Incoming! March 17th Books (with cat)

Here’s today’s haul. You’ll note I’ve been Infected by Scott Sigler, identified in his bio note as having occupied “the number one audiobook position on all podcast aggregators, including iTunes.” I think that means he’s a Terminator, but I’m not sure.

The press materials keep coming on strong, with statements from the author like “I think that hard science puts a fantastic framework on a horror story…also precludes me from whipping up some supernatural solution out of nowhere: no magic bullets, no sudden discovery your character can teleport, no guardian angel…I can’t get lazy and write myself out of a corner.” So…you just stay in the corner? Like Blair Witch.

The author photo makes me really hate this guy. I get the feeling he’s actually about five-two and wears thick-rimmed glasses. But in the photo he looks like he’s gonna come in the window and beat the living shit out of me and my family, steal our stuff, and piss on the welcome mat:

I blame Scalzi and Mieville for this cross-arm, dumb-ass t-shirt look. Of course, I wasn’t really fond of this effete dickhead, either:

And I’m sure I’m crossing my arms in this photo:

Regardless, I have this odd feeling that this book is the antidote to being Infected, and that the author, not pictured, is probably a six-four lumberjack with anger issues.

75 comments on “Incoming! March 17th Books (with cat)

  1. David Wesley says:

    I saw you have a book in your stack from Kay Kenyon. I recently met her at a con in San Diego and liked her quite a bit (I saw no arm-crossed posing). I bought her first book in her latest series (you’re showing the second), and I’m hoping I like her book as much as I liked her.

  2. I’m quite familiar with A. Lee Martinez. He lives near here. He’s a ranking officer with a local writer workshop or two. I’ve read a couple of his books.

    They’re not literature, by any means, but they are often pretty funny. Good airplane books.

  3. Larry says:

    Funny that you would mention the Corwin book, since I got that one today as well and have already read it. Nice, pleasant book that doesn’t pretend to be anything else, rather refreshing compared to the dude from the Infected pic. I think that dude is striking a rather poor Vin Diesel look there.

  4. I’ve read Kenyon’s A World Too Near and liked it, thought it did a good job of maintaining the quality of the first volume in the series while concentrating more on the characters’ relationships than on world-building wonders.

    I’m hoping for a review copy of the Keck novel myself. It’s also part two of a series and I liked the down to earth character of the first volume, along with its realistic depiction of what life could be like for a displaced adolescent in a medieval world.

  5. Larry says:

    Greg, if you liked the first book, then I would wager that you’ll find the second to your liking then. I wasn’t a big fan of the first, but the second was an improvement in my opinion.

  6. I like Kenyon’s work A LOT. I reviewed the new one for Realms of Fantasy.

  7. Kate says:

    That photograph of Sigler is very similar to the photograph of China Mieville in the Del Rey Perdido Street Station.

  8. Grant Stone says:

    It’s the angle that does it. Mieville’s is straight on – tough, but approachable. Sigler’s is looking up – you are kneeling before him.

    I think the difference is a little like that discussion about sexist album covers in Spinal Tap…

  9. John Scalzi says:

    There are no pictures of me with arms crossed. How would I hold the camera?

  10. You’re right, John. The stern face in the standard photo made me imagine it. Even though it was meant as affectionate send-up, my apologies–because it’s inaccurate! (More on this subject in a separate post soon. With a few surprises.)


  11. Effete is good; you look like a pussycat and so succeed in luring the unsuspecting reader to the toilet bowl.

  12. Cat Rambo says:

    I loved Barth Anderson’s “Clockmaker’s Requiem” in Clarkesworld. I’ll be curious to hear your impression of the book.

  13. Jeff, I think you are able to resist the books of arm-folders through pure damn luck and flat batteries. The copies you’ve picked up… do they not have the reverse singing birthday card technology in them? Y’know, the ones that sold Terry Goodkind millions of copies. You open it up, read the blurb (occasionally figure it’s shit), see the photo and feel a little bit intimidated but… still… it’s shit… and then, as you close the book to put it back on the shelf there comes a short, husky “Oh, no… oh no you did not just shut my fucking book to put it back on the shelf, did you?”

    The fear!

    This, of course, is the reverse of putting a giant photo of yourself with your big pink car on the back of a book, like what’s his face…

  14. matt says:

    A. Lee Martinez is a nice guy, and his books are indeed a lot of fun. I quite enjoyed “Gil’s All-Fright Diner.” It’s not often that a book features a balding, Scientology-obsessed vampire as a main character.

  15. Scott Sigler says:

    This is awesome! People are talking shit about me JUST from my picture? Mission accomplished. Can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but can judge a douchebag author by his photo. Nice.

    “But in the photo he looks like he’s gonna come in the window and beat the living shit out of me and my family, steal our stuff, and piss on the welcome mat”

    How the fuck did you get my itinerary? That’s supposed to be a SECRET! My admin is so fired. Now it won’t be a surprise when I piss on your welcome mat.

    Next time, I’ll sit in a big chair in front of a fireplace with a fluffy kitten in my lap.

  16. LOL! I was actually hoping I could lure you out into the open. I know you’re probably not familiar with the blog, but good-natured trash-talkin’ R US.

    You sit in a big chair in front of a fireplace with a fluffy kitten on your lap, and I’ll run it as part of an Amazon feature. Feel free to email at vanderworld at


  17. Scott Sigler says:

    No worries, you’re not the only one. Crown Publishing made me change the photo for the book cover. I said, “why” I look frickin’ sweet!” They said “you look like you’ll smack you readers around, that’s not good for sales.” Also, they found out I was standing on four phone books to take that picture. They said that lacked integrity, or some such bullshit …

  18. Meanwhile, I was going for pretentious literary author in my photo. Somewhere inbetween lies the truth.

    Yeah–the author photo in the book is much more subdued.


  19. Wow, Scott’s now in my house, pissing on the welcome mat, and asking if he can check his email. That was fast.

  20. Allen says:

    Jeff. Shut up. You apparently don’t have discipline, and as any good abnormal individual knows, “You’ve got to have discipline.” Are you forgetting that this guy, (Ha ha, Scott reduced to the label of just “guy” how rich), managed to reach number seven overall on without the back of a big publisher. Only fiction book that was ahead was book seven of the HP series. He didn’t kiss ass; he demanded that we rushed the charts. Thanks to us, you have to write about him. Thanks to us, you know about him. And now, suck it up through a straw or tube (because I’m sure that is what Scott has planned for you). We will be taking care of this . . . what do you call this excuse of a journal? . . . blog as you are hooked up to an intermittent power supply; being forced to listen to the following: Earthcore, Ancestor, Infected (complete with slides of each page in the book so you see and hear), The Rookie, a collection of short stories known affectionately as the Bloodcast, and get started on Nocturnal. And what’s more, when you reach whatever episode of Nocturnal is released and are moaning (yes moaning since you are forced to breathe and eat through a tube), you will discover the magic (or the horror depending on your point of view) . . . “You can’t buy it in book stores and you can’t peak at the end.”

    So those reading this, go buy the book on April 1st, or if you can’t wait to get your fix, you can head to to learn more. Just do it.

  21. Mae says:

    Jeff, are you aware that Sigler comes armed with a Personal Assitant who also happens to be a Super Tough Ass-Whippin Roller Derby Queen? and now- by making him think i;ve betrayed him by leaking his itinerary, you’ve put my job in jeopardy!!! NOT SMART, Dude, NOT SMART!!! *laces up skates*….

  22. LOL! Allen makes a compelling case for…spelling checking.

    Make–roller derby? Seriously? My wife and I LOVE roller derby. Just saw some amazing roller derby in Tucson. That’s very cool!


  23. treed says:

    be prepared for the invasion of the damned dirty junkies

    enjoyed your “send up” of our future dark overlord, just don’t be suprised to see him (or one of his junkies) standing over your bed in the middle of the night, baseball bat in hand. and get plenty of cleanser, that urine smell is hard to get rid of (it still lingers and its been MONTHS)

  24. Travis says:

    um, yeah, where to start? Just to clue you in, as you may have noticed by some of the above posts, Scott has a very loyal fan base and most of them are on some kind of medication to keep them from doing nasty things with various objects to various places on a persons body. I can see that you and some of your followers have made some disparaging remarks about his Pic and although I can tell they were made in fun some of the other, more rabid fans may not. I’m not saying anything will happen but you should probably start really pimping Siglers book just to be safe.

  25. Steven S. says:

    In re: China Mieville

    The beautiful irony of Mieville’s picture (not having met Mr. Sigler, I can’t assert whether the same is true for him or not) is that in person, China comes across as very modest, friendly, and possessed of a very English self-effacement. Very much the velvet fist in the iron glove. ;)

    (I recall him telling a story about getting arrested while at a demonstration because the police could not believe that he wasn’t involved, it was all the women present. He was there as a member of the press.)

  26. Synaptic Jam says:

    Ask yourself this… who is truly more scary, the big dumb ugly brute who lumbers at you like a idiot? Or the small scrawny, bald guy with the shifty eyes. the one who you never really know where his hands are (or where they’ve been for that matter). Is he gonna shiv’ ya in the shower? Or just wait until you’re asleep and whisper the agonizing truth of your imminent death in your ear. So yeah, I’d be scared… well… maybe…

  27. Wolf says:

    Any chance you wanna meet the author and explain why you reviewed his picture and NOT his book? Here’s where he’ll be;

    Apr 02 INFECTED book launch Los Angeles – Book Soup
    Apr 04 INFECTED book launch Seattle – B & N
    Apr 05 INFECTED book launch San Fransisco – Borderlands
    Apr 09 INFECTED book launch New York City – Borders
    Apr 11 INFECTED book launch Houston – Murder by the Book

    Or check him out at

  28. Paul Riddell says:

    Jeff, just be glad that those two books of mine never came out. Do you know how hard it is to get out of a neoprene wedding gown after a three-hour photo shoot?

  29. Allen says:

    I blame the monkey for doing my early morning typing. At least it got most of what I said. And Jeff, you didn’t deny any of those statements so your silence means you did not know about Scott’s climb on the Amazon charts. Or, you did forget that wonderful sliver of info, and just left it out to boost your own self-image. And I thought you reviewer types were supposed to be good at researching a subject. Looks like you win the award for providing readers with not enough substance. Case in point, you discuss the picture and nothing regarding the material in the book. Is this helpful? No; just a waste of space. Only good thing out of the deal is that you got Scott to come out of the closet. (But lately, that isn’t hard to do so I do not consider this a remarkable feat.)

  30. Indiana Jim says:


    I loved your foreward to the Glen Cook Dark Empire Trilogy omnibus edition.


  31. Allen says:

    Jim, have you forgotten that a Dawsey doesn’t cry? Oh wait, you aren’t one. Shed blood not tears. And since you brought it up …

  32. The Terran says:

    All this talk about the author photo, and all that can be seen is a jpg image. What I recommend, is that everyone should go to the bookstores on APRIL FIRST. and BUY their own copy to be able to see a picture of Scott Sigler, with the higher quality printing on the book. Everyone will be able to judge how threatening he looks there… I would even dare say to go and buy TWO copies, one to keep in mint condition, and another to extract the author photo from it, and take a closer look, after that is done, put on a frame…heck, just buy SEVERAL COPIES for family and friends.

  33. Where to begin? First of all–thanks for bringing my stats up with your traffic. LOL. Way to go, defenders of Sigler! Boost the power of your enemy. I’m growing like a blood-engorged tick as I type, my blog value going through the roof. Bwaahaahahahahaahaaha, er, ha.

    Secondly…wow. You all seem like nice people. Like, the kind of rowdy you wouldn’t mind in a bar during a football game.

    I *will* be profiling Sigler on Amazon, btw. Not least because…he didn’t go into a insane rage when he saw this post–he was a good sport. And also because the book looks interesting.

    Ahem, people–*I only just got the book the day I made the post*. So, no, I haven’t read it, but I’m looking forward to it. You want me to read that fast, send me the haiku version.

    In all seriousness–I can rag on Mieville and Scalzi because I consider them friends. I messed with Sigler while also talking crap about myself. When I saw his photo all I could think of were all the PR opinions on what pose I should strike for my own books.

    But from what you’re all saying, Sigler’s actually the kinda guy where all of you regularly go up to him and rub a buttercup under his chin. LOL!


  34. Oh–and thanks, Indiana Jim. I think Cook’s waaay underrated.

  35. Awesome!

    In the photo he looks like he’s gonna come in the window and beat the living shit out of me and my family, steal our stuff, and piss on the welcome mat:

    I’ve got a picture from several PodCast Expos ago, when I had him sign a shirt for me. I had to make sure I got the shirt back before he tried to eat it… and my pen…

    Seriously though, Sigler is a nice guy who does put his feet up next to the fire, reads the Sunday Comics to his dog, and is afraid of hummingbirds… seriously, afraid of hummingbirds.

    I like his writing, and am looking forward to harassing him in public when he comes to the Borders on Columbus Circle on 9 April 2008.

    FULL DISCLOSURE : I have an “original junkie” tag on my profile at because I’ve listened to his PodCasts since EarthCore.

  36. Scott Sigler says:


  37. Mae says:

    Brad: you get to meet the Roller Derby queen too! lucky you! See ya in NYC! Shall i Bring my Skates?

  38. So, just to get this straight, my author photo should be one of me pissing on a welcome mat?

    (backstory: I’m quite tall, but not that built… not since I got mono, anyway… but I do have a fast receeding hairline and will go skinhead within the year, I expect. Certainly before I finish a fucking novel… I have at least two Jeff Vandermeer hardcovers to stand on, which ought to send me far over six foot!)

    If Sigler’s book displays the sense of humour his fans and self have here, it ought to be worth a look. (no publicity is bad publicity!)

  39. Tim Pratt says:

    The one time I met Scott, we were doing a reading in the same venue, and he wrecked his motorcycle shortly beforehand — and came to the reading anyway. He blithely sat in the office of the bookstore BANDAGING HIS WOUNDS and chatting about podcasting and such. Then he went up to the podium and pretty much killed.

    (He didn’t look nearly as stern in real life as he does in the photo, but then, you can’t see his bionic spiked lizard tail in the photo, either.)

  40. Elmo says:

    sigler… that bastard owes me twenty bucks.

  41. treed says:

    told ya’ to be prepared for a junkie invasion

  42. Grant Stone says:


    You could do that, but for best effect:
    1: shave your head
    2: piss on a welcome mat. Actually, do about three hundred
    3: mail the sodden welcome mats to eminent book reviewers around the country. Make sure you use plenty of stamps.
    4: ???
    5: PROFIT!

    I hear that’s how it’s done.

  43. Allen says:

    Let the record show that I popped in first after the General’s orders. That is all.

  44. Matt Wallace says:

    For the record, I’m fairly certain I was calling Sigler a douchebag before anyone here. This has been confirmed by Mur Lafferty, who heard me say it.

  45. Mae says:

    allen, you make me smile. i shall not run you down in my Skates. Wallace- we are aware of your disgust for Sigler, which is only eclipsed by your affection for me, right?

  46. Scott Sigler says:

    Goddamit, Wallace, I’m trying to piss off a whole new bunch of people, and you come in here with your territorial pissing about who first called me a douchebag. Oh, wait, this post is ABOUT piss. Okay, then, that works. And Grant Stone, great marketing plan, except Step Four is “Put your balls in a George Foreman Grille at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.” That comes right before “profit.” Enjoy that flow-chart, my friend.

  47. Allen says:

    Mae. Honestly, I had nothing to fear in the firstplace. Since when does the Astral Guardian fear? And just wait till I get ’em in Houston … we are gonna partay; just no two-steppin okay Scott?

  48. Grant Stone says:

    I deliberately didn’t mention the Foreman Grille. I believe Updike tried this and it resulted in much tutting in the Hamptons. You don’t want to make the Hamptons tut.

  49. Ha! Tim–from your story, I’m now afrighted. The only time I had a wound at a signing is when I (true story) accidentally drove the pen through my hand while looking up at the person I was supposedly signing for.

    As I said on the other thread: Oh–and Scott’s book is at #1,563 on Amazon right now. Mine is at #24,402. So, proves my point. This ain’t golf, folks. It’s all about scoring points–the higher the number, the more points you have. So I have over 22,000 points more than Scott right now. Bwaahaha, er, waaaaaaaa!

  50. Grant Stone says:

    Aha. But I don’t have a book at all, so my theoretical Amazon ranking is … infinity! Total win!
    Nobody say infinity plus one.

  51. Infinity plus…er, okay.

    Grant–I’d send you a hamster, but I’m afraid the underwater travel might be bad for it, in some way.


  52. Mae says:

    Argh! Nobody;s A-scared of me? Why not??? i am very Scary and Tough!!!

  53. Mae:

    I. Believe. You. I. Am. Scared.

    It doesn’t help that I’m now in awe of roller derby, after Tucson, so it’s more like worship than fear.


  54. Larry says:

    I’m now wondering if a toilet water-guzzling hamster, full of Hamster Fu, is going to make its furry way into a future short story or novel. Maybe it too can demonstrate how best to piss on the welcome mat while looking badass?

  55. Jenny says:

    As someone who has read Infected and is listening to Earthcore (slowly because I am so scared after reading Infected), AND having Scott on my Twitter, it is hard to be scared of someone who walks his dogs so often, but I would still rather have him on my side in a writing war, because he does some SCARY shit to his characters.

  56. Grant Stone says:


    As far as I know, the only legal method of Hamster delivery to New Zealand is fired out of a cannon.

    Oh how I wish I could show you a story I’ve been working on since January. It’s not hamsters, but there are some bad rodents in it. They do stuff like this:

    More mice passed him on the ramp, at least twenty, carrying a collection of wires. Several carried a large metal box between them, a hand-crank on its side. They circled (redacted), who watched with curiosity while a nimble-pawed pair checked connections. Then one turned the hand-crank and (redacted) _screamed_. Then silence. Where (redacted) had been was now empty sand. The mice began disassembling the circuit.

  57. Jae says:

    Now I know for certain that the opinions of Mr. VanderSmeer and Matt Fallace are important because they LISTEN. They listen to what is being said and give out only the purest of unbiased opinions.

    “told ya’ to be prepared for a junkie invasion”- Well said ! Must have missed that one.

    “come in the window and beat the living shit out of me and my family, steal our stuff, and piss on the welcome mat” …please?….ok on our way! :)

    ( view represented here are not directly affiliated with you should probably just go to and see what all this crap is about at you will most likely enjoy it , “it” being the stories of S C O T T S I G L E R @


  58. Larry says:

    OK, now that is a bit freaky to imagine, Grant. Almost as bad as this gal I know who’s threatened me before with rabid vampiric squirrels that would flay me alive with their teeth. There must be something about SF writers and art school students that involves such graphic depictions of the depredations of members of the family Rodentia.

  59. Grant Stone says:

    It’s not just the sf writers. At work this week someone came out with the concept of Vampirates. This is the same group of people who invented double zombies a few years back and I’m still scared of them.

    On the other hand, I’m no longer afraid of regular single zombies…

  60. Nadine says:

    Hamsters to NZ via cannon, mm?

    Being of a steampunkish sort of mind, I’d probably opt for capybaras via trebuchet and jetpack, but needs must.

    Grant: I want to read that story. Very, very badly, oh yes I do. I may have to nick the vampirate concept, too, purely for crack purposes, although to be fair, WoD sort of had their greasy fingers on it first. Lasombra, and all that.

    And thus I inadvertently reveal my origins as gamer, and hide my face in shame.

  61. Grant Stone says:


    Yeah, to import hamsters to NZ it’s got to be a cannon. I think I saw that on TV.

    Glad you like the extract. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll mention it on my blog when it’s done and found a home.

    I think the world needs way more vampirates, especially if they’re locked in endless combat with double zombies. Or staging Rogers and Hammerstein musicals.

    Be proud of your gamer-ness! I used to play Champions back in the day, mainly so I got to roll 25d6 whenever I punched someone….

  62. Mae says:

    Jeff~ Good. You should be scared… I looks Sweet and angelic, come off as very warm and friendly, with the style, curves and fashion sense of a certain little girls’ doll, BUT- should you get on my bad side by insulting my beloved boss and Master… you will see why the other girls call me BONEBREAKER BARBIE! :-D But, of course, you can feel free to be in awe of and worship me all you want! ;-)

  63. wallerdad says:

    Jenny said “because he does some SCARY shit to his characters.”
    Hell you should see what he does to his loyal junkies. He’s been killing us off for awhile now.

  64. treed says:

    what i want to know is, how many of vandersmears regular subscriber’s/reader/mindless minions (oprahell reference) have gone to see siglers site and looked up infected on google/amazon/yahoo/whatever since all this got started??
    just out of cutiousity, and did ya get an idea of what we damned dirty junkies find so intoxicating??

    anyways, life’s a bitch, then you die

  65. Indiana Jim says:

    Attention World. This is probably a record for comments on Jeff Vandermeer’s website. That is all.

  66. Tony "BigTC" says:

    Not only is Scott Sigler an amazingly talented writer, but it is a welcomed interruption in the daily dose of canned writers with nothing more to say or add than the previous canned writer. Scott’s underlying ability is to graphically plant the scene in your minds eye to then totally scare the living bejesus out of you (ref: the Mommy scene).

    More importantly, unlike your normal canned authors, Scott’s other ability is to use the new social media playgrounds to help promote, unite, and inform the public about his novels. He was a pioneer in this realm and it is great to see him getting the recognition he so deserves.

    Lastly, what I admire about Scott is that any email or Twitter I have sent to him, is responded too. This outreach makes him, in my mind, a person that is grounded and realizes that he is where he is because of his fans and we will help promote him.

    Thank you,

  67. Nadine says:

    I dunno about R&H, Grant, but I might be able to play with the endless combat motif.

    What do you think; Extreme Twister until someone loses either too many body parts or too much blood to continue? Winner-take-all. We can have the hamsters officiate, what with their excellent birds’-eye view.

    I can see where a roll like that would make one a happy camper. Only time I managed to get dice up that high was a game filled with so many twinks that dishing up normal stats was suicide. They weren’t so much vampires at that point as minor deities without the adoring public.

    Treed: Haven’t yet. Probably will sometime soonish, when I have time to sit and read for longer than four and a half minutes at a stretch. Jeff, I dunno how you do it.

  68. Jae says:

    Aww man I apologize I absolutely lost my head there and forgot : My bad.

    Larry , Grant ,and Nadine are quite funny I love it !…

    but , there really are “double zombie rabid vampiric squirrels made from clockwork” I have seen them ! Some wear eye patches and hijack boats of cheese coming in from Switzerland !

    (Nothing wrong with being a gamer -table top or otherwise!!! Even if they say your too old.)

  69. Larry says:

    Jae, I demand pictures of these “double zombie rabid vampiric squirrels made from clockwork.” It’d be like porn for the gal I know that I mentioned above.

  70. Jae says:

    hehehe…I will see if I can , but they are fast and can mask themselves in the shape of frosted beer mugs and television remotes !

  71. Nadine says:

    Steampunk, undead, shape-shifting rodents. Of DOOM.

    If Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley and Alan Moore got together and smoked a lot of crack, they might have come up with this concept. I’m not sure what that says about the rest of us.

  72. Larry says:

    I think it says that we are proof that edgy, imaginative fantasy/SF can be sold to fans who are even more inventive/demented than most of the authors writing today.

  73. ogreoregon says:

    Jeff, Well, I have just one thing to say about Scott Sigler…Hide the Chicken Sissors! I mean it. Why, I feel like I’ve known Scott since he was just a little guy, he was such a dear….but lately there has been talk of … well, he hasn’t been ..normal. I’ve heard him say things about a “takeover” and refers to himself as “Overlord” and “Pope Siglericus XXX”. But for God’s sake, Hide the Chicken Sissors! A soiled welcome mat will be the least of your troubles.

  74. Ryan M says:

    I’m a good friend of Scott’s (I knew him when he still had hair) and although he has a smaller frame, he’s got the tenacity of a rabid dog. A less known fact about Scott is that he was a wrestler in college (albeit in the 107 weight class). I’m a 6’2″, 210lb guy and we were joking around once and got into a wrestling match. Scott proceded to put me into the tightest guillotine choke hold I’d ever experienced and if he wouldn’t have shown mercy on me, I would probably still be in a coma to this day. Point of the story: Scott is one tough little bastard and his bad-ass picture on Infected is well justified. Rock on, Scott!

  75. good internet site! I am loving it!! Is going to come back again – using you rss feeds also,

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