Friday, February 29, 2008

Where to Buy Your Books

For a couple of months now I've been collaborating with the amazingly dedicated folks at the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. We've been working on connecting local indie publishers with local indie bookstores. "Shop local" is the NCIBA's rallying cry, and they've been highly active in supporting and promoting that noble cause. When was the last time you got out to your local bookstore? Has it been too long? Doesn't buying books online kind of take the fun out of browsing? Don't you miss picking up a book and, well, fondling it? So the next time you want to pick up a new book, check with independent bookseller's network Book Sense to see what's hot and where to buy it. You'll be glad you did. And for more links to booksellers, try our Bookstores page. I'm wishing you a book-filled weekend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Visit the KGB

New Yorkers (and sf fans in the tri-state region) should get themselves to the KGB. I mean the bar, silly. Why? Because author Michael Swanwick will appear there at the March edition of the monthly Fantastic Fiction reading series. His novel of industrialized Faerie, The Dragons of Babel is just out and has been garnering critical raves everywhere. Also out is his most recent collection of short fiction from Tachyon, The Dog Said Bow-Wow. Swanwick is currently at work on a novel about gentleman-rogues and Post-Utopian con men Darger and Surplus. Also reading will be David Keck, who made his publishing debut in 2006 with the gritty medieval fantasy, In the Eye of Heaven. His second novel, In a Time of Treason, released by Tor Books in February 2008, pursues the same cast of characters into a more perilous landscape of open war, betrayal, and dark sorcery.

Fantastic Fiction at KGB
Wednesday March 19th, 7pm
85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs.), New York, New York

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The New Weird Abroad and in a Pod

Here's one heck of a review from the Guardian Unlimited Book Review for The New Weird:

In the beginning, there was the "Old Weird", the fiction of HP Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, precursor of the modern horror genre: the aim was to scare and disturb, with the monsters very often offstage entirely. In his introduction to this anthology, co-editor Jeff VanderMeer argues that the New Weird, developed since the 1980s but crystallised more recently by the popularity of China Miéville's Perdido Street Station, is a transgressive horror, a type of fiction repurposed to focus on the monsters and grotesquery but not the scare itself. It is a genre that defies genre boundaries, embracing a range of writing from in-your-face horror through fantasy and science fiction to mainstream, the common element being the author's willingness to "surrender to the weird", to use the conventions of pulp fiction to locate literature, and to apply literary sophistication to genre landscapes. This volume, bringing together stories and essays by such writers as Miéville, M John Harrison, Kathe Koja and Michael Moorcock, is an ideal primer to a movement that dominated genre awards for several years. It is also a damned fine read. -Keith Brooke


I'm good with "an ideal primer" and "a damned fine read." Them Brits have damned fine taste in literature.

For a more auditory take, here's a podcast of Jay Lake interviewing Ann and Jeff VanderMeer about Weird Tales, Ministry of Whimsy Press, the New Weird and Steampunk (both the movements and the anthologies). Sounds like the three of them are having quite the time at the South Carolina Book Festival.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The State of South Carolina

The VanderMeers are, to my knowledge, headed to the South Carolina Book Festival (assuming they got on a later flight after their initial flight was delayed). As a tie-in today, the State, South Carolina's largest daily newspaper, has featured the festival, The New Weird anthology, and an interview with Jeff and Ann, A Voyage to the Weird. I particularly liked the lead-in:

Jeff VanderMeer and his wife, Ann, have a weird relationship. She spends her days reading tales of dragons and vampires as editor for Weird Tales Magazine, while he pens fiction about a surreal world called Ambergris. Occasionally they combine forces, like when they served as editors for this year’s anthology "The New Weird."


I always knew there was something weird about the VanderMeers. I just thought it was that they never sleep.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The South Carolina Book Festival

This weekend, New Weird author Jay Lake and New Weird editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer will be appearing at the 2008 South Carolina Book Festival. The festival will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, South Carolina on February 22–24, 2008. If you happen to be in the area, go mingle with over a hundred exhibitors, award-winning authors and editors, and, I'm told, hundreds of sexy librarians. With those odds, your next close "friend" might even be there. Could be worth the plane ticket and hotel room.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Angry, Angry, ANGRY Flower

The advent of San Francisco geekfest WonderCon lead me to check out what Tachyon's own Stephen Notley, author of Bob the Angry Flower: Dog Killer is up to.

Turns out Notley's been busy posting some wicked new strips on his website, free of charge as always. I'm happy to report that Notley's brilliant melange of superheroes, physics, politics, and absurdity continues, and you should really check out "Experimental Support," "Hamsterfall," and "What Paul M. Charest Wants, Paul M. Charest Gets." Whoa. I mean, exactly how many cartoonists know about the Singularity anyway?

As the Onion said, "The long-awaited Dog Killer (Tachyon) is a whole new chance to revel in Notley's fevered, nihilistic madness." Geeks, take notice.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Weird contest winners

After over eighty uniquely wonderful and weird entries, the VanderMeers have announced the winners and honorable mentions for the New Weird story contest. Congratulations to the victors; you are truly weird.

More New Weird reviews and announcements coming soon, including the UK Guardian, Library Journal, Harpers, and Wired. Plus, a selection for Book Sense. Soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New Weird Galley-Catted

Publishing industry newsletter GalleyCat ran a feature today on the VanderMeer's New Weird story contest. Remember, you only have until this Sunday, 12 p.m. E.S.T. to submit your entry. You *know* you want that giant pile of Vanthologies.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What They're Saying

Having stolen five minutes from an otherwise normally insane day, I give you a smattering of recent Tachyon reviews:

For Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology, edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel:
"This really is an excellent collection and a reminder that the short story is often the best venue for new ideas in the field."
-SF Crowsnest (full review)

For The Dog Said Bow-Wow by Michael Swanwick:
"...a collection of delightfully warped Swanwick tales.... All in all an excellent addition to anyone's collection!"

"In this fifth, arguably, best collection of his stories, populated by tricksters, dinosaurs, gods and explorers, Swanwick takes a variety of old themes and styles and twists them into something fresh and new."
-Rain Taxi (full review)

For Shatterday by Harlan Ellison:
"This is timeless stuff, speaking to (mostly) the dark within each of us, but also at times uplifting, light, and funny...."
-SF Scope (full review)

Stay tuned for upcoming reviews in Library Journal, Harpers, Wired, and more.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

CONTEST: Tell Us Your New Weird Story, Win Tons of Cool Stuff!

You need to participate. Unless you hate public adulation and a huge FREE pile of awesome books. (Which makes me wonder about you, but I do not judge.) Anyway, here's the deal straight from your intrepid New Weird editors, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer:

In honor of the publication of The New Weird anthology, which we hope you'll consider buying, Ann and I have decided to have a little contest. Tell us your "new, weird" story – something strange (but entertaining and either PG-rated or with the naughty bits blocked out) that happened to you or you witnessed in the last couple of years. Hopefully some of these will be bizarre but also uplifting, although that's not a requirement. It's more about...hey, this world we live in is an odder place than we might think. All of those stories in The New Weird from China Miéville, Clive Barker, K.J. Bishop, Steph Swainston, Jeffrey Ford, Jay Lake, Paul Di Filippo, Michael Moorcock, M. John Harrison, and others – they’re not strange; the world is strange!

What do you win? The three winners, chosen by Ann and me, will win ONE COPY OF EACH ANTHOLOGY WE EDIT BETWEEN NOW AND 2010, PERSONALIZED. Yes, that's correct. You will get a copy of The New Weird, Steampunk, The Leonardo Variations (Clarion charity anthology), Fast Ships/Black Sails (pirates), Best American Fantasy 2, Best Horror 2009, Last Drink Bird Head, Mapping the Beast: The Best of Leviathan, and various other anthologies currently in the planning stages. Heck, we’ll even throw in the first couple issue of Weird Tales with Ann as fiction editor. We also reserve the right to give out honorable mentions, said HMs to receive a copy of the NW antho.

Contest ends February 17th, Sunday, at midnight EST...start getting weird before it's too late.

Also, do check out what Omnivoracious says about the Insect Lab. If you're even the slightest bit weird (or even better, Weird), Mike Libby should be your idol.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Felix Gilman on Fantasy Book Critic

Felix Gilman is an incredibly talented young writer who participated in the New Weird round-robin, "Festival Lives." His contribution, "Constable Chalch and the Ten Thousand Heroes," (which is a title I truly love) follows a beleaguered cop who would rather read about his archetypal hero, the Detective, than deal with the seedy chaos of the festival. It's a funny, creepy piece that totally complements the rest of "Festival Lives" (which you can read a free alternate ending to here).

Gilman is interviewed today on the Fantasy Book Critic blog (which you really should be reading anyway). And he's just turned in a sequel to his excellent debut novel, Thunderer, titled The Gears of the City. Keep an eye on him, perhaps the spare one you bought at the black market during the festival...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What Makes a Cover Work

Tor/Forge has just posted a podcast of a great panel discussion on book covers from last year's World Fantasy convention, featuring Irene Gallo, Lou Anders, John Picacio, Tom Kidd, and Tachyon's Jacob Weisman. It was recorded at the Saratoga Springs’ World Fantasy in November, and makes for a fun listen.

Irene Gallo, Tor's longtime art director, commented: "I should also fess up and say, at one point Jacob mentions that artists are not hired based on their best work but on their worst. I have since taken that as my own and have repeated it often. It's a great point to make to younger artists putting together a portfolio." Would-be cover artists, mind your portfolios...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Check out the New Weird. It's on us.

Here's a web-exclusive extra for The New Weird. The New Weird is our brand new Ann and Jeff VanderMeer edited anthology of edgy, visceral, urban fiction (think Lovecraft meets Peake meets Barker meets Miéville). In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said of it, "this extremely ambitious anthology will define the New Weird much as Bruce Sterling's landmark Mirrorshades anthology defined cyberpunk." So that's what you're getting when you buy the book. But now you're also getting a free sneak peek.

"Festival Lives," is an original collaboration by Paul Di Filippo, Cat Rambo, Sarah Monette, Daniel Abraham, Felix Gilman, Hal Duncan, and Conrad Williams. Each of these seven authors wrote a view of Di Filippo's insane creation, a vibrant, deadly festival of corrupt priests, stealthy terrorists, ethereal choirboys, ravening salp-hounds, vengeful detectives, and more. Di Filippo also wrote a coda to "Festival Lives," (don't worry, it doesn't give much of anything away), and here it is:

View 8: Tangled in the Nets of the Gods.

You'll get over a hundred pages of New Weird original fiction and nonfiction essays, plus the fifteen stories selected by the VanderMeers as true exemplars of the genre, when you pick up your copy of The New Weird. If you buy it on the Tachyon site, we are offering free Media Mail shipping (just select it in your shopping cart during checkout). Go for it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The New Weird

Yes, the long-awaited creepy, crespuscular, and canonic anthology, The New Weird, is officially out. Not only does this Jeff and Ann VanderMeer-edited artisinal treat feature stories by the finest NW writers (Mieville, Duncan, Barker, Monette, Harrison, and more), it also has over 100 pages of original material, including the round-robin descent into madness, "Festival Lives." Stay tuned for the posting of contributor Paul Di Filippo's final coda, "Tangled in the Nets of the Gods," which you can only read here...

Locus Recommended Reading List

I know you've probably already seen it, but just in case, here's the 2007 Locus Recommended Reading List. Tachyon books picked included:


* Portable Childhoods, Ellen Klages
* The Fate of Mice, Susan Palwick
* The Dog Said Bow-Wow, Michael Swanwick


* Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology, James Patrick Kelly &
John Kessel, eds.
* The Asimov's 30th Anniversary Anthology, Sheila Williams, ed.
* Year's Best Fantasy 7, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds.


Thanks to the kind folks at Locus.