Tuesday, July 04, 2006



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.)


At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Clare said...

Yes, truly eye-catching poster. Love it. And looking through this itinery it looks to me like your two pairs of feet aren't going to do much ground-touching for a little while...Enjoy your kaffeelatsch!

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Just remember to check out some of the traditional Finnish dancing while there - you can find them in Lapp Dancing bars :-)

Mr Helpful


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