Jeff VanderMeer

Another 2015 China Miéville project: The Bestiary

As well as June’s short story collection, 2015 will bring another book project involving China Miéville! This one is an anthology called The Bestiary, edited by Ann VanderMeer, and it seems as though China will be illustrating the book, according to the product’s byline on the Amazon page.

However, the product description also makes it sound like China will have some written material in the book. Here’s what the description says:

A modern bestiary of made-up fantastical creatures organized from A to Z, along with an ampersand and an invisible letter, featuring some of the best and most respected fantasists from around the world, including Karen Lord, Dexter Palmer, Brian Evenson, China Mieville, Felix Gilman, Catherynne M. Valente, Rikki Ducornet, and Karin Lowachee.

Now, way back in 2011, Jeff VanderMeer posted on his blog that he and Ann had been working on the anthology, but the table of contents listed there doesn’t include China Miéville.

Some possibilities might be… China has replaced another author who dropped out; he’s the anonymous author writing for the “invisible letter”; he’s writing some kind of foreword or introduction; one of the authors listed there is a pseudonym (unlikely); or he simply will just be the book’s illustrator, without any written contribution.

Wait until August next year to find out!

SF & fantasy books I can’t wait to read in 2014

I have a staggeringly huge to-read list, yet thanks to my slowish reading speed, other things competing for my attention, and the fact that I’m in the second year of a PhD, I know I won’t get through too many books this year. In the last few years I managed around 45-50 books per year. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to list off some of the SF&F fiction I can’t wait to get stuck into this year. It’s not a comprehensive list, and I’ve left off non-genre fiction and nonfiction because that’s not what this blog is about. Here are my “can’t wait to read” genre fiction titles for 2014:



Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – I have, shamefully, never read a Jeff VanderMeer novel, so I intend to start with this new book before making my way through his back catalogue. He is often compared with China Miéville, and I find myself having a hankering for some New-Weirdness. This book sounds like an expedition into VanderMeer’s version of Miéville’s Cacotopic Stain: nightmarish and bizarre, and I am down for the ride!

A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias – A debut novel with hard-sf, alien contact and galactic politics? I’m there! This does sound rather similar to City of Pearl by Karen Traviss, only set underwater, but I’m a sucker for first contact stories (or any stories with well-realised alien races).

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher – I haven’t read any Adam Christopher but the synopsis of this book (creepiness and suspense on a space station) makes it sound like he wrote it specifically for me!

Echopraxia by Peter Watts – Sequel to Blindsight, one of the scariest and smartest SF books I’ve ever read. Cannot wait.