Compendium of Weird

That thar is the catalog image for the big book of weird fiction Ann and I are putting together for Atlantic/Corvus, to be turned in around May 1st and published in November. It may turn out to be a placeholder, but I find it oddly comforting and comfortable. Heh.

The catalog page has us both even more excited about the project, although it’s crazy in a sense to see the catalog page while we’re still working on it and have only begun to contact agents and the like for the first batch of acceptances. Still working on the title of the book, too.

28 comments on “Compendium of Weird

  1. Rachel Swirsky says:

    The top tentacles seem almost floral, until you see the suckers on the bottom. At least that was my experience, and I liked it; it felt very weird, in a good way.

  2. Yeah–probably just placeholder, but who knows? Mostly want to avoid parody of old pulp magazines in the design, I would think.


  3. Lynn Flewelling says:

    I really like that. Cthulu with Necronomicon prayer book in church. Disturbing, yet leaves me craving sushi. Seriously, though, that cover would put that book in my hands. Upper tentacles look like red fiddleheads.

  4. Terry Weyna says:

    Oh, I love that — hope it’s not just a placeholder, because it’s exquisite.

  5. I’m growing fonder and fonder of it. One thing about having that image and the catalog copy is that it helps anchor us in our selections, to some extent, which is useful with such a tight deadline.,

    It’s also fascinating to read over the classics and find that your memory of them is different than how you feel about them now. There’s some stuff that I never liked before that I’m surprised to find I love and stuff I thought I loved that I wonder why I ever enjoyed it.


  6. J. Andrews says:

    That’s a pretty cool picture. But I think it could use some bookstacks in the back there. Like it’s a library.

  7. LOL. Yeah, I could see that. Anyway, who knows what they’ll ultimately do. Heh.

  8. Shame, too–would’ve made a good Squidpunk cover…tempted to do Squidpunk and Sporepunk as little hardcovers, no dustjackets, in a slipcase.


  9. Evan Jensen says:

    Tentacles seem the calling card of weird fiction these days. What do you think it was before resurgance of the cthulhoid tentacular stuff? It’s almost like goggles for Steampunk and fungus/insects for New Weird. Wonder what it will evolve into.

  10. No idea. It’s just a cover for weird stuff. LOL. Plenty of weird insects and fungus within.

    Okay, 500 of you send me $30 and in 9 months you’d all have Squidpunk and Sporepunk.


  11. Meanwhile, I went to catalog something from our stacks of anthos and collections, for this project, and as I knelt there writing, the heavy books off the top shelf cascaded down onto me. If I hadn’t moved quickly, I might’ve gotten hurt. Who knew this antho editing was DANGEROUS?!?

  12. I love that cover image! What a gorgeous design. The dark background and the red (red!) tentacles look great together, and the conceit of the tentacles turning pages is very effective. Is it a bible? What do Things with Tentacles like to read best anyway? Lovecraft?

  13. Okay, that picture made me smile. I would, %100, pick that book off a store shelf. Might be somewhat hesitant to open the book, fearing the sudden outward lash of tentacles hidden within…

  14. Carl V. says:

    I certainly hope it isn’t a placeholder, I would most certainly buy that right off the shelf for that image alone.

  15. Yeah–I will definitely report back that the image seems to go over well. jv

  16. Samuel S says:

    I’d definitely pay $30+ for Squidpunk/Sporepunk! :-) Did you have anything to do with them choosing tentacles for the placeholder?

    Btw, the tentacle design reminds me of the Zygons from classic Dr Who. (

  17. Drax says:

    Ah, that image is INSANELY great. I’m just worried it’ll lose a lot of its punch if/when they slap type over it. And what a handsome cat layout. But that image! Wow. I keep scrolling back up to look at it. The red against those super textured greys… awesome.

  18. Nico at Corvus says:

    Glad you all like the image, amazing what you can do to calamari with Photoshop.

  19. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Nicolas Cheetham, our fearless (and I do mean fearless) editor!

    Am now seeing that image even when I sleep, so it’s hard to think of the cover being anything else. Heh.


  20. Hellbound Heart says:

    ….the perspective of the picture makes me think that a couple of the tentacles are holding the camera….freaky!

    peace and love……

  21. Nemone says:

    I had an Ambergris moment today.I just discovered that some damp had sneaked its way into a certain corner of my apartment and been soaked quietly by a box full of books.Thankfully, none of them was too valuable or precious(I keep my preciousses where i can see them).As i was peeling off a dust cover to reveal grey-green mould stains , the first thought in my head was : “This must be how it starts”.For a moment, it made perfect sense.It was truth.Mushrooms and spores were only a matter of time.

    I’m reading Shriek, and Finch is waiting his turn on the self(i want to read it with the soundtrack, have the full, multisensorial experience).They must be leaking into my reality.

    I’m in favour of the tentacled-cover too.Be it god, squid or kraken, i love it.

  22. jeff vandermeer says:

    Nemone–that is indeed how it begins.

  23. Rebecka says:

    That would make a great cover.

    I would love if you made small squidpunk and sporepunk books! I think it would make the world a better place in general.

  24. Shane says:

    Is it too late to say that that is wicked cool? I would actually pay money for a poster of that. And I don’t have any fucking money, either, so that’s saying something.

  25. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Shane–I’ll make that suggestion. Might be worth doing as a promo poster.

    Re squidpunk and sporepunk–we’re seriously thinking of doing the project, mostly reprints, possibly all reprints, with introductions to both by mushroom and squid experts and afterwords about the lit side. But it’s a matter of money. I think these would both sell well with a larger print run, but I’m in love with the idea of a unique format. Some form of smaller sized book, possibly 5 x 7, possibly in a slipcase.

    I could I suppose do a whole blog post about this possibility and see how many takers there are. I’d love to do it through the Ministry of Whimsy, but I don’t think I could ask Wyrm Publishing, our parent company, to fund it, seeing as how they’ve already taken big chances on things like the Last Drink Bird Head charity antho.


  26. Mike says:

    Looking forward to the new anthology. I enjoyed The New Weird. Don’t forget to write more novels. I enjoyed Finch, but Shriek is my favorite because of the narrative technique. Veniss is great too. WTF, they’re all good. Hey, you’re good. Keep it up.

  27. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Thanks, Mike. Shriek is my favorite, too, but I’m afraid we’re in the minority.

    Re anthos–I usually take 3 to 4 years to write a novel, so I do the anthos inbetween because, well, I love editing, too. But I am working on two long novellas, one called “Borne” and one called “Komodo”.


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