Thursday, November 30, 2006


So...I had a lot of fun with the info sheet for Select Fire. Click the image to see it larger.

Agony Column just did a bit on it--really understood the point and the fun.

Hey, it's cheap, it's fun, and it's the holidays. See our offer for it and Tainaron. We'll gift wrap!

Exciting news about The Church and a Shriek CD soon. AND, even sooner, hopefully I'm a grandpappy!


Evil Monkey: So are you posting again now?
Jeff: Naw. Just when I have to.
Evil Monkey: You're an idiot.
Jeff: Yep.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Silly Europe Video

Well, Erin's baby isn't gonna be here today after all (may be another week or so), so in the meantime, here's a short silly video. Worldwind snapshots of Europe with torso dancing. Ciao.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


It would take something truly wonderful or truly vile to get me to break my silence before the new year. But Ben Peek has done it. This pustulent bag of crap offends me in every possible way, from his offensive if puerile attempt at a blog to the kind of dandy-ish way he insists on dressing, as if that had anything to do with being a writer. This toad of an excuse for a human being is a lying sack of shit who would turn the knife into his own grandmother for a buck. He's the kind of guy who when seeing the huge mountain of offal he'd have to climb in the service of his bloated ambitions would just calmly put on his hipwaders and set to it. Make no mistake, this misanthropic piece of garbage would climb that mountain of offal for twenty years if he thought it would lead to some form of self-aggrandizement. No one out there in the scene currently is more backstabbing, more insanely self-obsessed, more cretinous, more devious in his pulchritude than Ben Peek. No one is as socio-psychopathic in his demeanor. No one would as soon shove you off a subway platform as spit in your eye. No one would as easily feed your dismembered corpse through a meat grinder as shave your head bald and tattoo his own face on top of it. No one would as readily shove your face into a jet engine as top off your latte with foam. No one. And I've known a lot of writers. But this guy makes Harlan Ellison look like an ice cream vendor. What an ass clown.

Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, written by Ben Peek, illustrated by Anna Brown, and a cover by Andrew Macrae. Buy it from Amazon, buy it from

Have a good Thanksgiving, those who celebrate it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


UPDATE: TONIGHT, MONDAY 11/20, I'll be doing a chat/interview over at the Lost-Damned Chat Room, starting at 10pm EST. Come one, come all. I'll answer any question. Any question at all. Oh yeah--and Shriek made the San Francisco Chronicle Best-Of-Year List.

This has been the busiest year of my entire life, in terms of amount of travel and number of projects. Over the past year, I have done the following, with Ann’s help, in addition to logging about 400 hours in the gym:

-Overseen the creation of a short film for Shriek (to be posted on the internet in January)
-Overseen publication of and written new material for the Secret Life Remix (Select Fire)
-Written a 10,000-word story for the Bantam spelling bee anthology
-Posted about 100 blog entries
-Written four VanderWorld e-newsletter reports
-Started monthly columns for Bookslut and SF Site
-Written reviews for Publishers Weekly
-Written nonfiction for Postscripts
-Written nonfiction for a book of nonfiction on folktales
-Shot and edited, with Ann’s help, 23 short videos (granted, I’m not very good yet)
-Finished up the Secret Lives book (out before the holidays)
-Started reading for the Pirate anthology (with Ann)
-Started reading for the Best American Fantasy anthology (with Ann)
-Started soliciting for a pair of new charity fiction anthologies (with Ann)
-Written 50,000 words of a new novel
-Consolidated and rewritten 30,000 words for a second, non-Ambergris novel
-Written miscellaneous introductions to three or four books

-Done PR campaigns for both the UK and US release of Shriek
-Done a PR drive for the Bantam release of City of Saints
-Tallahassee Shriek book release party
-Overseen and done PR for twenty Shriek movie parties across the U.S.

-Odyssey instructor
-World Fantasy Award Judge
-AWP Conference participant
-Turkey City Workshop guest
-World Fantasy Convention attendee
-SIBA Conference guest
-NYC KGB reading
-Five-week European book tour (seven countries) in support of books released overseas
-Finncon Guest of Honor, Helsinki
-BookPeople reading (twice)
-Countless other readings/signings in the U.S.

…all while maintaining a forty-hour-a-week day job and reading a ton of other books. And there’s tons of tangential shit I’ve left off of that list above.

In short, I am well-pleased with what I’ve accomplished, but I am now weary and I need a break. So for the next five to six weeks, this blog is going to go dim. If something really momentous comes up, I’ll add it as an update to the top of entry.

In the coming weeks, you can expect an announcement about me being crazy enough to become a judge for another award in the next few weeks. You can also expect another Bookslut column for December as well as another Dispatch for SF Site. In addition, my long story Errata for Argosy may finally come up in December. And when I come back to the blog, I’ll have new videos done about our travels in the Czech Republic and Romania.

What’s coming up next year?

-More foreign sales.
-The Shriek mass market in the UK in January, John Klima’s spelling bee antho in May, Best American Fantasy in June, another anthology in September, and the pirate antho possibly in October of next year (although it may be moved back to 2008).
-The completion of my new novel and partial completion of a second.
-The internet release of the Shriek movie
-Yet another anthology Ann and I will be co-editing, to be announced by January.
-Travel to Orlando as one of the Trinity Prep School visiting writers.
-Travel to Ft. Lauderdale for ICFA.
-Travel to Atlanta for AWP.
-Travel to San Diego to teach at Clarion.
-Two glorious weeks driving around Vancouver Island
-Travel to NYC for World Fantasy
-Any number of cool and insane projects I can’t tell you about yet…

Ann and I are not traveling for Thanksgiving. Ann and I are not traveling for Christmas or New Year’s. We’re huddling up at home. All I’m gonna work on is the novel. Finch ‘n’ me are staying at home.

Finally, I have to say I couldn’t have enjoyed this year, let alone survived it, without Ann.

Have a great holidays and please note that this isn’t a plea to leave me alone, just that I’ll be checking email less frequently and whatnot.

Much love,



I've been a huge fan of Tanyo Ravicz's fiction ever since he contributed a story to Leviathan 1. It's still one of my favorite pieces published in the Leviathan series.

Since then, Tanyo has had a couple of books out, the most recent of which is A Man of His Village. This is the description from Tanyo's website:

Florentino Cruz takes one last job before he heads home to Mexico. He left his village at the age of fifteen, a migrant farm worker dreaming of love, honor, and riches, and he's been running from his past ever since. He accepts a promising job in Alaska, the magnificent climax to his years of toil in the United States. But the expedition collapses in mutiny and murder, leaving Florentino lost and fleeing for his life through a fire-ravaged wilderness.

A Man of His Village occupies the epic terrain of the West, from the borderlands of California to the strawberry fields of Oregon, from urban Seattle to rural Mexico, from the crowded slums of Tijuana to the isolation of the Alaskan bush. This is a novel of pride and redemption, the voyage of a passionate soul out of innocence across a continental landscape of exploitation and betrayal.

Tanyo's prose is really tight yet imaginative. Not to mention unflinching and honest. He's a very underrated writer and he deserves much more exposure.

So give his website a look-see and order the novel if you like what you read.



I happened upon Christopher Scally's art a couple of months back and have since recruited him for an upcoming VanderProject. The piece above was inspired by Veniss Underground. Visit his blog for more cool stuff.

Someday I'm gonna have to finance an art book featuring the work of all the artists who have inspired me or contributed work to my books.


Monday, November 13, 2006


...just went back to press. It's been selling pretty darn well. Woo hoo!


Saturday, November 11, 2006


One of the most amazing books I have ever read is Leena Krohn's Tainaron. It is simply a masterpiece. At the end of this post, you can find what I wrote about the book when it first came out.

Although the book has done respectably well for Prime, it has, I feel, failed to reach the wider audience it deserves, possibly because it's such a slim hardcover and priced rather high.

For this reason, Ann and I have purchased a large number of copies at a dealer's discount and will be offering them at $15 plus shipping ($2 book rate in the US). That's a huge savings off of the $35 cover price for what is a really beautifully designed book. (Rest assured, we have worked out a deal so that Leena gets an excellent cut of all profits from this special offer.)

To sweeten the deal, I've also gotten Prime to offer a two-fer deal. You can buy Tainaron and my Select Fire Remix of Secret Life for only $25 total, plus shipping ($3.00 for book rate in the US). That's a savings of $5 on Secret Life in the bold, sexy new edition. And since I'll be shipping them out, I'll sign and personalize your order and throw in some Shriek beer coasters. (What does the new version of Secret Life include? A remixed "party" version of Jeff Ford's intro, with photos, two new short-shorts, new illos by Eric Schaller, expanded story notes, and excerpts from unpublished Veniss stories, as well as some cheekiness involving the blurbs at the front, the copyright page, the back cover, and the usually blank pages between sections. Also, five crap stories have been deleted and the story "Secret Life" is now threaded throughout the entire book.)

You can paypal to buzzcity at or send checks to: POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315. If outside the US, contact Ann at the buzzcity address for pricing information (re the shipping).

We will be selling the Krohn for, well, as long as we can continue to buy extra copies, but the two-fer deal is only available through Christmas.

Regardless of whether you take advantage of the two-fer deal, we will happily gift wrap your purchase and send the ordered book(s) directly to anyone you like, personalized for your choice of winter holiday.

If you, like me, love Tainaron, please do post notice of this special offer on your blog or news service. Thanks.


I recently read Leena Krohn's Tainaron, a brilliant short novel in the form of a series of letters home from an anonymous narrator visiting a city populated by intelligent, human-sized insects. It's Kafkaesque territory, although Krohn's vision is somehow more emotional and evocative than most of Kafka. The understated quality of the letters, coupled with the ingenious evocation of insect life and the symbolic, resonant nature of the images in the novel makes for a mind-altering experience. I've re-read Tainaron four times now, and have taken something different from it each time. I just flat-out love this novel.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about it in a starred review:

Handsomely embellished with Finnish State Prize winner Inari Krohn's provocative etchings and xylographies, this brief, lyrical epistolary meditation on life, love and death, nominated for the prestigious Finlandia Prize, is the first of modern fabulist Krohn's works published in the U.S. The "woman" whose 30 letters make up the novel has recently come on a white ship to Tainaron, an insect-city within a volcanic cone, but she's forgotten why. The "lover" she addresses over the sea never replies, and she eventually abandons hope of answers, instead ranging the city with arthropodic "friend" Longhorn, who provides unsettling insights into the cycle of birth, change and absorption into new life. As summer fades to autumn and implacable winter nears, the narrator falls half in love with sleep and its easeful twin, death. The spiral-nautilus emblem of Tainaron's flag reminds its letter-writing guest, smitten by the realization of mortality, of the sweet anguish in the unavoidable alliance between birth and death, a recollection of "the dead [and] the gods." The author suggests no line divides language and music; her elegiac linguistic melodies enthrall the mind's ear, evoking as well bittersweet intimations of immortality more lovely, dangerous and disturbing than any realistic voice might utter.


It's the time of year when I like to remind people of the VanderGoodness that's out there waiting to be given lots and lots of awards. So, here goes:

"Flapjack and the Magic Poo," Sensate Review
"Mary Mary You're Too Hairy," FantasySmudge
"Goddamn You, Sir, For Living!", Mandible Quarterly
"Fleem the Sorceror of Eubony," Carlos's Web Site
"The Pogs of Sparrow Long," Gas Giant
"Why Do the Rats Cry Tears of Crystal Mirth?", Dumbass Magazine

So, I expect to see at least ONE of these on the Locus recommended list. Ya hear me?!?!


Evil Monkey: Hey, I wrote all of those stories.
Jeff: Indeed you did.
Evil Monkey: You're not even trying to hide your plagiarism anymore.
Jeff: Indeed I am not.
Evil Monkey: You are an evil, evil monkey.
Jeff: And you need to start thinking about your presidential campaign.
Evil Monkey: I have a slogan.
Jeff: Lay it on me!
Evil Monkey: "A Vote for Evil Monkey is a Vote for Bananas, Socialism, and Beer"
Jeff: Eh.
Evil Monkey: I'll work on it some more.

Friday, November 10, 2006


There are some books just out in the last few months that I'd like to pimp. BUT, this is NOT pimpage without honesty, as you'll see below...



First off, there are waay too many year's best anthologies out there, but I suppose you can make the case that you now, as a reader, have the opportunity to pick-and-chose between contributor lists, covers, etc.

Secondly, I'm recommending the fantasy year's bests not because my own "Farmer's Cat" is in the three below, but because of the other work in them. I'm firmly of the belief that if not for my success over the past few years, "Farmer's Cat" would be considered a cute, nice story, but certainly not put in a year's best. However, given that over the years, until "Three Days in a Border Town," I only ever appeared in Stephen Jones' horror year's best, I certainly wasn't going to turn it down. It's just ironic, is all, that I could write "Bone Carver's Tale" and a ton of others that didn't make a year's best and then I write a slight if clever troll story and the damn thing is everywhere. Go figure.

Thirdly, "Lost" appears in the Prime best horror volume and I AM plugging that antho because I'm in it. "Lost" got no play anywhere, but I think it's one of my better stories, and very happy to see it reprinted. (Don't get me wrong--also happy to see "Farmer's Cat" reprinted, it's just...weird, is all.)

Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005, Edited by Jonathan Strahan, Locus Publications
Jonathan recovered from some very crappy events in order to get this volume and it's companion volume, Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005, out through Locus Publications. There are awesome stories included by Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Bruce Sterling, etc.

Year's Best Fantasy 6, Edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, Tachyon Publications

Glad to see the periennially underrated Liz Williams in this handsome edition, as well as work by Heather Shaw, Delia Sherman, the awesome and dapper Gavin J. Grant, and many more.

Horror: The Best of the Year, Edited by John Betancourt and Sean Wallace, Prime Books

Just a few of the highlights in this volume include Richard Bowes's "There's a Hole in the City," Caitlín Kiernan's "Le Peau Verte", and Joe Hill's "The Cape

Best New Fantasy, Edited by Sean Wallace, Prime Books

Highlights include stories by Laird Barron, Christopher Barzak, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Nick Mamatas, Holly Phillips, and Sonya Taaffe. This volume focuses on hot new writers. Which cracks me up a bit. I'm 38, been published for over 20 years, and have more barnacles on my rusty hull than the Flying Dutchman.


Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, Edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, Tachyon Publications

Work by Aimee Bender, Michael Chabon, and George Saunders alongside stuff by Howard Waldrop, Jeffrey Ford, and Ted Chiang. A very impressive line-up. I'm not sure that the contents really define slipstream, but the editors have done a good job of provoking discussion about same. My story included is "Exhibit H," an early Ambergris piece that I just cut from the Secret Life Remix as being too slight, but otherwise this is a good collection.

Out of Time and Space and Lost Worlds by Clark Ashton Smith, Bison Books

I'm getting a lot of strange offers these days. One was doing new intros for two classics by Clark Ashton Smith. I told Bison Books I wasn't the biggest fan of Smith--that I had reservations about his work. They still wanted the introductions. So I went ahead and did them. Basically, I express in these introductions that I love Smith's imagination but think his prose sometimes sucks. And that I prefer his stories that are basically building up odd settings with a minimum of dialogue. Also, that in an odd way Smith's an Outsider Artist of a kind, and that what seemed like commercial pulp back then is actually deeply strange and non-commercial in the current context of fiction. These are lovely looking editions and if you're a Smith hardcore fan, you can always skip the intros.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


One of the great delights of World Fantasy for me was having both my editor Liz Gorinsky and my publicist Leslie Henkel for the latest book, Shriek, there.

Liz Gorinsky has been a huge champion for Shriek, in addition to doing the most careful structural and line edits I've ever seen.

Leslie Henkel has worked tirelessly for Shriek and I just can't say enough about her.

I just feel very blessed. So, I'm saying it here because the Toreadors party was so insane I didn't get to say it there.

Not to mention, the coolness quotient on both of these individuals, btw, is through the roof. I felt distinctly square.

Anyway, I hope everybody got to meet them and talk during the convention.

I'd also like to say, I just had such a great time at World Fantasy that I'm not going to name names cause I know I'll leave somebody out. Just had a wonderful time. Thanks, all.



Shriek has made's list of the best SF/F books of the year.

Also, my second Bookslut comics column is now available online along with all of the other Bookslut goodness. I really recommend you check out Rebecca Dart's work, btw. It's amazing.

Check out the Brian Evenson and Catherynne Valente interviews, too. Really good stuff.


Friend, I hope with all my heart Vanya returns.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


UPDATED: Victoria Strauss, one of my fellow judges, has also posted about the experience, mentioning Jess Nevins' amazing Victoriana book and going into some detail about the Bruce Holland Rogers. Among others.

UPDATE UPDATE: Andrew Wheeler's posting about the WF Awards.

Thanks, Dana, for guest blogging! I know everyone enjoyed it.

I'm here in the con hotel at World Fantasy.

As I'm sure you know by now, the World Fantasy Award winners have been announced. You can find the full list here.

We did the judges panel today, often known as the "justify yourself" panel, and it went very well. Although I'd heard about some grumblings in certain quarters, most of the people grumbling didn't actually show up for the panel and thus missed out on understanding why we picked what we did. I guess they didn't really want to have a dialogue about it. One thing I did emphasize is that I think the professional and non-professional categories should be reorganized to something more focused, like Best Related Book, Best Editor, or whatever. Because right now it's just a mishmash of stuff and trying to decide a winner is a little like comparing anvils and oranges.

The judging experience was a great one and I feel like I have four new friends as a result of it, and I'm really proud of our selections on the whole. We had very few disagreements and no rifts or arguments during the process.

One book I very much want to mention is Bruce Holland Rogers' The Keyhole Opera, which for me and most all of the other judges was an amazing reading experience. I know this was a strong category and all of the finalists were wonderful, but there is something about The Keyhole Opera that made it my favorite book of the year. I hope people will give it a read, because it is phenomenal.

I think there was also some sense in the immediate aftermath in certain quarters that it was okay to give an award to one "mainstream" author but not two--in other words, there should only be one "special guest," Saunders or Murakami. I would hope this is a minority opinion, as there is a difference between the genre community, which is a social group as much as a group of writers, and the much wider country of Fantasy in general.

I do know one thing: as judges, we recused ourselves where necessary, we considered the evidence (not the hype) over and over again, reading stories and books several times, and we voted with our hearts and our heads, with no concern for genre politics of any kind. In this sense, it was one of the purest experiences I've had as a member of the genre community and it was an experience that made me feel very proud of fantasy and of my fellow judges, who I love dearly.

As I mentioned on the panel, I was very sad to have to choose a winner in any category. I thought the finalist list was deep and wide and rich.

More later.


DANA- Sunday afternoon

This is my last day of blogging on Vanderworld! Check in at my own blog, to read a vintage post I did over a year ago when I was deep the process of writing the first novel. More posts will follow, and more artworks, reviews, updates on progress on the new book, and news from my ever transforming life.


DANA's Cover Painting

Here is the painting that appears on the cover of "The Steam Magnate". This is Eson looking out over the City of Broken Glass. The colors appear a bit different on the book, but you get the idea. It was drawn in pen, then colored in watercolor, then relined with another layer of ink.


There is another review of my book available as of today. Horrorscope, an Australian site, has reviewed "The Steam Magnate". Some highlights from this review: "Copithorne's world is one of the most striking features of this novel. Broken Glass City is a crisp, intricate place of stone and glass, made real by a meaningful and historically rounded culture. The plot returns often to the city's architecture, a unique approach that enchants the reader with buildings and monuments and constructs a rich portrait of translucent pastels and angular modernity" ... "Another element that sets Copithorne's writing apart is her characterisation" ... "Coupled with the oppressive, clean beauty of the city and the author's explanatory, precise voice, this intriguing style engenders the book with an idiosyncratic atmosphere that is at its best in the richly visual scenes on which the story hangs." (Reviewer Miranda Siemienowicz)

I've been amazed and gratified at how each reviewer has brought their own perspective to their thoughtful and insightful reviews of my work. The reviews are starting to pile up with the list that are on Aio's site, another due soon on SF site, and a rumor that some sites in Germany will also be posting reviews. As well, Juanita Watson of Reader Views will soon be posting an interview with me on their site.

More later in the day...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

DANA- Saturday

To find out more about everything from NaBloPoMo to worldchanging to London crack squirrels, check out the blog of my ever-cool brother-in-law Rik Abel. Also find out about Ost & Kjex, and what it means to be an RSS Bandit.
Rik and my very talented and lovely sister, Adrienne, live in Cambridge, UK, while I and most of my family live here in British Columbia, Canada. The Steam Magnate was written in a basement suite in Vanocuver's trendy Kitsilano area (though I can assure you the basement was not a trendy locale, and I'm happy to report, I no longer live there) I now live in a small character room in a reonvated Victorian mansion, a great writing location. My friends include a group of engineer/environmental scientists, a cool lady who is researching human interactions with robots, with the help of her pet Aibo, and an extensive network of people I know through the local yoga centre.

My other connections in the virutal world include Broad Universe, an on-line forum for women writers of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Fellow Broad Universe member Catherynne M. Valente has just released her first large press title The Orphan's Tales. Other members are releasing books, and stories all the time, so it's an exciting group to keep tabs on.


NOTE: I (Jeff) had to delete this image as it was screwing with the margins of my blog. But when I figure out how to repost in a different way, I will.

This is my most recent painting. It has not appeared on any book covers yet, but may in the future.

Friday, November 03, 2006


A few weeks ago I went to VCON, my first Science Fiction convention. Among the interesting things there was a panel discussion on cover art, which I took part in. Both the writers and artists had horror stories about how little control they had over the integration between the cover art and the book (and the authors were both well established, and highly regarded, as were the artists!)

I felt very lucky to present my story of how it has been publishing with Aio. After siging my novel contract, I mentioned to my editor, Tiffany Jonas, that I was also an artist, and she asked e to send some samples of my work. When Aio agreed to contract me for a cover painting as well as inside illustrations, I couldn't believe my luck! I did the art for this book after I'd finished writing the draft. The images from the story were still setling in my mind, and in illustrating the places and scenes from the novel, I came to know my own work on a very different level. The cover painting ended up being like a small window into the world of the Broken Glass City. Eson looks out over glass and stone buildings, and the sky is chaotic with clouds. We added a maple leaf into the design, which points out he fact that I'm a Canadian writer. An image of the cover is available on the amazon listing for the book, and on alot of other sites. I will upload one here if I can get my internet connection to load the file!

Does anyone have any comments about cover art, or art in books? It's not very common
for adult level books these days to have illustrations, but hand painted cover art and illustrations add alot, to my mind. (Though I may of course be biased! I like art--alot!)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


No worries, Jeff. Enjoy the convention!

As promised, a final excerpt from "The Steam Magnate". Eson is meeting with someone who he hopes to include in one of his electrical power deals. This introduction to their encounter:

“There’s a waterfall running over the side of a particular building in Waters Rising, streaming down an indigo wall nearly like water itself. I’ve come here to convince someone of their need for me, and my energies rush out temporarily as do tidal waters before a great wave hits. I feel light and quick as I pass through the building’s high door into the dark, translucent interior. There is nothing I enjoy more than this, really. I’ve brought my contracts and ink, stowed in an immaculate and finely made case that has been my accomplice in many such ventures. There is often a thread of guilt in the moment of the inevitable agreement, but now, before the real negotiation begins, there is only the elated vault of possibility in my mind. The sea is very close at hand, and whether that will work to my advantage or to the other player’s is still unknown.
The cool woman I’d met on the lower slope of the Glass City, my ally, appears in an upper doorway of the translucent room and waits for me to ascend the shallow stairs to the upper floor.
With a sidelong glance, she assesses me before offering her invitation. “The other negotiator is already waiting. He will see you for only a short time, as it seems the venue does not suit his comfort for a long meeting—yet I wouldn’t rate him an easy mark for your purposes.”
Even though she has signed my contract, she will convince herself she is an impartial mediator for our consultation, will not admit to herself that she is on my side. I respect this in the utmost, though it matters little to the outcome of our gathering. I grant her the sense of honor, and respond to her as though she is indeed an impartial mediator.
“Please assure him I will waste little of his time.” I say it with care, not wanting to sound dismissive or overconfident.
“You may assure him yourself.” We approach a light door that swings outward at her touch. She gestures for me to precede her into the room, where there is a comfortable sitting area. A solitary occupant sits there, his back to the high wall opposite the door. The sea, visible beyond a great pane of glass, seems somehow to radiate expansively from him. He has the composure of one who knows the sea, who is a visiting dignitary when walking upon land. His face is broad and strong, polished by the ocean wind, a face from beyond the western sea. His age would be greater than mine, but not by much, I’m sure.
“You’re the tidal magnate, then.” His voice is solid and unquestioning, with no room accorded to doubts.”

What do you think will be the outcome of Eson's meeting with this Sea Trader?

More news tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


One last intrusion--thanks for your patience, Dana!

Here's my World Fantasy convention schedule for anyone who's interested.

8pm - IHG Awards - I'm the designated acceptor for Caitlin Kiernan, should she win.

2:30pm - Top secret, super-sexy event thingee. OOOh... No one knows about it. Not even me! It should be clear from the program, I guess, that something's up. Actually, maybe I shouldn't build it up. It's not super-sexy. It's just secret.

8pm - Autograph session. I may be a little late to this, but it runs until 10pm, so no worries. I will have copies of the Secret Life Remix edition for sale. It'll also be in the dealer's room.

10pm on - Probably be at the Tor party.

11am - Horror and Dark Fantasy Panel - Ann's on it, so I'll be there.

6pm - World Fantasy Awards banquet.

9pm (or a little earlier?) - Three Toreadors Party with Jay Lake and Daniel Abraham in 313 Renaissance, which I believe is the con suite. We'll run the con suite for a couple of hours, have a raffle for free books and Ambergris beer, do some short readings to celebrate our recent books. And, we'll have pizza, snacks, cheese, Jack Daniels, soft drinks, water, and beer. Should be fun. Please stop by.

1:30pm - World Fantasy Award judges panel. Come throw rotten tomatoes at us...

See ya there.



Greetings to those who've made it back from All Hallow's Eve. Revenge of the parsnip people (see Jeff's posting and photos below) is a chilling comment on when vegetables go awry! Though on closer observation, it looks like the masked parsnip is causing trouble for the parsnips who live in the pumpkin... :0 !! His head is made of a lime, and theirs are gourds, so maybe he's on a different side of some garden patch conflict over the trafficking of doll parts?! Kudos to Leisa Pichard for her Archimboldo-like tableau.

Another excerpt from my book today...

This one brings you into the nightclub that is the focus of much action in the book. Editor Tiffany Jonas and I are having a contest for readers to think of a name for the nightclub, which will appear in later books. The contest runs until Nov. 22 and there is a cool prize for the one who thinks of the best name. Details are at Aio’s site. Like the City of Broken Glass, the nightclub is almost a character in its own right and a great place to find a party:

“Pretending to head back to the tram station, she circled around the block and turned in to the café’s door. It was an immense place inside but warmly lit, like a cave taken over by fireflies. Though its exterior had consisted only of a shabby, decaying wall and a sign with a chip missing, the interior was nearly extravagant, set on three tiers with a stage at one end on the main level and flimsy staircases leading to upper terraces on all sides. The paper lanterns were in profusion, and a jazz band was warming up to play to a crowded room. People jostled everywhere and bar maids and waiters swam about the crowds, surfacing and ducking though the guests as efficiently as dolphins navigating a choppy ocean. She swam through as well, circling the perimeter of the main floor, surveying the terraces. And there on the third floor, in a distant corner, was the man she had been told was her mark, though a quarry dangerous and unpredictable. The silken coat that had made its sly way into her subconscious was slung over his chair. He wore a styled suit and sported an ostentatious hairstyle of the kind much admired in places of consequence the world over. He sipped a martini pensively, and seemed, even in stillness, to calculate and weigh options with eyes darkened in the dim light of the terrace.”

The nightclub is a place for characters of all kinds to cross paths...

Visit back tomorrow for a final excerpt, and one of political intrigue. Eson is in his element, setting up a deal with a sea trader in a coastal city, far away from his mountain springs. While the other excerpts were from early on in the book, this one will be from the rich, delectable middle, where the thick has plottened considerably ;)

By the way, for those of you who have never tried stuffed monkey, I would highly recommend reading "Twelve Collections and The Teashop" by Zoran Zivkovic. It may be the best dessert you've ever had...


My first Dispatches from Smaragdine column is up at SF Site. Along with my Bookslut column on comics, Dispatches is giving me serious joy. I hope you like it. Especially note the first of a series of video interviews with various personalities connected to publishing, editing, and books. For the first few columns, these will focus on Europeans from my trip this summer. This is the first time, for most, that they've appeared on video in the US. I think you'll find it interesting.

And please spread the word: I'm now a monthly book reviewer of sorts, in addition to everything else. Please put me on your reviewer list: Jeff VanderMeer, POB 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315.

Now returning you to Dana's guest blogs...


In November, the brutal heat of the Smaragdine summer is usually gone for good and the city becomes giddy with the crisp month or two before the brutal winter. From the storied, overly marbled downtown with its mainly Central Asian embassies and state houses to the discos and merchant kiosks of the Palisade, Smaragdine is a friendly, more relaxed place. You can even ignore the bullet holes from the November Revolution still embedded in the side of the Murgodan legislative building (which served as the city's Lyceum until World War II).