Signed books for the holidays, 2016 edition

by Matt Ruff on December 5, 2016


This is your annual reminder that signed copies of my novels make great holiday gifts.

I’m selling signed first editions of Sewer, Gas & Electric, Set This House in Order, The Mirage, and Lovecraft Countryemail for details.

Signed trade paperbacks of my first five novels and hardcovers of Lovecraft Country are available from Secret Garden Bookshop in Seattle. You can contact them by phone at 206-789-5006 or via email; tell them what books you want, and they’ll order them, have me sign them, and ship them wherever you like. (And yes, they do ship internationally.)


Final round, Goodreads Choice Awards

by Matt Ruff on November 16, 2016

lovecraftblogcovLovecraft Country has made it into the third and final round of the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. Thanks to everyone who voted so far! If you’d like to cast a final ballot, you can do so here.

Voting is open through November 27, and the winners will be announced on December 6.

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Round 2 of the Goodreads Choice Awards

by Matt Ruff on November 11, 2016

lovecraftblogcovLovecraft 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.

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lovecraftblogcov Lovecraft Country has been nominated for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards, in the horror category. The first round of voting is open now through November 6th. You can cast your vote here.

In related news:

* Reason magazine published a brief review of Lovecraft Country in their October issue, calling it “a fun read and a welcome addition to the genre.”

* The Bookchemist did a really wonderful review of the novel on YouTube, which you can check out here.

* If you haven’t seen it yet, the trailer for Jordan Peele’s forthcoming movie Get Out seems very much in the spirit of Lovecraft Country.

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Styxxoplix and Scary Clowns

by Matt Ruff on October 19, 2016

British Bad Monkeys mass market paperback coverOn Friday I did a call-in interview with the Styxxoplix Show in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can listen to it here, or catch it on WELT 95.7 FM in Fort Wayne tonight at 6.

One of the many subjects we touched on in the interview is the current wave of clown sightings in the U.S. and Europe. A number of Bad Monkeys fans have suggested that I saw this coming, but while I’d love to take credit for being prescient, the truth is I’m just old. As the Sunday New York Times pointed out, this has happened before:

Creepy clown sightings aren’t new. They date from at least May 1981, when the cryptozoologist Loren Coleman coined the term “phantom clowns” to describe them. At the time, children in Brookline, Mass., were reporting clowns in vans who beckoned them with promises of candy. The police issued an all-points bulletin, established checkpoints and conducted searches, but no clowns were captured.

Still, the reports spread to at least six cities in the span of a month. Waves of sightings recurred in 1985 and in 1991 (in the latter reports the figures were often described as looking like Homey D. Clown from the TV series “In Living Color”). In each case, the stories were primarily spread by children and caused mild to moderate hysteria, but no clown predators were ever found.

It was these earlier clown panics that inspired Bad Monkeys‘ Scary Clowns. The ‘phantom clown’ chapter of Loren Coleman’s Mysterious America was a useful resource when I was writing the novel, as was Jan Harold Brunvand’s Encyclopedia of Urban Legends, so it’s nice to see Coleman and Brunvand getting name-checked in the current news coverage.

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In which I am a guest on the SciFiSciFiSciFi podcast

by Matt Ruff on October 13, 2016

Last month I recorded an interview for the SciFiSciFiSciFi podcast. The interview is now online:

You can also listen to a previous podcast devoted to a review and discussion of Lovecraft Country:

A big thank you to my hosts, Stephen Nelson and Barry Fujii, and their possibly imaginary friend Kevin; if they invite you on the show, you should say yes.

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by Matt Ruff on October 11, 2016

slatefunnyFor 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.

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I’m 51 today

by Matt Ruff on September 8, 2016


And as dignified as ever.

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by Matt Ruff on September 6, 2016

EverfairMy 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.

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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

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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.

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