • August 29th, 2012 • Culture, Fiction, News


Dean Francis Alfar is an excellent short story writer whose second collection How to Traverse Terra Incognitais now available on Amazon and elsewhere in e-book form. The book comes with blurbs from such luminaries as Hugo Award winners Ann VanderMeer and Lynne M. Thomas, among others.

Not familiar with Alfar? Here’s what you need to know.

Alfar is a Filipino playwright, novelist and writer of speculative fiction. His plays have been performed in venues across the country, while his articles and fiction have been published both in his native Philippines and abroad, such as in Strange Horizons, Rabid Transit, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and the Exotic Gothic series. His literary awards include the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and then Manila Critics’ Circle National Book Award. He is an advocate of the literature of the fantastic, editing the Philippine Speculative Fiction series, as well as a comic book creator and a blogger. Alfar is also an entrepreneur who runs several businesses. He lives in Manila with his wife, fictionist Nikki Alfar and their two daughters.

So here’s a proposition for you, since I’m a big fan of Alfar’s work. Below the cut, Alfar is allowing me to post “Enkantong-bato,” his entry from the bestiary anthology Ann and I are editing—totally new fiction, not found in the collection, free for you to read. Exclusive to this blog post and only available here for the next month. BUT, if you read and enjoy it, please do me favor and go buy How to Traverse Terra Incognita. The fact is, you’ll actually be doing yourself a favor!


Weird Fiction Review Features Finnish Writer Johanna Sinisalo and Much More!

Jeff VanderMeer • August 28th, 2012 • News

(Art by Jeremy Zerfoss)

It’s been a great few weeks at—we’ve been posting a ton of amazing content. This week we’re featuring the Finnish writer Johanna Sinisalo, but also check out wonderful material by Edward Gauvin, Matthew Pridham, Nancy Hightower, and Rochita Loenin-Ruiz. (Many thanks to our managing editor, Adam Mills, for making this all happen.)

An essay on Finnish Weird
A significant section of the people who do not read books in these styles have a surprisingly narrow understanding of what these genres entail. For them, the mere mention of the word ‘fantasy’ conjures up visions of a pseudo-Dark Age world inhabited by fairies, spirits, dwarves and dragons and where people used magic swords to fight against the powers of darkness.

An excerpt from her award-winning novel Troll
In the studio I take Pessi in my arms then whisk the Stalkers on to his back legs with a single pull?—?knowing I’d not manage it at a second shot. If Pessi had thought of spreading his hind claws, the jeans wouldn’t have slipped on: the legs would have been torn to shreds. A size to fit a three-foot-six-inch child suits him stunningly. I’ve got the zip and metal button fastened and have twitched his tail through the hole I’ve made in the Stalker backside before he realizes he’s been diddled. Then I throw Pessi?—?now a hissing, whirling ball bristling with razor-sharp claws?—?in front of the backdrop, and I start the automatic camera rolling.

A new, exclusive interview with the author
If I’m brutally honest, I have to mention Carl Barks and his classic Donald Duck comics. Barks had an enormous talent of entertaining with the tools of exaggeration, mystery, bizarre characters and unlimited?–?sometimes very, very weird?–?imagination. In my honest opinion, Carl Barks was one of the greatest writers of 20th century. I have learned to read leafing through Donald Duck comics, and whenever I encounter some of the old stories I first read when I was four or five, I get goosebumps, because I can still recall the excitement and thrill of the first reading in detail.

Also new on the site:

—Nancy Hightower on the art of Chris Mars
—Edward Gauvin on “Echoes”
—Matthew Pridham on the movie The Last Winter

Did you miss it? Rochita Loenin-Ruiz’s fiction and nonfiction:

Hunting for Stories in the Philippines
One thing I immediately learned was this: horror is alive and well in Filipino language publications. I found tales of hauntings and possessions. Murdered spirits come back to avenge their deaths, beautiful white ladies turn into monsters, and creatures of the night feed on innocent flesh. These stories are familiar to every Filipino, for who doesn’t know of the aswang or the tikbalang? What Filipino is unfamiliar with the kapre and the nuno sa punso? Who hasn’t heard of hauntings and blood dripping down the walls?

Of the Liwat’ang Yawa, the Litok-litok and their Prey
In the same year as Dimaano’s book came out, a series of killings took place in the towns of Kalaygo and Layog. The killings resembled those described in Dimaano’s book, and pushed the book further into the spotlight. His thesis was embraced as canon and became the source book for shows like Guni-guni and Mameng Taleng’s Nightside Tales.

Shriek: We Are Lost–The Church Soundtrack

Jeff VanderMeer • August 25th, 2012 • Audio, News

My 2006 novel Shriek: An Afterword had a soundtrack by the Australian band The Church, and now three of the tracks are on YouTube. I really love what they did with the novel, and the Bannerville one…well, Steve Kilbey did a great job conveying the emotion of that scene—he’s reading from the novel directly. You can buy the CD direct from The Church here.

I’ve got some hardcovers of the novel I need to get out of the house—we’re getting rid of some clutter—so email me at [email protected] if you want one signed with an illustration. $6 plus $3 shipping anywhere in the US. Anywhere else, query first. This is still the novel I’m most proud of, and the one I keep getting emails about. In fact, one couple told me part of their marriage vows came from Shriek.


An epic yet personal look at several decades of life, love, and death in the imaginary city of Ambergris–previously chronicled in Jeff VanderMeer’s acclaimed City of Saints & Madmen–Shriek: An Afterword relates the scandalous, heartbreaking, and horrifying secret history of two squabbling siblings and their confidantes, protectors, and enemies.

Narrated with flamboyant intensity and under increasingly urgent conditions by ex-society figure Janice Shriek, this afterword presents a vivid gallery of characters and events, emphasizing the adventures of Janice’s brother Duncan, a historian obsessed with a doomed love affair and a secret that may kill or transform him; a war between rival publishing houses that will change Ambergris forever; and the gray caps, a marginalized people armed with advanced fungal technologies who have been waiting underground for their chance to mold the future of the city.

Part academic treatise, part tell-all biography, after this introduction to the Family Shriek, you’ll never look at history in quite the same way again.

Cheeky Frawg Publishing Schedule

Jeff VanderMeer • August 24th, 2012 • News

We’ve just finished finalizing most of the Cheeky Frawg schedule for 2012-2013—in addition to our already-released titles this year (in e-book form) of the anthology ODD?, Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month, and Stepan Chapman’s Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel The Troika (in partnership with Wyrm/Ministry of Whimsy.) Please check all three of those great titles out. Not on the schedule below:

—Jess Nevin’s The Encyclopedia of Victoriana, a book for which we are partnering with Neil Clarke’s Wyrm imprint.

Cruel Paris by Claude Seignolle (a collection newly translated by Gio Clairval), one of France’s most respected fantasists, for which we are considering doing a limited hardcover edition and some other special touches.

—The ODD? anthology series, for which a new schedule will be announced soon.

Late September 2012:

Don’t Pay Bad for Bad & Other Stories by Amos Tutuola—A selection of previously uncollected and rare tales by the Nigerian master storyteller. Blurbed by Nnedi Okorafor. Introduction by Tutuola’s son and afterword by Matthew Cheney. (E-book only.)

October 2012

Tainaron by Leena Krohn. This World Fantasy Award finalist short novel by one of Finland’s most highly regarded writers is a personal favorite of ours, and we’re delighted to be able to bring it back into print.

November 2012

Jagannath: Stories by Karin Tidbeck—This amazing collection by a wonderful Swedish writer has received glowing blurbs from the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin, China Mieville, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Karen Lord, and Karen Joy Fowler. Elizabeth Hand has written the introduction. We will have a book release party at the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto, with the author in attendance. Preorder links will be available in September. (Trade paper and e-book.)

April 2013

Datura by Leena Krohn—The increasingly strange story of the going’s-on at The New Anomalist magazine and a very dangerous flower. Another wonderful short novel by a Finnish icon. Instead of sections, the book comes in three seed pods. Newly translated by Juha Tupasela and Anna Volmari. Funded by a generous grant from the Finnish Literature Exchange. (Trade paper and e-book.)

May 2013

The Explorer & Other Stories by Jyrki Vainonen—One of Finland’s best short story writers, Vainonen writes in a fantastical mode with an underlying hint of the macabre or disturbing. Newly translated by Juha Tupasela and Anna Volmari. Funded by a generous grant from the Finnish Literature Exchange. (E-book and possible trade paperback.)

September 2013

Dona Quixote: The Leena Krohn Omnibus—One great volume collecting Krohn’s novels Tainaron, Dona Quixote, Gold of Ophir, and Pereat Mundus (never before published), along with newly translated short stories, essays about Krohn’s work, and a complete bibliography. A publishing event. (Trade paper and e-book.)

Feminist Spec Fic Anthology–Now Open Through September 7

Jeff VanderMeer • August 21st, 2012 • News

We are reposting the call for submissions for the reprint feminist speculative fiction anthology we are editing for PM Press. The deadline for submissions has been pushed back to September 7. All other particulars remain the same, but the publication schedule has also been pushed back: to September of 2013. This gives us more time for research. – Ann & Jeff

Ann & Jeff VanderMeer are pleased to announce a call for submissions for a new anthology on Feminist Speculative Literature. This project will be published by PM Press under the guidance and co-publishing arrangement with Jef Smith of GeekRadical and is scheduled to be released in September 2013. The anthology will emphasize women’s speculative fiction from the 1970s onward, looking to explore women’s rights as well as gender/race/class/etc. from as many perspectives as possible. Although we already have stories and writers in mind we also know that we can’t see everything so are asking for submissions as well as suggestions. If in doubt, send it.

We will read submissions between June 15, 2012 and September 7, 2012. Any English-language story (or translation into English) previously published since 1970 on a website or in a print publication is eligible for consideration. Looking for reprints only (standard reprint rates apply). Prefer works under 10,000 words. Willing to look at all kinds of Feminist Speculative fiction, but mainly interested in work that pushes the boundaries, that is truly unique to the genre.

Submissions up to 10,000 words should be sent in a Word or RTF document attachment to femspecfic at Please cut-and-paste the first three paragraphs into the body of your email and include prior publication information, but no need to include any biographical information about yourself. If you prefer, use snail mail by sending your work to POB 38190, Tallahassee, FL 32315, USA. Snail mail submissions should be marked on the outside of the envelope as for Feminist Spec Fic consideration. No SASE is required if you prefer email response. All submissions will be responded to no later than September 15, 2012; please do not query about a submission prior to that date. Those sending in their suggestions—thanks so much, and thanks for understanding that we will not have time to reply.

Payment will be on publication, at standard reprint rates of one to two cents per word, against a share of any royalties from the North American or foreign editions, as well as one contributor copy.

(Ann here: if you post questions as comments, I will do my best to answer in the comments as soon as possible – thx!)

UPDATE – Please limit the number of unique submissions per writer to 3 stories. If you plan to send more than one, make sure we see the top, best 3 stories that fit this theme, thanks!

Weird Tales, Ann VanderMeer, and Utter Stupidity

Jeff VanderMeer • August 20th, 2012 • News, Uncategorized

Many of you may have seen the disappointing and sad and just plain stupid post by Marvin Kaye, editor of Weird Tales today—except wait! It was deleted (screen capture here). You may also have seen N.K. Jemisin’s great post about it.

Of course, there’s also an apology, including this really blithe and stupid comment from the publisher (yeah, this is all hilarious, John):

John HarlacherReply08-20-2012
Also, the website was hacked and he didn’t write that.

No, that’s not true.

Ann VanderMeer, my wife, was the editor-in-chief before being forced out by Marvin Kaye and his financial backer John Harlacher. She tried to be a team player because they offered her a role picking one story by a new writer every issue. This appealed to her because of her ongoing commitment to up-and-coming writers and new voices—it seemed like she could still do some good work. But ever since a meeting with Kaye and Harlacher in New York in June, it had become obvious that she would be extremely uncomfortable working with them. Although they did not consult with her on editorial decisions, they did mention during that encounter that they planned to publish an excerpt from a YA novel written by the wife of a film director about “the last white person on the planet trying to survive in a world of black people.” This seemed deeply problematic on the face of it, and Ann was kind—perhaps too kind—but adamant and firm in saying that they shouldn’t do this. Ever. During this meal, a startling lack of understanding about international fiction and other subjects was also evinced, to the point that afterwards both Ann and I wished we had not stayed for the entire meal. It was one of the worst experiences we’ve ever had. Still, Ann believed that John Harlacher had gotten the point and that perhaps a lesson had been learned. Clearly not.

Ever since that evening, Ann has been planning her departure, complicated by a few previous commitments to writers. Kaye’s plan to go ahead with publishing this excerpt has led to this statement of resignation on Ann’s part. I know from talking to her today that she is deeply upset about this entire situation—that it troubles her greatly and it also is personally devastating given that the new vision for Weird Tales seems to be so against everything that she envisioned for the future of the magazine. I am just quite frankly livid and utterly enraged.

We are also sickened by the fact we all didn’t just walk out of that dinner, the situation complicated by the fact that no one could hear what everyone else was saying and so none of us had the full picture until afterwards. We are clear on the fact that such a situation will never happen again.

This is Ann’s statement in leaving Weird Tales in any capacity.

Due to major artistic and philosophical differences with the existing editors, I have resigned from Weird Tales as a senior contributing editor, effective immediately. This resignation has been in the works for several months, ever since I was removed as the editor-in-chief, but was delayed by my commitment to writers whose work I had accepted for the magazine and to whom I felt a responsibility. I will, as always, continue to be an advocate for exciting new writers at and my various anthologies.