Anthologies are Like a Box of Chocolates, and Apparently, I’m Willy Wonka
Reviewer Paul Goat Allen seems to be my biggest fan. In his recent blog post for Barnes & Noble’s BN.com, “The Candy Man Can: Or Why John Joseph Adams is Genre Fiction’s Willy Wonka,” he said so many kind things about me and my anthologies you’d think he was on the Night Shade payroll.
Here’s a taste:
- “The reigning king of the anthology world is John Joseph Adams.”
- “Every anthology this guy is associated with seems to turn to gold: and by gold I mean jaw-droppingly brilliant anthologies with no weak links that I’ll not only read again and again but treasure until the day I die.”
- “[Wastelands] is arguably my favorite anthology of all time – just packed with speculative masterworks.”
- The Living Dead was, simply put, the best collection of zombie fiction stories ever collected. … This anthology is, like Wastelands, one of my all-time favorite short story collections. Fans of zombie fiction shouldn’t just read this anthology – they should own it.”
- “By Blood We Live [is] a killer collection of simply stellar vampire stories that just floored me from beginning to end. … Yet another masterful – dare I say perfect – anthology.”
And as if that wasn’t cool enough for one day, Allen’s article also inspired some…fan art?
Before the Apocalypse, There was Reggaetón
People sometimes ask me about the cover of Wastelands, wondering where they might have seen it before. Some of you may remember that when the cover (by Daniel Kvasznicza) was first revealed, I mentioned how the cover art had been previously used as a backdrop on a rap album or something. It took me a while, but I finally got more of a complete picture (so to speak) as to the history of the image.
First, it was actually first used as the backdrop for an animated film that screened in Austria in 2004. Then Sony licensed the image for use on the album King of Kings by Don Omar (actually Reggaetón
, not rap). Here it is:
On the cover, it’s hardly visible at all, though on the second image, which looks to be the back of the CD case, it’s obviously much more visible.
The image has also been posted online in various venues to illustrate posts about post-apocalyptic scenarios, such as at io9.com and elsewhere.
So there you have it. The brief, sordid history behind the Wastelands cover.
Yet Another Way to Win Copies of My Books
In addition to the Tor.com Zombie Caption Contest, another way to win a copy of The Living Dead is to buy a Lottery ticket. In this context, the Lottery refers to a fundraiser to support the Shirley Jackson Awards. In this case, you’d also win a copy of Wastelands.
The lottery begins on February 9th, 2009 at midnight Eastern Time and ends on February 23rd, 2009 at midnight. Winners will be announced shortly after midnight on the award’s blog.
About the award (from the official website):
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) wrote such classic novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem has called Jackson “one of this century’s most luminous and strange American writers,” and multiple generations of authors would agree.
The Shirley Jackson Award will be voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards will be given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.
Locus Recommended Reading list
Locus just announced their 2008 Recommended Reading list, and I’m pleased to note that Wastelands is on it. Congrats to all the other titles and authors that made the list.
Romanian Edition of Wastelands
Just signed and mailed off the contracts for a Romanian edition of Wastelands. As reported by Agent Jenny:
Romanian rights to John Joseph Adams’s WASTELANDS anthology, to SC Nemira, by Jenny Rappaport of the Rappaport Agency on behalf of the L. Perkins Agency, in association with Simona Kessler International Copyright Agency.
There’s a couple other deals pending, but nothing else signed yet. But the Romanian is our first foreign rights deal. It’s a nice milestone to have reached.
The Living Dead & Wastelands now available as e-books
By now most of you have probably heard about Night Shade Books’s partnership with Baen Books to distribute Night Shade titles as e-books via Baen’s WebScriptions store. Well, now there’s even more reason to rejoice: You can now buy e-book versions of The Living Dead* and Wastelands, for just $6.00 each.
* Please note that the e-book version of The Living Dead does not include the following stories: Dan Simmons, "This Year’s Class Picture," Sherman Alexie, "Ghost Dance," and Douglas E. Winter, "Less than Zombie."
Appearance at Freebird Books
Tonight, I’m going to be appearing at Freebird Books in Brooklyn to talk with the store’s post-apocalyptic book club. We’ll be focusing the discussion on Wastelands, and these three stories in particular:
The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi
Speech Sounds by Octavia E. Butler
The End of the World as We Know It by Dale Bailey
The event starts at 7:30 pm. The film 28 Days Later will be shown afterwards at nearby Sugar Lounge bar and restaurant.
123 Columbia Street (between Kane and Degraw streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll drop by!
New Reviews of Wastelands & The Living Dead
The Short Review on Wastelands: “This could have been dreary. … [But] there’s nothing dreary in this book. The stories here are real, juicy, solid stories instead of morality lessons in disguise, and not two of them are alike.”
SF Scope covers the Oct. 7 “Readings of The Living Dead” event presented by the New York Review of Science Fiction reading series: “At a time when the scariest stories are found on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and on the very evening of a Presidential debate (on top of which, I’d just been to the dentist and told that I need a root canal), zombies have a lot of fierce (dare I say stiff—get it? "Stiff", dead body?) competition to terrify us, but Kirtley and Langan successfully managed to affect us, haunt us, creep us out, disgust us, and even raise the odd hollow chuckle.”
Mania.com also reviews The Living Dead, giving it an “A” grade and calling it “One of the best zombie anthologies published in recent years.”
LibraryThing users love Wastelands
Over on LibraryThing, a user gave Wastelands a really great review: “Without question this was one the best books of the last 5 years. … [Adams] has put together one of the best anthologies in the genre that I have seen. Although I was initially a bit cautious, once I began reading I found it nearly impossible to put down.”
Someone else started his review "When reading the back cover of this book, it looks terrible, like classic bad sci-fi" but gave the book 5/5 stars and said some very nice things about it. Kind of surprising that someone would thing the back cover makes it sound terrible and would then go on to not only read it but love it. (He seems to have read it because of the contributor list.)
I’ve just updated my events schedule with some new appearances. Please drop by or tune in as appropriate!
Hour of the Wolf
Radio Show, WBAI 99.5 FM
Oct. 4, 2008
New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series
New York, NY
Oct. 7, 2008
Oct. 25-26, 2008
World Fantasy Convention
Oct. 30 – Nov. 2, 2008