Tag Archives: Jeff VanderMeer

If You Lived Here

Just in case you’re at a loss for something to do in my absence (yeah, right), here’s an idea – go tell the folk at Underland Press about your favourite fictional worlds so that Jeff VanderMeer can write a book about ’em. From my inbox:

The project, authored and edited by Jeff VanderMeer, is called If You Lived Here: The Top 30 All Time Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds. It’s a compendium, of sorts, but also a travel guide to places like Dune, Ring World, Middle Earth, Lankhmar… and beyond. We’ve all lived in these places – in imagination if not in fact – and we’re all united by our common experiences of them. We wanted to collect the worlds together in one place as both a walk down memory lane and a place to start new dreams.

We’re reaching out to readers, writers, and booksellers to ask for nominations of worlds to include. We’ve set up a web form at www.ifyoulivedherebook.com, which takes the nominations and asks respondents to describe what they love about the world.

You heard ’em – so trundle over there and put in your two cents, why don’t ya?

PR advice for writers from Jeff VanderMeer

Booklife by Jeff VanderMeerHyperprolific author and anthologist Jeff VanderMeer recently completed and submitted Booklife, a non-fiction book about the writing life that promises to be full of insight, harsh truths, good ideas and (knowing VanderMeer) dark humour.

He’s been posting a few excerpts from it in various places, including a chunk of tips on PR and self-publicity for writers which are well worth reading even if you’re not a writer – they say a lot about the art of publicity in a world where everyone is already their own PR firm (whether they realise it or not).

That advice includes a warning on the dangers of listening to advice from those who aren’t as qualified to give it as they might like to think:

How did some of these people arrive at bad places? Horrible advice. Always keep in mind that advice, especially advice on promoting yourself, is often anecdotal or a Received Idea–received from a time machine from the Distant Past. Sincerely-given but idiotic career advice can be a shiv in the side, an icepick through the eye. Worse, it can result in a slow malarial fever from which you never recover, performing actions you later have no good rationale for doing. The worst career advice attempts to separate you from your work, you a shucked oyster wondering what happened, and why.

Wired interviews the VanderMeers, gives away chapbook

Cover art: Jeff VanderMeer - The Situation Those VanderMeers are everywhere at the moment – and not just in the traditional venues of genre fiction enthusiasts. Wired‘s GeekDads blog (which strikes me as a slightly sexist masthead – are there no GeekMums?) has an interview with Jeff and Ann VanderMeer that shows them off as candid, interesting and very smart people … and explains why they’re appearing in those unusual venues:

JV – “The main thing is, the internet and the way memes move now, there is no monolithic thing called “genre” or “literary mainstream” any more. There’s all of this fascinating cross-pollinations and collaborations that you never really saw before. […] I think I like to write stuff that can connect with different kinds of readers in different ways. Like, a fantasy reader is going to perceive The Situation one way, whereas somebody who works in front of a computer all day but doesn’t read fantasy is going to take something else out of it, for example.”

Well worth a read. And even though it’s well in advance of Friday Free Fiction, I might as well mention that Wired are giving away a PDF of Jeff VanderMeer’s new PS Publishing chapbook The Situation alongside the article. Bonus!

You can find out more about PS Publishing (an excellent UK-based bespoke small press) at their website – why not order something while you’re there? [Cover art image lifted from Wired interview]