MINISTRY OF WHIMSY ON HIATUS
MINISTRY OF WHIMSY ON HIATUS/
LEVIATHAN ANTHOLOGY SERIES CHANGES
Effective January 1, 2005, the Ministry of Whimsy’s association with Night Shade Books will end and the press will go on hiatus for the foreseeable future. Ministry of Whimsy and Night Shade reached an amicable parting of the ways.
Founder Jeff VanderMeer cited an inability to continue to juggle a day job, writing, publishing, and editing.
“Since the flavor of the Ministry has always been based, for better or worse, on my individual vision,” VanderMeer said, “it doesn’t make sense to continue at this time. Another factor, to my mind, is the recent proliferation of publishers doing a great job of publishing work in the same or similar vein to the Ministry. Great presses like Prime, Wheatland Press, Small Beer Press, Golden Gryphon, and, of course, Night Shade, among others, have all published a number of books I would have loved to have published through the Ministry. When we started, there weren’t as many outlets for idiosyncratic fantastical fiction.”
Among the Ministry's many successes were the Philip K. Dick Award winning The Troika by Stepan Chapman and the World Fantasy Award winning Leviathan 3.
VanderMeer will now focus his attention primarily on his own writing and on individual editing projects.
One of those editing projects will be Leviathan 5, slated for release in 2006 or 2007. VanderMeer will edit Leviathan 5 with his wife, Ann. Forrest Aguirre, editor of Leviathan 4, has left Leviathan to edit and promote his own anthology series through Raw Dog Screaming Press, as well as a stand-alone anthology through Wheatland Press.
“Forrest did a great job with Leviathan 4 and these new projects of his will allow him to further develop his own unique editorial identity,” VanderMeer said. “As for the decision to co-edit with my wife, she always did at least a third of the work on any anthology I edited anyway; the only reason she hasn’t been a co-editor before is that she was running her own publishing company.” Leviathan 5 will have a theme revolving around dark humor.
Jason Williams, founder of Night Shade, said, “Jeff was a great help to us and we both learned a lot from each other. This decision is best for Jeff and for Night Shade as we expand our own roster of books, many of which are in a Ministry vein anyway. We look forward to publishing Jeff’s fiction in the future.”
VanderMeer recently sold novels to Bantam Books, Pan Macmillan, and Tor Books.