A reader’s guide to Lovecraft Country

by Matt Ruff on August 23, 2016


I’ve just posted a reader’s guide to Lovecraft Country, covering some of the real-world topics mentioned in the novel and giving suggestions for further reading. The guide is a work in progress, so if there’s a subject I haven’t covered that you’re curious about, let me know.



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!

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Bad Monkeys 1st edition coverSome great news that I’ve been sitting on for months finally went public last night: Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to Bad Monkeys, with Margot Robbie set to both produce and star in the film.

I am incredibly psyched. Between this and the positive reception for Lovecraft Country, it’s been an amazing year so far.

On a related note, I’m also really looking forward to Suicide Squad.

More news soon.

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At LoveCraft Brewing Company this Saturday

by Matt Ruff on July 20, 2016

LovecraftBrewThis Saturday, July 23, I’ll be reading and signing books at the LoveCraft Brewing Company in Bremerton, WA. The event starts at 4:30 PM.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Lovecraft Country in advance, Liberty Bay Books at 409 Pacific Avenue (just around the corner from the brewery) should have them in stock.

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Lovecraft Country: Any questions?

by Matt Ruff on July 1, 2016

lovecraftblogcovI’ve started putting together a reader’s guide and an FAQ for Lovecraft Country. If you’ve got questions about the novel that you’d like to see answered in the FAQ (or perhaps in a separate blog post), please leave them in comments.

And if you’d like to interrogate me in person, or maybe get a book signed, I will be appearing later this month at the LoveCraft Brewing Company in Bremerton, WA. That’ll be on Saturday, July 23rd, starting at 4:30 PM.

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At Locus Awards this weekend

by Matt Ruff on June 23, 2016

The Da Vinci PenA quick reminder that I will be signing books at the Locus Awards in Seattle this weekend. The autographing session is at noon on Saturday.

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Lovecraft Country reviewed in the NYT

by Matt Ruff on June 6, 2016

New York Times Book Review logoLovecraft Country got a brief but positive review in yesterday’s New York Times: “Ruff has great fun pitting mid-20th-­century horror and sci-fi clichés against the banal and ever-present bigotry of the era.” Victor LaValle’s similarly themed The Ballad of Black Tom also got a thumbs up: “This darkly witty tale is right in the belly of the genre beast.”

In other news:

* Lovecraft Country made the Locus magazine bestseller list for both May and June.

* I will be attending the Locus Awards in Seattle on the weekend of June 24-26. If you’d like to get a book signed, come by the autograph session at noon on June 25.

* Smithsonian.com has an article about a recently discovered eyewitness account of the 1921 Tulsa Riot. This autobiography by the author of the account sounds really interesting.

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fool2016covIt’s taken a while, but a new version of the Fool on the Hill ebook, free of the many typos that plagued the original edition, is now online. If you’ve previously purchased the ebook, you should be able to update or redownload it without charge, though the exact mechanism will vary depending on whether you bought it for iBooks, Kindle, or some other platform.

A quick way to confirm that you’ve got the new edition is to look at the List of Major Characters at the beginning of the novel. Preacher should be identified as the “Bohemian Minister of Ministry”—the uncorrected text said “Bohemian Ministry of Ministry.”

The new print edition is now in stores as well. Just look for the yellow cover.

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ibd2016Tomorrow 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.


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Witch-haunted Salem, Oregon

by Matt Ruff on April 18, 2016


Rose the bookstore cat does her “Jones watching the Alien creep up behind Harry Dean Stanton” impression

I was in Salem, Oregon, last Friday for a reading at the Book Bin. As I wandered around town before the event, my brain kept trying to reference memories from a trip I made to Salem, Massachusetts more than a quarter century ago. Although Oregon’s Salem is inland, there’s enough similarity in the architecture and the landscape that you can kind of confuse one for the other, at least on certain streets. It’s a cool little city.

Salem was, appropriately enough, the last stop on the Lovecraft Country book tour. My thanks to the Book Bin staff and the staffs of the other book stores that hosted me this time around.

My next public event will be in July, when I’ll be making a special appearance at the LoveCraft Brewing Company in Bremerton. Until then, you can still order signed copies of Lovecraft Country and my other novels from Secret Garden Bookshop.

In other news:

* Today’s New York Times has a story about the resurgence of the “contract for deed” market. A contract for deed, also known as a land contract or installment sale agreement, is an alternative form of home financing sometimes used by people who cannot get traditional mortgages (e.g., African-Americans during the era of redlining). Although the payment structure is similar to a mortgage, the seller retains ownership of the property until it is completely paid off, and in the event of a default can simply evict the buyer, keeping whatever money they have already paid—a feature that has historically been exploited by unscrupulous real-estate dealers.

* In Buzzfeed, Adam Serwer writes about “The Secret History of the Photo at the Center of the Black Confederate Myth.”

* On the train ride home from Salem, I stumbled across this Twitter thread about the controversial decision to cast Scarlet Johansson in the upcoming Paramount/Dreamworks adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. I’m not an anime fan and I know nothing about the source material, but Jon Tsuei’s comments certainly made me curious.

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