books and authors

Round 2 of the Goodreads Choice Awards

Lovecraft Country has made it into the semifinal round of the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. If this week hasn’t left you completely soured on the concept of elections, you can cast your vote here.

Voting is open through Sunday, November 13.

In other news:

* The movie Arrival, based on Ted Chiang’s short story “Story of Your Life,” opens today. Check out the trailer here.


For those of you seeking a distraction from the election coverage, Slate Book Review just posted “The Funniest Living Writers Choose the Funniest Books in the World.” It’s a literary daisy chain: They asked Maria Semple, whose novel Today Will be Different hit bookstores last week, to name her three favorite funny books by living authors. Then they asked those writers to name three favorites, and so on. I got on the chain when Christopher Moore picked Bad Monkeys. My picks: Porochista Khakpour’s The Last Illusion, Aimee Bender’s Willful Creatures, and Wilton Barnhardt’s Emma Who Saved My Life.

You can see the complete daisy chain here. The graphic is interactive: Click on individual books for reviews and purchase links.


My friend Nisi Shawl’s amazing new novel Everfair arrives in bookstores today. It’s a steampunk novel set in an alternate history where Congolese natives and their allies use steam-powered dirigibles (“aircanoes”) to fight back against the Belgian soldiers of King Leopold. Everfair has battle scenes, lots of cool technology, and more than a little magic (there’s a character named Fwendi who projects her soul into a herd of cats in order to snoop on the bad guys), but the real heart of the story is the politicking and relationships among the various factions seeking to build a true free state in Congo: native Africans, white British socialists, African-American missionaries, Asian laborers and merchants, and a French author, spy, and bicycle enthusiast named Lisette Toutournier.

As I say, it’s amazing; I’m already picturing the BBC miniseries. If you’re a fan of Lovecraft Country you should definitely check it out.

You can read a sample of Everfair here and an essay about the origins of the story here. You can also catch Nisi on her book tour, which starts tonight with a 7 PM appearance at the U.W. University Book Store.

* * * * *

P.S. Also on sale today: Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

In which I cast my shadow over an Innsmouth Porter

Last Saturday I was in Bremerton for a reading and signing sponsored by the Kitsap Regional Library. The Library has been experimenting with unusual event venues, and they picked a great one for me: the LoveCraft Brewing Company, a recently opened brewpub that serves artisanal Lovecraft-themed beers. I had the Innsmouth Porter, which I liked; other offerings include the Elder God Beire de Garde, the Dreamlands ESB, and the Dunwich Farmhouse Red Ale. Being me, I spent the trip home thinking up other possibilities: the Kölsch of Cthulhu, Pickman’s Lager, the Pilsner at Martin’s Beach, the Weissbier in Darkness, the Lambic Out of Space, and—OK, not a beer, but someone should totally make this—At the Mountains of Absinthe.

Thanks to Sara Jaffa, the LoveCraft brewers, Liberty Bay Books, and especially the folks who came out to the reading.


* If you missed the reading but wanted a signed copy of Lovecraft Country or one of my other novels, Liberty Bay Books has a few in stock now.

* Nick Mamatas’ new novel, I Am Providence, is finally in stores. As I say in my cover blurb, it’s just what you’d expect from Nick: sharp wit, biting but humane social commentary, and, for the romantics among us, a faceless narrator decomposing at the morgue. Check it out!

Tomorrow: Speculative Fiction panel at the UW Bookstore

Tomorrow is Independent Bookstore Day, and to help celebrate, I’ll be appearing on a Speculative Fiction Panel at the University Book Store, along with authors Greg Bear, Robin Hobb, and Elliott Kay. The panel starts at 6:30 PM; feel free to come by and heckle us.

In other news:

* Romona Williams interviewed me for the Women Write About Comics online magazine.

* For its upcoming Dr. Strange movie, Marvel reportedly replaced a Tibetan character with Tilda Swinton in order to avoid offending Chinese government censors.

* Clickhole: We Put a GoPro on a Sparrow.

At Emerald City Comicon this Friday

If you are attending Emerald City Comicon in Seattle this Friday, I’ll be signing copies of Lovecraft Country at the University Book Store booth (booth #5100, on level 6) from 11 AM to noon.

In other news:

* The first issue of the Ta-Nehisi Coates–authored Black Panther is out this week.

* Working to inspire the next generation of J-horror: Radioactive wild boar are “running rampage” in the countryside around the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

* Any day I’m mentioned in the same article as Libba Bray and The Witch is a good day. Thanks, Mary Sue!

Talking with Victor LaValle about Lovecraft

The same day Lovecraft Country first appeared in book stores, Books published Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom, which takes H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Horror at Red Hook” and retells it from the point of view of a black protagonist. I’d been hearing rumblings about Black Tom for several months, and for obvious reasons I was intrigued. Nor was I the only one struck by the coincidence of two such similarly themed books coming out on the same dayBill Tipper from the Barnes & Noble Review blog got in touch to ask whether Victor and I would be interested in having an online dialogue about our work. We’ve been emailing back and forth for the past few weeks, and the resulting conversation has just been posted on the B&N blog. Check it out.

You can read more about Victor LaValle and his books on his website, here.

Lovecraft Country, now on YouTube

As promised, here’s the video of last Friday’s reading and Q&A at the University Book Store.

My next two live appearances will be this Saturday, March 12, at A Book for All Seasons in Leavenworth, WA (signing books, 11 AM-1 PM) and the Wenatchee Public Library (reading & signing, 2 PM).


* On Tuesday, I did an online interview with Bill Kenower of Author Magazine. You can listen to that here.

* Paul Di Filippo reviewed Lovecraft Country for Locus online. Spoiler: he liked it.

* Via @bylisagold, a story about the Neglected Books blog, which seeks to rescue forgotten books from obscurity. New Yorker article here, actual blog here.

* And finally, this week’s cute odd couple tale comes from Brazil, where a retired bricklayer and a Magellanic penguin have adopted one another.

In five days

Lovecraft Country goes on sale next Tuesday. Six books into my career you’d think I’d be jaded about this stuff, but in fact I’m excited enough that it’s been difficult to focus lately. So here are some quick notes:

* If you haven’t done so already, you can download a preview of the novel in PDF format. My book tour schedule is here. If you’d like to get a signed copy but can’t make it to any of my appearances, the folks at Secret Garden Bookshop can hook you up (you can contact them by phone at 206-789-5006 or via email, and they do ship internationally).

* The book has been getting some great early buzz: Next week’s Booklist gives Lovecraft Country a starred review, and Bookpage calls it “vastly entertaining.” has selected Lovecraft Country as one of its best science fiction and fantasy books of the month. And today I woke up to find that Aaron Coats at the Chicago Review of Books had written me this nice love letter.

* Also being published next Tuesday: Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom, another Lovecraft-themed story with an African-American protagonist. I’ve been hearing rumblings about this one for a while and am very curious to check it out.

* Via this morning’s Twitters: Twentieth Century Fox has given a green light to an adaptation of Margo Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, about a group of African-American women who worked as computers for NASA during the Cold War.

* Another severed human foot has washed ashore in the Pacific Northwest. As long-time blog readers know, this happens often enough to be a thing.

* And finally, in the political realm, H.P. Lovecraft, like Donald Trump, continues his inexorable march towards total world domination: