Tuesday, December 14, 2004



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.


At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff, I was looking forward to reading Zoran Zivkovic's Impossible Stories which The Ministry Of Whimsy was to release in Nov. 2004. And then it was announced there would be a delay. What does your Hiatus do to the release? Further delayed? Cancelled? Given to another publisher? As an avid reader of Zoran and someone concerned with his blood pressure I'd like to see it in print soon. Thanks, martyparrotte(REMOVETHIS)@hotmail.com

At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To prevent Impossible from being affected by our hiatus, it was switched over to being a main Night Shade book. Since NS has decided to move several books back since that decision was made, to accommodate the acquisition of a Mega Book, Zoran had no choice, really, but to pull the book from NS or wait for too long a time to see it published. Given that it had been moved back twice, I can understand why he'd have no confidence in a firm publication date ever being given.

The Ministry is, for all practical purposes, dead. We can't publish books right now. That was the point of the press release. I'm very sorry about that, but there it is.

I am most confident that Zoran will have other interest in the book and have a new publisher soon.



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