Jeff VanderMeer’s NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy has been translated into over 35 languages. The first novel, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and Shirley Jackson Award, and was made into a movie by Paramount in 2018. Recent works include Hummingbird Salamander and A Peculiar Peril, in addition to Theo Ellsworth’s graphic novel adaptation of his short story Secret Life. Dead Astronauts, Borne (a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Strange Bird, set in the Borne universe, are being developed for TV by AMC and continue to explore themes related to the environment, animals, and our future.
Over a 35-year career, VanderMeer has been a four-time World Fantasy Award winner and 19-time nominee. For eleven years, VanderMeer served as the co-director of Shared Worlds, a unique teen SF/fantasy writing camp he helped found, located at Wofford College in South Carolina.
Called “the weird Thoreau” by The New Yorker, VanderMeer has lived in Florida since he was in middle school, attending the University of Florida in Gainesville before moving to Tallahassee in 1992. He frequently speaks about issues related to Florida, climate change, and storytelling, including at DePaul, MIT, and the Guggenheim. He has taught at the Yale Writers’ Conference and the Miami International Book Fair, among many others, and was the 2016-2017 Trias Writer-in-Residence at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. He is the recipient of an NEA-funded Florida Individual Artist Fellowship for excellence in fiction and a Florida Artist Enhancement Grant. Nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Vulture, Esquire.com, and the Los Angeles Times. He was a 2019 National Book Award judge for fiction.
Previous novels include Veniss Underground and the Ambergris Cycle (City of Saints & Madmen, Shriek: An Afterword, and Finch), reissued this year from MCD/FSG, with nonfiction titles including Wonderbook, the world’s first fully illustrated writing guide, and Booklife, the first career guide to fully integrate the internet into tactics and strategy. His short story collections include The Third Bear, the title story from which is under option for development into film.
Considered one of the foremost weird fiction writers in the world, VanderMeer grew up in the Fiji Islands and spent six months traveling through Asia, Africa, and Europe before returning to the United States. These travels have deeply influenced his fiction. VanderMeer started writing at age eight and published his first short story at age 14. Early on, he wrote and published poetry and short fiction extensively, in addition to running a publishing house, the Ministry of Whimsy, and holding literary events featuring National Book Award winners like Richard Wilbur and other major poets at the Thomasville Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Ministry became the first indie publisher to have a book win the Philip K. Dick Award. (Stepan Chapman’s The Troika) and he edited the award-winning Leviathan series, which published writers such as Rikki Ducornet, Brian Evenson, and Michael Moorcock.
His wife Ann VanderMeer, a graduate of FSU in Tallahassee, was the fiction editor for Weird Tales for five years and won the Hugo Award for her work there. She now serves as an acquiring editor for Tor.com and editor for XPrize anthologies including the critically acclaimed Avatars, Inc. She is also an award-winning publisher, and co-editor with Jeff on ground-breaking anthologies such as Best American Fantasy 1 and 2, Steampunk 1 and 2, New Weird, The Weird, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, The Time Traveler’s Almanac, The Big Book of Science Fiction, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, and the forthcoming The Big Book of Modern Fantasy.
For several years they also ran Cheeky Frawg, a small press that published Amos Tutuola and many works in translation, including Swedish writer Karin Tidbeck’s first collection in English and Finnish icon Leena Krohn’s complete stories in one mammoth volume. Together, they have taught writing workshops and given lectures all over the world. This literary “power couple” (Boing Boing) has been profiled on Wired.com, NYT blog, and on national NPR.
Their rewilded yard in Tallahassee has been featured in national and international media, including in an upcoming Arte TV documentary in Europe and an Audubon Magazine profile.
For queries of any kind, please use the feedback form. Jeff reads every query personally. His literary and film interests are represented by Joe Veltre at Gersh.