Friday, July 28, 2006


I had planned to post a report of Jeff's passing through Lisbon sooner, but had some business to take care of first, and couldn't find the time until now. It was an action-packed four days, with much fun to be had. Jeff and Ann are a wonderful, extremely friendly and funny couple, and it's hard for me to remember a time when Jeff wasn't cracking jokes or laughing at something silly we said.

I was unfortunately unable to join them on the day of their arrival, other than meet them at the airport, but I heard they had a blast with some representatives from the Portuguese Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. Details are scarce, but I do know Jeff fell in love with a bar called "The Chinese Pavillion", of which you can see pictures here. I have no photos of my own, but I'm sure Jeff will post his when he gets back.

I met up with Jeff and Ann for lunch the next day and then took them on a long walk around Belém (I do mean around, and I certainly do mean long). We ended up wandering around quite a bit, courtesy of my remarkably deficient sense of direction. The VanderMeers were thus able to feast their eyes on some of Lisbon's most luxurious parking lots (late 20th century, for the most part, in beautiful imported concrete), derelict houses, and not a few prized specimens of wild vegetation. Eventually they insisted we see some actual monuments, which we did. Concluding our tourist activities for the day, we gathered with another group of writers and editors for dinner as well as a big plate of Belém's traditional pastries (very much the only reason I took them there --- 15th century buildings are all well and good, but you can't really eat them, can you?) The long night ended at the Chinese Pavillion for a second time, over drinks and embarrassing stories involving graveyards, a tractor and --- you better believe it --- Chuck E. Cheese's balls.

The following day was almost entirely devoted to Sintra, a small town in the outskirts of Lisbon notable for having sheltered and inspired such distinguished literary figures as Lord Byron and William Beckford. David Soares, promising young writer and guide extraordinaire, gave us a fascinating, in-depth tour of the Regaleira Estate that was the highlight of the day. Lacking any useful talents and not knowing anything about the place, I resorted to doing my impression of Gollum in the pitch-dark passages beneath the garden. Also much walking up and down Serra de Sintra to see the Palace of Pena. And yes, I did manage to get us all temporarily lost in the park, having decided to follow a group of tourists because, honestly, who else to go to for advice on local geography? Certainly not me.

By dinnertime, both Jeff and Ann were on their knees, begging for mercy. Come to think of it, so was I. Don't get me wrong, it was all a metric tonne of fun, but also an intense couple of days. By Sunday night, we were all exhausted and wanting to slip into a deep, deep coma.

Jeff took some time Monday morning to chat with his editor Pedro Marques and be interviewed by José Mário Silva for Diário de Notícias. José Mário Silva asked many important and apt questions, and we may be lucky enough to have an extended English-language version of the interview for you soon. We also got to see and touch and smell the first physical copies of A transformação de Martin Lake & outras histórias, an absolutely gorgeous (limited) edition designed by Pedro Marques himself and containing Jeff's stories "The Transformation of Martin Lake", "Secret Life" and "Three Days in a Border Town".

The evening presentation was a smashing success as Jeff read excerpts from "Secret Life" and "The Transformation of Martin Lake" to a crowded house. Many, many thanks to all present for their interest and support. Jeff's editors at Livros de Areia have photos of the event at their blog, as does David Soares. (Warning: may contain images of Luís Rodrigues.)

Once again, thank you all for the wonderful time: David Soares and Gisela, Safaa Dib, Michel Jacinto, Pedro Marques, all the Luíses (Filipe Silva, Corte Real) and Joãos (Barreiros, Ventura, Seixas), Modesta and Maria João, everyone at Fnac Colombo and, of course, our excellent guests Jeff and Ann. We sincerely hope you return to our country soon, hopefully with more rest and not as much walking on the schedule. I promise I'll have a map and compass on me the next time.


Thursday, July 27, 2006


From the land of Linux and Nokia, Kimmo Lehtonen is a Finnish writer of speculative fiction. His third novel, Lueminut (Readme), is available on the web under a Creative Commons license, but unfortunately only in Finnish.

I am a SF activist and science fiction writer - or writer of speculative fiction as we like to say these days to make a clear distinction between the scifi in television and movies, and the literature genre.

I have been mesmerised by science fiction ever since I could read - or maybe even before that (by the images of early Star Trek and Apollo landings). I have sometimes wondered what it is that makes some of us so compelled to all kinds of speculative and fantastic and leaves others totally indifferent to it? Neuro-chemical anomalies in the brain or learned behavioural patterns?

Maybe one day scientists will discover that some individuals are drawn into the sense of wonder in the same way that some are addicted to danger and extreme experiences. Maybe it is in the genes.

As an organiser in several of the past Finncon events I have met with many of our distinguished guests and discovered that most writers and fans of speculative and fantastic seem to have a oddly synchronised mind sets. That is why guests far away from home and their native cultural contexts feel comfortable amongst other fans. I hope that Jeff will too.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Evil Monkey won't be making any appearances for a while.



Greetings from Prague!

I’ve been extended the honorable invitation to be one of the guest-bloggers while Jeff is out Vanderising Europe and I finally accepted the challenge after some deliberation. The main reason for my initial doubt was the fact that I haven’t yet met Jeff (I hope to have the honor sometime in August) and am not sufficiently familiar with his work and readership. Contributing to his blog would be like showing up at a party full of strangers and being asked to make a speech without knowing who’s there, what’s been going on before you got there, who you may unwittingly offend, whose jokes you may unwittingly repeat, etc. A pretty trippy blind date!

But although I don’t yet know Jeff personally, we do share two friends whom I trust deeply – the painter Hawk Alfredson and his beautiful photographer wife, Mia Hanson. (If you’re not familiar with their work I’d highly recommend visiting their sites).

Just having these common friends wouldn’t have been that convincing in itself, since they are a very popular couple and have a mind-boggling array of acquaintances. But Jeff and I apparently share a fascination with a group of Hawk’s paintings known as Circlings – a unique breed of seductively frightening creatures. Jeff, a Tallahassee-based writer and I, a Prague-based filmmaker have both gravitated to these images from distant continents and have decided, independently of each other, to incorporate them into our own work. This isn’t a question of putting too much faith in coincidences, crossed fates, etc. but it simply convinces me that our tastes and sensibilities are close enough for me to feel at home in his, and your, world. (Similar sentiments must have caused Jeff to invite me in the first place?) I hope I won’t wear out my welcome too soon.

My second cause for hesitation was the fact that I’m not a writer. I’m not even formally educated at all! I slipped through the cracks of modern civilization and roam through “the great cities” as a sort of foreign native. In the 60’s it was quite common for artists to go live with “primitive” tribes in search of untainted stimuli, and my natural possession of some of that “untaintedness” is my only real distinction. I’ve picked up some skills here and there and express my thoughts and feelings in as many ways as I find stimulating – sometimes through writing, sometimes through collages and sculptures, and most often though filming. (If at any point you become curious about my world, you can visit it at Be informed, however, that it is a very sexually explicit world.) While I’m not ashamed of my lack of formal education and, at times, I’m actually quite proud of it, I was a bit weary of a blind date with the audience of a literary master. So here’s the disclaimer: If you’re looking for “real” culture, skip my entry! If you’re looking for some zany alternative thinking, there’s a chance you’ll find a satisfying dose of it here.

In Jeff’s invitation, he wrote: “You may blog about whatever you want to blog about, whether serious or not-so-serious topics. Whatever is on your mind.“

My mind is currently dominated by zoophilia. I’m in a very happy inter-human relationship right now, but for the past 15 months I’ve been working on my first feature-length film which documents the trials and tribulations of a Czech group of zoophiles who have begun fighting for their rights, equality, etc. (NOTE: zoophiles distance themselves from bestialists who just use animals for pleasure. True zoophiles, they explain, engage in sexual acts with animals ONLY as ultimate expressions of love.) The group, which calls themselves E.F.A. (short for Equality For All - see themselves as liberators of all non-human creatures and intend to take their revolution worldwide.

Every film dominates you for the duration of the production, but this project has been increasingly dominating me as it nears completion.

The project is entitled COMING SOON, and the reason for this title was to inform the audience before they watch it that although it may look and feel like a real documentary, it’s all fake and is only meant to be a sketch of what the future may hold for us – sort of like a trailer for civilization’s next great debate, etc. The freaky thing is that I no longer know how much of the film is fake and how much is real! In order to lend authenticity to the film we included several real characters, experts in their respective fields, who comment on the group’s efforts, dreams, etc. But as far as I knew, the people playing the group’s members were all acting. Over the course of making the film, however, these people started confessing things to me which made me doubt my very senses. I let most of the characters improvise and even develop the stories themselves in order to produce more realistic “performances.” I knew some of these people beforehand, but I met most of them in the course of the project. Most of them heard about the project through mutual acquaintances and offered their services. Or were they looking for the perfect catharsis? As their confessions started pouring out – confessions about fantasies, dreams, experiences, plans, etc. – I started fearing that I stumbled upon a group of people who are far more subversive than I initially hoped for. They seemed to feel that if I was directing this film, as tongue-in-cheek as it seemed, they were able to talk openly, confession style. But I was only using this as a metaphor. Wasn’t it blatantly clear to them?

Are they just playing with me? Or were they playing with me before we began filming? Did they coax me into telling their story by claiming it was all a great joke, or are they yanking my chain now? Or did it start out as a joke and, perhaps due to the film’s influence, slowly become real? Did their year of joking unleash hidden tendencies? I swear to you that I can no longer tell!

Prague is notorious for practical jokes. But Prague is also notorious for its atheism, experimentalism, decadence, mysteriousness and who knows what else. I initially came out here 8 years ago to work for my favorite filmmaker, Jan Svankmajer. I ended up staying here because of a gorgeous genius who’s been letting me seduce and love her. The first six years here were an absolute, and primarily unpleasant, mystery. I absolutely couldn’t find my bearings in this society. I’ve traveled my fair share and never had trouble finding my little niche in any culture I encountered. Not that I immediately understood them all, but I was able to figure where I do and don’t belong. Prague is a creepy puzzle. People here are very intelligent, cultured, creative, etc. and the artist’s life is more the rule here than then exception. Yet, I’ve never been anywhere that seemed as dysfunctional or chaotic. I’ve been shown the most intense kindness as well as the harshest cruelty – oftentimes within one act. At times you feel as though you’re roaming through bohemian heaven, only to suddenly discover hellish streets full of human-looking devils. For six years I couldn’t figure out what system these people live by. Had that one exquisite creature not loved me, I’d have been off long ago.

Over the past few years, however, I started feeling as though I was getting in on the joke. I didn’t understand the system or patterns but I was increasingly able to at least intuit my way through the madness. My command of the language was increasing as was my knowledge of the local history and folklore and I actually started enjoying the mess.

But now I’m totally confused again. The people who I finally thought I “got” are now as mystifying as ever. I finally have my first film ready and instead of rejoicing I find myself trying to figure out exactly what it is that I have.

I showed an unfinished version of the film at a festival here this past April and the audience kept asking me how much of it was real? I laughed to myself and was proud of my ability to create a perfect illusion. The Student Jury awarded us with a special award, citing the film’s originality and defense of suppressed minorities and I laughed at how seriously they took the film. And now I’m beginning to wonder if the joke isn’t on me! I tried demonstrating that all groups can argue their right to acceptance and equality, but now I feel as though my demonstrative arguments really worked. People seem to be taking this so seriously to the point that they are coming out of the closet – a closet which wasn’t supposed to really exist. A fake revolution may actually be forming. And maybe it’s a good thing! Maybe zoophiles really do deserve the same rights as everyone else. Perhaps they’ve been persecuted and suppressed only due to millennia worth of stigma which no one ever bothered to address, or fight. Who would have dared to do so? They themselves are too small a group to fight for themselves. Perhaps it needed an uneducated filmmaker to come along and unwittingly make their plight palatable enough for it to finally end?

It’s getting late in these parts of the world and I have to go, but this is what I have on my mind right now. I’ve been compelled to search my own soul for clues and hidden impulses which may have led me to this subject-matter in the first place. I’ll continue my thoughts next time. Until then, Indulge!

Yours truly,

Sir Tijn Po
sirtijnpo -[at]- sirtijnpo -[dot]- com

P.S. I noticed a minor mix-up on Jeff’s July, 19th blog entry. He says Shimon Shertov has a scandalous website and then puts a link to my site. I’m not him and he’s not me. No harm done though!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Evil Monkey: You're not?
Luís: No! I was just resting. What did you put me in a coffin for? What were you thinking?
Evil Monkey: Let me put it this way: have you ever read "The Transformation of Martin Lake"?
Luís: You were planning to kill me?!
Evil Monkey: Of course not. Remember, I don't exist --- I'm just a figment of that other human's imagination.
Luís: You mean Jeff?
Evil Monkey: Yeah, that's the one. You people all look the same to me. Is he still with you? Is he doing okay?
Luís: Jeff and Ann left this morning and must be in France by now, feasting on croissants and fine French cuisine. Why?
Evil Monkey: No reason.
Luís: Do you miss him already?
Evil Monkey: No!
Luís: I think you do.
Evil Monkey: Shut up!
Luís: Say no more.
Evil Monkey: I hate you.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I´m in Lisbon, posting from Luis Rodrigues` computer, in the heart of Lisbon. Iºve just seen the Portuguese edition of Transformation and itºs really wonderful. I donºt know how to get rid of the ººº in this post, though. Must be a Lisbon thing.

We had a great, inspirational time in Sintra yesterday, lots of walking and beautiful gardens and castles-palaces. We met many great people, who Iºll blog more about later.

Luis will start posting guest entries shortly.

Gotta run.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Shriek Movie Preview and Schedule

First off, visit the Shriek Movie blog for a short preview of the Shriek movie and for the final schedule of events. I should note that art by Hawk Alfredson, Scott Eagle, Myrtle Vondamitz III, and Steve Kilbey has been added to the movie.

Shriek Website

The Shriek trailer will reside on the new Shriek website--a site designed by Garry Nurrish, who also designed City of Saints & Madmen. I'm really proud of it. I'm also rather thrilled that Tor has already had to bump up the print run for Shriek based on orders for the novel. The official release date is August 8!

My Schedule for August - October

Visit Shriek News for my complete schedule.

SIBA Moveable Feast

I've just gotten word I'll be part of the Southeast Independent Bookseller Association's Moveable Feast of writers on August 9th in Orlando.

Guest Bloggers

Editors, writers, and filmmakers from Portugal, Paris, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Finland are going to be guest blogging while I'm gone - July 20 through August 25. They'll introduce themselves as they post. Thanks to Luis Rodrigues for posting these guest entries.

Shriek Party Photos and Commentary

Shriek event hosts may be posting their photos and accounts on my Shriek Movie blog in late August--check that space.

Shriek Podcast

I will be podcasting Shriek in its entirety, chapter by chapter, throughout August through October, and hopefully (gotta ask Tor first) releasing it through itunes, too.

Borders Promotion

Tentatively, Borders will be posting a link to a special Shriek movie preview page in their national e-newsletter in early August (might change to late August). This will be just a preview--about five minutes of the movie. The premieres will still be at the movie events. This feature will also promote The Church's new CD, Uninvited, Like the Clouds.

Portuguese Poster and Secret Life Excerpt

I love this poster for my Lisbon book signing. Just beautiful! Also, an excerpt of "Secret Life" ("The Pen" and "Home") has been posted at the Portuguese Association for the Fantastic in the Arts site.

Forbidden Planet Podcast

I also love this poster for FB's new Podcast.

Tom Hunter New Arthur C. Clarke Award Administrator

Congrats to Tom Hunter for being named the new administrator of the Clarke Award.

Er, This is Not a Joke...

The international committee to chose the winner of the Jack Trevor Story Memorial Cup has at last been selected. The jury consists of Mr John Coulthart (UK), M. Jean-Luc Fromental (France), Mr Michael Moorcock (UK), Mr Martin Stone (France) and Mr Jeff VanderMeer (USA) who will meet to confer in the course of the following days. The winner will be announced after a traditional final meeting at a well-known brasserie in Paris by the end of July. This prize is not given every year. It is generally awarded for a work of fiction or body of work which, in the opinion of the committee, best celebrates the spirit of Jack Trevor Story, who died in 1992. As well as for his journalism, much of it published in The Guardian newsppaper, Mr Story was known for such humorous novels as The Trouble With Harry (filmed by Alfred Hitchcock) and the Live Now, Pay Later trilogy featuring the 'tally man' Albert Argyll (played by Ian Carmichael). As well as the traditional cup, a cash prize is awarded. The conditions of the prize are that the money shall be spent in a week to a fortnight and the author have nothing to show for it at the end of that time. This is to recall Mr Story's famous reply to the bankruptcy judge who enquired where a substantial sum of money paid to him for film rights had gone -- "You know how it is, judge. Two hundred or two thousand, it always lasts a week to a fortnight.'

Dave Larsen Has a Web Site

Dave Larsen is a skilled metal worker and gunsmith who has done work that's appeared in City of Saints and appearing in the Shriek movie. Now he's got a web site.

Shimon Shertov

A talented filmmaker currently based in Prague, Shimon has featured Hawk Alfredson's work in his movies. He's got a scandalous (in the best sense) website, too. (Best not to open this at work.) Hopefully, he'll be guest blogging.

It's hard to know what we're looking forward to more in Europe--not having internet access 24-7 or the people we're going to meet in each country. I'll get to see my mom and sister for the first time in four years. In addition to staying with my editors in each country and getting to know them better, we'll also catch up with old friends in Paris, hopefully see the Moorcocks and Svankmejer, and have a ton of fun at Finncon in Helsinki--a place where we already feel like we have many, many friends.

Have a great rest of the summer!


Monday, July 17, 2006


Here's the press release about the new Shriek site. This is our first stab at a site with audio and video elements, so I imagine there will be a version 2.0 in September, with different and more varied format, but I'm very happy with it as it exists, too!!


For Immediate Release

The website for Jeff VanderMeer's critically acclaimed Shriek: An Afterword (coming August 8 from Tor Books) is now live at:

Created by City of Saints & Madmen designer Garry Nurrish, it features news, video, audio, text, and press kit sections in a seamless format.

Video options include readings, the unique "The Exchange" book-movie and an online version of VanderMeer's "Rough Guide to Ambergris" multimedia presentation, which has been featured at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis and the Brisbane Writers Festival, among many others.

Audio includes readings from the novel, a selection of the voice track from the forthcoming Shriek movie, and samples from the original soundtrack by The Church. The text section includes excerpts, deleted scenes, and the Shriek movie script.

In September, after the August premiere of the Shriek short movie in 20 cities around the U.S., the Shriek movie will reside on the site. More options for the existing video on the site will be added at that time.

Due to the graphical nature of the site it has been designed to be best viewed on a screen resolution of 1280x1024 or above. Lower screen resolutions should display the site perfectly well and all content will be accessible, but for optimal viewing pleasure 1280x1024 is recommended.


You can also view this video here.

This installment features the first speaking parts for Evil Monkey's companions, Mypeep and W.F. Howard.

I should warn you that beer is spilled in this video, and that it was one of those accidents you find yourself incorporating into a show...

The music is excerpted from Robert Devereux's Fungicide. A great CD.


Sunday, July 16, 2006


The international committee to chose the winner of the Jack Trevor Story Memorial Cup has at last been selected. The jury consists of Mr John Coulthart (UK), M. Jean-Luc Fromental (France), Mr Michael Moorcock (UK), Mr Martin Stone (France) and Mr Jeff VanderMeer (USA) who will meet to confer in the course of the following days. The winner will be announced after a traditional final meeting at a well-known brasserie in Paris by the end of July. This prize is not given every year. It is generally awarded for a work of fiction or body of work which, in the opinion of the committee, best celebrates the spirit of Jack Trevor Story, who died in 1992. As well as for his journalism, much of it published in The Guardian newspaper, Mr Story was known for such humorous novels as The Trouble With Harry (filmed by Alfred Hitchcock) and the Live Now, Pay Later trilogy featuring the 'tally man' Albert Argyll (played by Ian Carmichael). As well as the traditional cup, a cash prize is awarded. The conditions of the prize are that the money shall be spent in a week to a fortnight and the author have nothing to show for it at the end of that time. This is to recall Mr Story's famous reply to the bankruptcy judge who enquired where a substantial sum of money paid to him for film rights had gone -- "You know how it is, judge. Two hundred or two thousand, it always lasts a week to a fortnight.'


Somehow the "walks the plank" part of these interviews has taken on additional gravitas since announcing the pirate anthology...

Our victim today is the charming and incisive Gwyneth Jones, whose Rainbow Bridge is now out in the U.K. from Gollancz. It's the conclusion to the Bold as Love saga, description as follows:

It's the final curtain call for Fiorinda, the flame-haired rock princess, Guinevere to Ax Preston's King Arthur and Sage Pender's Sir Lancelot. Together, the Triumvirate have fought to save their Britain, and America - indeed, the whole world - from the depradations of a collapsed economy and environmental meltdown. Together they have fought the evil magic of Fiorinda's wizard father; they have explored the depths and heights of of ultimate consciousness, the fusion between mind and the world. And they have discovered a love that goes back centuries, and lives. But is all this enough to save a world that has fallen apart at the seams, a world that has given itself over to the dark side?

Jones has received tons of praise for Bold as Love and her other work. She is the winner of two World Fantasy Awards, a BSFA short story award, the Children of the Night Award from the Dracula Society, the Arthur C. Clarke award 2001 for Bold As Love,the PK Dick award in 2004 for Life, and is a co-winner of the Tiptree award. She lives in Brighton, England with her husband and son, a Tonkinese cat called Ginger and her son Frank.

I am especially fond of the fact that she has a Hedgehog Log. I think that says a lot about a person's character. I have met her exactly once--in Blackpool during EasterCon, during a non-reading that broke out in a mazey backroom. She had a certain presence and assuredness about her, and she said the most unexpected things--about frogs screaming, for instance. A little anecdote that I asked if I could use in something. She graciously agreed, and I proceeded to hoard the detail for more than a year before it finally lent itself to a story called "Errata".

Now she has kindly taken time from her busy schedule to participate in the dreaded five (or six) questions.


Walking the Plank

Why should readers pick up your book as opposed to, say, just about anybody else's book?For their own selfish pleasure. Or possibly the very tempting discount on Amazon used and new.

Does your book have any socially redeeming qualities? If so, what are they?
You could pick up an uplifting and righteous attitude to the energy-audit concept. Also, it tells you exactly how to make Wind Turbines invisible (it's done by cloning), which would be a fine thing.

Does your book have any medicinal or mental health value to readers?
Fresh air and healthy physical exercise are strongly plugged

Assume your book has been filed under "Ages 8 to 12" in the children's section, perhaps by mistake, perhaps not. How horrified do you imagine a child would be after reading your book, and why? How many years of therapy would the child take to recover from the experience?
a) I think if the putative child could read the book, they'd thoroughly enjoy it. I write on the never-give-an-inch-principle: if you find you have to stray from transparent simplicity, think very carefully about what you're doing. Of course sometimes you DO have to stray, for your own selfish pleasure; but adult readers probably skip all those bits, anyway.

b) they would never recover. Their neuronal architecture would be permanently altered

Why don't you write more about cute stuff?
Because I have put all that stuff in my blog.

Are you absolutely sure that frogs can scream?
You are kidding, aren't you? 2,470,000 google hits can't be wrong, and besides, try this link.

If no one buys your book and you are unable to continue publishing your fiction due to the intense vilification that occurs in the media, what line of work will you go into?
I would be the Catcher In The Rye.


Zoran Zivkovic has graciously agreed to guest blog the during the end of September, which coincides with the release of the Aio Publishing edition of SEVEN TOUCHES OF MUSIC is due for early September. This will come on the heels of the writer guest blogging this summer while I'm not in the U.S. (I'll have a more or less final list of the guest bloggers for the summer in a day or two.)

Zoran's been having a heck of a run with regard to foreign publication. Here's the information on that.



1. USA

2. UK

THE BOOK (Cavalo de Ferro)

THE LIBRARY (Tiderne Skifter)

THE BOOK (Kedros)

a) THE LIBRARY (Istiklal)
b) TIME GIFTS (Istiklal)




Saturday, July 15, 2006

WELCOME TO CRAZY TOWN's my schedule for the next few months, below my signature line. Now, true, a lot of these are "remote" events--Shriek movie showings I'm not appearing at. But I'm still doing a lot of work for each event. This also doesn't include a lot of the media events in Europe that aren't actual "events" perse--interviews for radio, TV, and newspapers. Meeting with booksellers, et.c

Still, Europe is actually going to be the relaxing part of this whole thing. In Paris, for example, I'll get to see my mom and my sister for the first time in three or four years.

Then when you throw in the potential gigs, including some book festivals and whatnot--and the World Fantasy Award judging, and World Fantasy Con, which I didn't even bother to include yet, it gets even more insane. (Jay Lake, Daniel Abraham, and me are gonna do a con suite party as three Tor-eadors, or is that Three Muskators?, although the details aren't worked out yet. Two better muskators I couldn't hope to have.) Trust me--I'm not complaining. I've spent my whole life working up toward this sort of thing, but you kinda have to throw novel writing out the window during most of it.

Wish me luck, because this is, as they say, crazy town. In a good way. A lot of fine people have put in a lot of time and effort on these events, and all of this is really about personal relationships, a book and a movie, and only then the promotional aspect. (I just don't have a personal publicist for all projects, so you see more of the gears and parts up front.)


PS I should note that the San Fran event is not completely finalized yet. And thanks to all the editors/publishers who've been cool enough to sign on to the Shriek parties. All for one and one for all.


Note: Private Shriek movie parties have been planned by Jeff's readers in Philadelphia PA, New York City, Columbia SC, Des Moines IA, Osceola IN, and Orlando FL, mostly around the August 18th weekend, one week after the novel's release date. Additional public events in Tempe AZ, Tallahassee FL, Orlando FL, and Chicago IL will be finalized soon. Visit and for further details on all events.

For All U.S. Shriek Movie Showings Listed Below, Shriek: The Movie will be screened with freebies provided by primary sponsors Tor Books and Cooking Vinyl (The Church's label), as well as Bantam Books, Omnidawn Press, Earthling Publications, Night Shade Books, Wheatland Press, and Prime Books. Give-aways include books, CDs, Shriek beer, etc. All events are free unless otherwise indicated.

MON. July 24 - Lisbon, Portugal - 9:30pm, Fnac Colombo (bookstore A-103; Centro Comercial Colombo, Av. Lusiada, Lisbon) -. A signing/reading by Jeff VanderMeer, followed by a showing of the Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos) and discussion.

THURS. August 3 - Berlin, Germany - 7 to 10pm, Andymon SF Club (address information unavailable at this time; may not be open to the public) - A discussion with Jeff VanderMeer and showing of his Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos).

FRI. August 4 - Berlin, Germany - 8pm - Otherland Bookstore (formerly "UFO Bookstore"; Bergmannstraße 25 • 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg, Tel. (030) 69 50 51 17; Jeff VanderMeer signing, and discussion of the Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos).

SUN. August 6 - Atlanta, GA - 6pm to 8pm - The Five Spot (1123 Euclid Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, 404-223-1100) - "Invited, Like the Fans": Hang out with other Church fans at the Five Spot before The Church concert (at the Variety Playhouse, a block away). Two showings of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos): 6:15pm and 7:15pm. (Members of The Church may attend, schedule permitting.)

WED. August 9 - Prague, Czech Republic - time tba; check local listings - Neoluxor Palace (Prague 1, Václavské nám. 41) - Jeff VanderMeer to sign books and discuss his work.

THURS. August 10 - Prague, Czech Republic - time tba; check local listings - Netopejr Specialty SF Bookstore(Dolni nam 26, 772 00 Olomouc) - Jeff VanderMeer to sign books and discuss his work.

THURS. August 10 - New York City - doors open 8pm - Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place, on the corner of 15th Street and Irving Place)- Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos) is scheduled to air between the opening act and The Church’s performance.

SUN. August 13 - Brasov, Romania - 1pm - location tba - Romanian Veniss Underground launch, including reading and signing by Jeff VanderMeer.

TUES. August 15 - Bucharest, Romania - 5:30pm - a Bucharest bookstore tba - Second Romanian Veniss Underground launch, including reading and signing by Jeff VanderMeer.

FRI. August 18 - Pittsburgh, PA - time and location TBA - In addition to a showing of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos), this event will feature host Robert Devereux's CD Fungicide, based on one of VanderMeer's prior books.

FRI. August 18 - Cambridge, MA - 7pm - Pandemonium Books & Games, Inc. (4 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 617-547-3721, Email A showing of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos), hosted by Rob Davies.

SAT. August 19 - Raleigh - 11am - The Colony Theater (5438 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27609, - A showing of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos), hosted by Two Cranes Press’ Janet Chui and Jason Erik Lundberg, publishers of Off the Map by Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish (made into a movie by Tim Burton).

SAT. August 19 - Helsinki, Finland - all day - Finncon (Helsinki Congress Paasitorni
Paasivuorenkatu 5 A FI - 00530 Helsinki Tel. +358 9 7089 611) - Jeff VanderMeer participates in the opening ceremonies, is interviewed, has a kaffeeklatsch, shows his Shriek movie, does a reading, participates on a panel about Deadly Sins, juggles grenades and infants, and then collapses. (See program schedule for all other Jeff VanderMeer events.)

SUN. August 20 - Helsinki, Finland - all day - Finncon (Helsinki Congress Paasitorni
Paasivuorenkatu 5 A FI - 00530 Helsinki Tel. +358 9 7089 611) - Jeff VanderMeer participates in two panels (Crossing Over: Mainstream SF, The Essential Fantasy), does his Rough Guide to Ambergris presentation, and participates in "On Writing". (See program schedule for all other Jeff VanderMeer events.)

SAT. August 19 - Portland, OR - 7pm and 9pm - Clinton Street Theater (2522 SE Clinton St., Portland, OR 97202 EventsPhone - 503.238.8899 or Message: 503.238.5588) A full-fledged event. A showing of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos), MC'd by local Portland author Jay Lake and the renowned performance poet Edward Morris, Jr., with support from 23rd Street Books. $6 adults, $3 children.

SUN. August 20 - San Francisco, CA - 3pm to 4:30pm - 12 Galaxies (2565 Mission Street @ 22nd, San Francisco, CA . 94110, 415-970-9777,; - The Church will attend this event to answer questions about their involvement in Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos) and their new CD. Ken Keegan and Rusty Morrison from Omnidawn Press as well as Dave Barnard from The Church site Hotel Womb will host the festivities.

FRI. - SUN. - September 22 - 24 - Nottingham, England - time tba - British Fantasy Convention (Britannia Hotel, 1 St. James Street, Nottingham UK; - Showings of Jeff VanderMeer's Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos) as part of the film component of programming.

FRI. September 30 - Austin, TX - 8pm - BookPeople (603 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703 VanderMeer will read at this event and introduce the Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos).

SUN. October 8 - Gainesville, FL - 7pm - Thomas Center (302 Northeast Sixth Avenue, Gainesville, FL 352-334-5064) Jeff VanderMeer will read at this event and introduce the Shriek movie (directed by J.T. Lindroos). Tentatively supported by Goerings Bookstore.


I feel in recent months as if the focus of this blog has become somewhat fractured, and so when I get back from Europe I am going to make some changes.

(1) It was never my intent to have so many posts about foreign sales and other news items, unless it was something pretty cool like actually having Shriek in my hands. The problem has been my learning curve on blogger and lack of time with regard to what I'd really like to do: have a side bar on this blog where I can post news items and links to news. I plan on creating a sidebar by September.

(2) I think a certain amount of personal-public type postings make sense, but I'm not sure it's balanced the way it should be. Some of the stuff about books could as easily go on a formal website that runs columns, reviews, and interviews. So, starting in September, I'm going to start doing a column for SF Site (details yet to be worked out). Several of the things I would have posted to this blog will go there instead.

(3) There can never be enough Evil Monkey.

The result of these changes will be to recapture some of the original flavor of this blog, when I would post more thoughtful pieces and fewer quick info blurts. It will also allow me to have more fun with the blog, I think.

Anyway, that's the plan.

Also, I would love feedback on the Evil Monkey videos. Should Evil continue to speak out every week?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


The third of three blog entries on Odyssey. This is an excerpt from a long interview with Jeanne Cavelos, the director of Odyssey. Again, the sound may need adjusting. This is an excerpt, without any real editing at this point. The full interview may appear on the Odyssey site at some point in the future.

Click here for the link to the video.


The second of three posts about Odyssey, this is an excerpt from the writer reception, June 22. I regret that the sound is a bit low--you may need to turn up your volume. This is an excerpt, without any real editing at this point.

Click here to link to the video.


Video of interview with Jeanne Cavelos
Video of me at Odyssey

Some images of Odyssey, including last year's class

As I briefly blogged before, I went to New Hampshire in June as a guest lecturer at Odyssey Workshop, run by Jeanne Cavelos. It was a fun experience, and I thought I'd drop some photos and video (see above) on ya. Click photos below for larger versions.

Jeanne in the classroom

Odyssey features Jeanne and her assistant Susan for the full six weeks, meaning the students get consistency throughout the six weeks, which probably cuts down on student drama, ups and downs--the things that can really kill you over six weeks. Susan actually stays in the student dormitory, and since she has gone to Odyssey and been there helping for awhile, she gives the students necessary perspective when needed.

Although, I have to say that this group of students seemed very focused and non-dramatic, which is a good thing.

Susan and Jeanne

During the six-week period, the students have assignments in addition to writing stories, and guest lecturers who come in the end of every week to add their outside perspective, provide additional manuscript techniques, sit in on the workshop part, provide a lecture and exercises, and answer questions from the students.

Before the writer reception...

As Jeanne writes on the Odyssey website:

Odyssey is the only program of its kind run by an editor. I was a senior editor at Bantam Doubleday Dell, where I won the World Fantasy Award for my editing, and I serve as primary instructor at the workshop. Half of our class time is spent on lectures, writing exercises, and discussions. In my lectures, I provide an advanced, comprehensive curriculum, covering the elements of fiction writing in depth. To improve your writing, you need to understand the various tools and techniques writers can use to create a strong story. Many workshops, unfortunately, offer only brief, superficial lectures. We study some of the most beautiful and powerful writing in the field to gain understanding of what these tools can do in the right hands. I also discuss the common failings of developing writers and explain how to avoid those pitfalls.

Another photo from before the reception

This year, the guest lecturers were myself, Melissa Scott, Laurie J. Marks, Christopher Golden and award-winning editor and agent Shawna McCarthy, with Robert Sawyer as the writer-in-residence the last week.

Me 'n' Dave H., another student

I really enjoyed the experience. It's a rigorous day-and-a-half, but well-worth it. As mentioned, the students seem focused and serious.

Barbecue Friday night

The setting, St. Anselm College in Manchester, is really lovely.

Barbecue take 2

I think that in general the hardest thing to get people to realize is just how much discipline it takes to be a writer. Six-week workshops are fatiguing in a lot of ways, but they do make you focus and they do help you decide if writing is something you're willing to put the requisite time into.

Susan, me, Jeanne, and Matt Cheney at the barbecue

Of course, there's also room for fun--the students started having a barbecue the week before we arrived, a tradition I was happy to endorse. Great grilled portobello mushrooms! Matt Cheney, our guide through the wilds of New Hampshire, showed up in time to partake.

Me 'n' Ann

I hope the students had a great four weeks after I left them.

Clayton Kroh and me; photo by Calie Voorhis

For this blog entry, Clayton Kroh was kind enough to supply me with photos he'd taken. Many thanks. Here's a complete list of the students for 2006.

Jeff Pert

Victoria Witt

Eric Newman

Rhiannon Held

Clayton Kroh

Lance Kind

Adria Laycraft

Ellen Denham

Liz Hirst

Larry Hodges

Deborah Sacks

Dave Hendrickson

Russell Scarola

Calie Voorhis

Nu Yang

Terry Edge

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


The ever-so thoughtful Liz Gorinsky, my editor at Tor, overnighted me a surprise copy of something: the Tor US Shriek!!! (On sale in August.) It's gorgeous! From the dark green boards to the subdued orange endpapers to the imprint on the boards of Eric Schaller's Hoegbotton & Sons logo. Cover looks amazing, too!

Liz also included a box of mushroom truffles and a Japanese snack with squid on the front of the package. We will have them with champagne tonight!

Really, just can't believe the damn book is real, in hardcover. I mean, my first major publisher hardcover.

And, I should be able to announce really good news about BookSense and Shriek soon. And a ton of other good things happening for the book.

Anyway, thanks again to Liz and Leslie (my publicist) and everyone else at Tor, all of whom have been so responsive to my insane ideas and have put so much care into the book itself. It's absolutely gorgeous, with carefully-chosen fonts and really nice margins and everything else. I just love it!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Although it's not new news around the VanderMeer household, the appearance of the ultra-sound seems to warrant an official announcement: Erin and her fiance John Gustat (pictured above) are going to have a baby! Around Thanksgiving. I'm, er, gonna be a granddad of sorts. I think I'll have to develop more gray in my hair before then. They're 90% sure it's a boy.

Congrats to them both!


(Evil Monkey: "Heh. You're ancient." Jeff: "I knew you were going to say something." Evil Monkey: "You've practically a foot in the grave, old bean." Jeff: "Oh stuff it. Here have a cigar." Evil Monkey: "I only smoke cubans." Jeff: It IS a cuban, you moron.")


We wrap up World Fantasy Award judging in the next month or so--me, Barbara Roden, Andy Wheeler, Steve Lockley, and Victoria Strauss. I have to say it's been an absolute delight to work with such committed and thoughtful people. The whole process has been wonderful and I'm very excited about the whole thing.

In other news, I will have final Shriek party info in the next couple of days. The Shriek website will go live in the next few days, too, complete with audio and video components. Also very exciting.

Watch this space for some music and movie reviews, too.


Monday, July 10, 2006


Check it out if you haven't already.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


The July 10th installment. Still working toward some kind of ideal.

Or view it here:


UPDATE: Breaking open the Aventinus Doppelbock, going into overtime, 1-1...Ann just called me a mouse potato. I'm confused.

Update on update: Going to penalty kicks. Breaking out the Aventinus Secret Weapon. Go France!

France up 1-0!!!

Nothing better than watching the World Cup final and getting your ass kicked by a really good beer. (In this case, Aventinus Weizen Eisbock.)

I'm toasting you, Joe Gordon. :)


Saturday, July 08, 2006


Honestly, this book from Earthling Publicationsscared the crap out of me. Reading Conrad Williams is like reading some amazing cross-pollination of Bosch mixed with early Clive Barker before he got all puffy, with the writing skills of an M. John Harrison. This is heady stuff, and frightening because Williams is so good at conveying the reality of even an insane situation.

From a draft of my introduction:

In the most horrific scenes in The Unblemished—and there are many—Williams’ writing is so good it makes you want to re-read sentences even as you’re trying to look away. It’s not that he makes everything pretty. Far from it. Instead, it’s that he’s fully in the moment, fully engaged in giving the reader the specific and telling detail that makes a character or a scene come to life. Perhaps as importantly, he doesn’t hand you comic-book violence or TV realism like so many writers these days. You can’t escape Williams because what he offers up to the reader has no falseness to it. If you want escapism, find it somewhere else.

In certain quarters, it has been easy for reviewers and readers to dismiss horror. I think they dismiss horror because they read examples that contain bad writing or only rudimentary ideas of character and theme. Or examples in which the writer has given up on telling an honest story.

But Conrad Williams' is a master stylist, and a master of observation--and in bringing these powers to bear on very dark material, he creates something both unyielding and oddly beautiful. And compelling.

The book's out in October. I highly recommend it. You should probably buy it now before it's sold out.



Our cat, Jackson, is not amused by our pirate anthology--or his participation in the festivities.

You can also view this retarded video here.



UPDATE: Sir Tessa claims white ninjas are more amazing than pirates, offering up this evidence.

Jason Williams looks like a pirate without any props.

"Arrrr. Arrgggh. Trim that mainsail with widget or? Just take care of it. And get that damn parrot off my shoulder."

Jeremy Lassen is the bravest man I know. Mad props.

It's official: Ann and I are co-editing an as-yet-untitled anthology of original pirate fiction for Jason Williams and Jeremy Lassen at Night Shade Books. Jason and Jeremy came up with the idea, and we are happy to oblige.

"Hey, Ann--it's 8 in the morning. You just woke up. Mind wearing an eyepatch and grimacing for me?"

The anthology will come out in late 2007. There will be a two-month open reading period later in the year. (Please do not query--we will make sure everyone knows about the reading period.)

Nothing better than slappin' on an eyepatch the morning after your 38th birthday...

We look forward to producing a spirited, exciting, and just plain fun anthology. This isn't going to be Leviathan 5 or Album Zutique. With this anthology, we're going to slake our thirst for finely crafted rolicking adventure fiction.

Evil Monkey is our First Mate...

Many thanks to Jason and Jeremy for this opportunity to cut loose and run with this baby. We'll have the title and more information after we get back from Europe.

Beer is our Bosun...

In the meantime, we're off to see Pirates of the Carribean and drink some rum and have some pirate pie (thanks Kris and Dave Alsbrooks)

Pirate Pie is our Cook and our Meal...


P.S. After having tormented Tessa of Silence Without with pirate references in the comments fields of her blog for a few months, I think it's only fair to give her a shout-out, and to note that from this photo posted recently to her blog I believe she was anticipating the pirate antho announcement.


For my birthday, Ann bought me an eye patch and this in the limited edition! Woo-hoo!

Friday, July 07, 2006


Update: I've gotten several emails from people in the UK and elsewhere outside of the US asking about the possibility of hosting a Shriek movie party, especially with the aim of doing some cross promotion/celebration of their own work. It's all very possible. Just have to take into account timing issues, for maximum effect.

See below for information on the Raleigh Shriek event. I'm thrilled that Jason and Janet of Two Cranes Press agreed to host this event. (Jason had very helpful comments on Shriek in manuscript form, too.)

...and I should have info on new events in Chicago, Gainesville (FL), and, possibly, Scotland, shortly....


“(Vision)ary Fantasy”: A Showing Of The Movie Shriek, with Original Soundtrack by The Church, at the Colony Theater. Hosted By Jason Erik Lundberg and Janet Chui of Two Cranes Press. Saturday, August 19, 11:00 a.m.

On Saturday, August 19, 2006, at 11:00 a.m., the Colony Theater, in conjunction with Two Cranes Press, will host the debut of the short movie Shriek, written by World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer. The movie features an original soundtrack by legendary art-rock band The Church. Local writers and publishers Jason Erik Lundberg and Janet Chui will MC the event. Refreshments, door prizes (including Ambergris beer), and freebies from Cooking Vinyl (The Church's label) and Tor Books (VanderMeer's publisher) will be available. Quail Ridge Books will have copies of Shriek: An Afterword for sale at the event. Admission is free.


We're all looking for Mark Roberts. This is quite serious.

Today, I officially became an old, old man.

In the next week, I'll have news about guest bloggers while I'm in Europe. Also an interview with a certain G. Jones. Film and movie updates. Music reviews.


Thursday, July 06, 2006


One of the more striking and intriguing-to-writers covers I've seen recently belongs to the Cat Sparks-edited Agog! Ripping Reads. This looks to be a very strong anthology, with work by, among others, Ben Peek, Jay Lake, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti, Anna Tambour...well, just look at the contents list below. It also contains two of my secret life stories--one funny, one kinda sad.

I strongly recommend checking this antho out. More info below.


Zee Details

Agog! Ripping Reads – Edited by Cat Sparks
Agog! Press/Prime Books 2006
Available on


Agog! Ripping Reads, edited by Cat Sparks, is an anthology of speculative fiction best described as fantasy in the broadest sense of the word. This is the sixth anthology to be published by Agog! Press and the fourth to be edited by Cat Sparks.


When the World Was Flat: Geoffrey Maloney
One Night Stand: Dirk Flinthart
1 Blue: Kim Westwood
See Here, See There: Anna Tambour
Truckdreamin: Andrew Macrae
The Secret Lives of Rick and Peggy: Jeff VanderMeer
A Pig’s Whisper: Margo Lanagan
Along Came a Spider: Simon Brown
Very Like a Whale: David J Kane
Rosebuds: Tansy Rayner Roberts
Lifelike and Josephine: Paul Haines
The Souls of Dead Soldiers are for Blackbirds, Not Little Boys: Ben Peek
Different in the Lands of Glory: Jay Lake
Daughter of the Red Cranes: Sue Isle
Stealing Free: Deborah Biancotti
Screening Test: Chris Lawson
Aftermath: David Conyers
Bladderwrack: Adam Browne
Lady Bountiful’s Lies: Cory Daniells
The Pain Threshold: Jason Nahrung
World’s Wackiest Upper Atmosphere
Re-entry Disasters Dating Game: Brendan Duffy
The Secret Live of Maria McCune: Jeff VanderMeer


"The award-winning Agog! series of anthologies has developed into the most important source for new science fiction and fantasy being published in Australia today. Editor Sparks has a wonderful eye for great stories and manages to pack each Agog! with enough variety that it's sure to offer something to please every discerning reader of science fiction and fantasy.

"Agog! Ripping Reads is the pick of the bunch, though: the best anthology in the Agog! series, with fantastic stories from Margo Lanagan, Jeff VanderMeer, Simon Brown, Deborah Biancotti, Jay Lake and others. It deserves to be counted amongst the best anthologies published anywhere in the world this year." - Jonathan Strahan, Coode Street


A podcast of Deborah Biancotti's story Stealing Free is available.

Editor Cat Sparks Being Dipped by Fellow Duran-Duran Sufferer Rob

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Update--forgot to blog this review of City of Saints.

Check out this comprehensive and fascinating compilation of interviews and articles put together by Samit Basu.

The great painter Scott Eagle has news on gallery showings, etc.

Also, this insight on individual new paintings.

I have been referring to this newest series of paintings as the Falling Man series.

One aspect of this series that might be of immediate interest is the framing of some of the work. I have painstakingly taken apart fold out wooden rulers, cut them into little pieces and glued them to the frames.

I have also used Erector set parts and I am now beginning work on a painting of the Toothfairy with a frame made of 30 actual dental casts. You can tell that I found Ebay. I have placed links to pictures of the frames on many of the webpages. Just click the image.

To read more about the origin of Falling Man click here

If you would like high resolution images for reviews or publicity, please let me know.

The summer online version of Rain Taxi is now available, too, including a very thoughtful and interesting review of ParaSpheres by Alan DeNiro.

Edward Morris has a story up on Amazon.

From Neddal Ayad, this art link. Also from Neddal--glow in the dark mushrooms. And this cool film/record site. And a toy company.

Cool surreal art. Also from Neddal, along with the pathology of Winnie the Pooh.

The great Print magazine.

My former co-worker, Bob Maynard, now has a blog.



I'm not sure if this is a successful or failed experiment. It's kind of like a book on tape with some pictures and pages. Eric Schaller is the illustrator. You have to click the in-screen size using this link or it looketh blurry.

Anyhoo, we try, we try. If I refine this, I'll be posting the full thing to an Ambergris website. The second half has more interesting juxtaposition/flurry of image edits. Maybe some kind of simpler slide show rather than a you can see the text more.

Thanks to Eric for his patience while I experiment.

The Exchange is from City of Saints & Madmen (Bantam).

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Dave Larsen Posing with Shriek Movie Poster in Des Moines

Private Shriek parties are planned in South Carolina, Iowa, New York, Indiana, Orlando, and Philadelphia. For more information on attending one in your area, please visit the Shriek Movie Blog. I'll have final info on all public parties shortly.


P.S. From the Bookslut review of Shriek: “Certainly Nick Cave would be right at home in Ambergris, the setting of this novel.. Less Hitchhiker’s Guide than Brazil, but more Requiem for a Dream than anything.”



With something approaching a combination of both excitement and horror, Ann and I realized today that we leave for Europe in about two weeks. We're literally working until one in the morning every night to prep and to finish up planning for the Shriek movie parties and whatnot.

BUT, let's not lose sight of the prize on the horizon: FINNCON 2006. I have now changed the image on the right hand sidebar to reflect the Finncon 2006 poster, which is just killer. (Larger version here.)


My guest of honor schedule is now complete (although this does not include a "Write or Die!" discussion with writers, I believe). I'll have my entire Euro-tour schedule shortly.

Saturday, August 19th
10.00 Openings
10.30 Jeff VanderMeer interview
12.00 Kaffeeklatsch
13.30 Shriek: The Movie
14.30 Jeff VanderMeer reading
15.00 Fantasia Noir (Ann's panel)
17.00 SF/F Deadly Sins

Sunday, August 20th
11;00 Earthsearch: non-AngloAmerican SF (Ann's panel)
12.00 Crossing Over: Mainstream SF
14.00 The Essential Fantasy
16.00 Ambergris Extravaganza (Rough Guide)
17.00 On Writing


In addition to the serious stuff, here is an excerpt from Finncon boss-type Jukka's more fanciful notes...

Jeff VanderMeer was born under the wandering star in 1968. He had a short childhood, for already at the age of two he joined up the Wanderin' Water Circus School, where he studied both the deepsea-diving and ukulele. He formed a diving and ukulele-duo with Ntouho'auou Guti-Guti from Easter Island, with whom he performed at the underwater casino's along the coast of the Pacific, entertaining various jet-set, hob-nob and other hyphen-hyphens'. This touring ended when Jeff decided to concentrate on maritime surveying instead of underwater musicianship. He signed into the University of Fiji's seatological dept.

Future career as a squidologist fell through due to the van der Meer-family's return to the original homeland of Holland. The return was unfortunately rather cumbersome as the former fiancée of one of Jeff's parents spread the false rumour through-out the Holland (and strangely also to the local newspaper of Kalanti-Häähä-Inhamo-Kuuntaka News and Advertisement Bulletin in Western Finland) that their ancestor Pieter Styuvesant surrended the city of Nieeuw Amsterdam without a single shot. Which was of course a crass lie, since several reliable sources conform that at least one, and maybe as many as two, shots were fired that very day, near-mortally wounding a stray dog running along the Wall. Disgusted by the reception, van der Meer's quickly returned back to United States.

After learning to read and write, Jeff decided to become a writer. His work published piece was a parody of Aristophanes' Batrakhoi, The Book Of Frog (1989). He doesn't like to talk about it. His autobiographical story collection City of Saints and Madmen came out in 2001 and was an instant hit in the Florida panhandle bookstores. Enthused by the response of his second book, Jeff was able to get a publishing deal for his mythology-based travel guide to Venice's underground-system. The metaphorical travel guide got a really good review at the Picauyne Daily Star.

His third book of the same year was critically pandered poetry collection The Day Dali Died which was the book du jour of the neo-dadaist movement at the Florida Keys. Before the end of the year, Jeff managed to get his ill-awaited and angst-ridden patient document The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases published.


This will be out in time for Finncon. Thanks to Jukka et al for their relentless help in making that happen.

(By the way, I have been exercising regularly, but have decided to stop subjecting my readers to the results of that. I AM happy to report that I am up to 900 pounds on the incline leg press.)


Update: Also, if you haven't heard, the talented Andy Duncan has a blog now.

Shriek Movie Showings News

I've posted the currently planned European showings of Shriek on the Shriek movie blog. The movie will debut at Finncon, with previews in Lisbon and Berlin. In September, the movie will be shown at the British Fantasy Convention. I'll be booking more showings shortly.

Shriek: The Novel, Update

I've just heard that The Believer should be running a review of Shriek in their September issue.

Also, I'm firming up book tour details in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, we have about 20 orders for the Shriek limited. If you're interested, please let us know.

San Francisco Showing of Shriek--Help?

We had a showing of Shriek set for The Variety Theater, planned through Borderlands Books. The Church play in San Francisco August 20th and are eager to show up for the event in the afternoon before their concert. Alas, because the timing is so close to WorldCon, this venue has fallen through. I'm currently researching alternative venues. I'd love to find another venue, since we've got the other pieces in place: the movie itself, The Church, and a bookstore to provide copies of Shriek and Church member Steve Kilbey's book for the event. If you have any leads or information to help in this re-location effort, please let me know. The Church are playing at The Great American Music Hall, so it would be nice to find a venue relatively close by. Email me at vanderworld at

Monday, July 03, 2006


An interview I did awhile back.

It also deals with the idea of cultural appropriation.

Q: Do you feel that practically speaking, writers from countries not
normally associated with spec-fic markets need to emphasize on their
own countries' myths/folklore in order to provide some kind of
diversity and succeed in the international marketplace?

A: What I don't like to see, frankly, is the colonization of other countries by the West, especially the US and the UK. It's not so much that they need to emphasize their own myths/folklore as to not put aside their own unique experience and way of looking at the world because they think they need to adopt an American/European model to succeed. What you don't want to do is lose your uniqueness.

That said, I also do not believe in any way that writers of one culture cannot use the folklore of another culture. This is, quite simply, silly. A writer's job is to lie effectively and to empathize and to find a way of making universal our human experience. There is no such thing as cultural appropriation when a writer does something well. All the rest is just bad writing.



Welcome to Evil Monkey's first ever video cast. You can also view it here.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Luis Rodrigues, who has done the translation for my forthcoming Portuguese book, just sent me the really beautiful cover. One of my favorites so far. The book goes to press tomorrow. Looking forward to it.



This is the mock-up of the Romanian cover for Veniss Underground. This edition includes all of the Veniss stories, as well, including, I believe, "Three Days."


Saturday, July 01, 2006


I can't find a monkey puppet anywhere in the house. Not even a sock monkey.

Could be in storage.

I really wanted to videotape Evil Monkey tonight, though.

Does it have to be tonight.

I really wish we had a monkey or even a monkey image.

You could find something on the web.

No, I mean an actual monkey stuffed animal thing.

If you have to, we could go to Albertson's. They're open 24 hours.

That's probably not a great idea.

Probably not?

A monkey puppet would be great. But it's almost midnight.

We can go get you your monkey if you like.

I really need a monkey puppet tonight.

That's quote of the week, don't you think.

I'd be stupid to go to Albertson's at midnight to get a monkey.

I suggested it. We can go.

No. It can wait. Evil Monkey can make his first video tomorrow or Monday.

If you're sure.

Yeah--I can't believe I'm spending time on this.

You're a goof.

Evil Monkey: What the fuck is wrong videotaping my own real face? Talking. Ya know?

Ann and Jeff