Two new interviews just went up today. The first is by Laura Given at The Nerdy Book Club, and includes both a book giveaway and a brief video of myself reading and babbling about mask-related things. It also includes the Dust Bunny Theory of Novel Writing. The second is by Jeff VanderMeer at Omnivoracious, and includes both my astonishment at becoming a National Book Award Finalist and my further astonishment at being interviewed by Jeff VanderMeer.
I only just met Ann & Jeff a few weeks ago at the Twin Cities Book Festival, but I’ve loved his writing, her editorial vision, and their combined work as anthologists for many years. I got to introduce their presentation at the festival. Here’s what I said:
Ann VanderMeer is a prolific editor, publisher, and anthologist. During her too-brief tenure as the Weird Tales editor in chief the magazine was nominated thrice for the Hugo Award, and won that Hugo in 2009.
Jeff VanderMeer is an equally prolific editor, anthologist, and fiction writer. He is twice a winner and twelve times a finalist for the World Fantasy Award.
The two have collaborated on several anthologies, none more ambitious than The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories. Damien Walter calls it “an anthology of writing so powerful it will leave your reality utterly shredded,” and he implores us not to read it.
Definitions of the Weird are, of course, varied and contradictory, but the VanderMeer’s is the most rich, expansive, international, and compelling approach to an unsettling and uncanny literary tradition for which the rules are not known, and cannot be known.
The companion website to the anthology, Weird Fiction Review .com, has grown into its own institution–if the anthology is too heavy for you to lift, I encourage you all to direct your browsers there. You’ll be fine. Really. It’s perfectly safe.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honored to present Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.
It’s been a long while since I posted bedtime stories on this blog. Embarrassing, since keeping a record of notable bedtime stories is ostensibly the purpose of the blog. However, I am now honored and privileged to present the first remembered bedtime stories of the VanderMeers.
Ann remembers Briar Rose and Winnie the Pooh first and foremost. As the eldest child, Ann soon transitioned from audience member to reader and performer of bedtime stories. This gave her a considerable amount of power over her younger siblings, who could be bribed or threatened with the promise, or lack, of stories. Ann never abused her powers, of course.
Jeff remembers an illustrated book of “The Tyger” by William Blake. This explains much. He remains productively obsessed with fearful symmetries.
Ciao for now!