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

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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Reading in Salem, Oregon this Friday evening

by Matt Ruff on April 13, 2016

lovecraftblogcovI’ll be reading and signing books at The Book Bin in downtown Salem, Oregon this Friday, starting at 7 PM. I’m told the bookstore also has a cat that shares a birthday with H.P. Lovecraft, so really, how could you not come by?

In other news:

* I had fun at Comicon last Friday. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around cosplayers, and it was interesting to see what costumes are popular now. No surprise, Star Wars is big (especially Rey), and I must have seen half a dozen Captain Americas and a slew of Ghostbusters with proton backpacks. Star Trek, on the other hand, seems to be in a slump: I didn’t spot a single Vulcan.

* I’ve belatedly discovered a Twitter account called Black Metal Cats, which is exactly what it sounds like.

* I just got word that the new edition of Fool on the Hill is back from the printers. This means that the corrected ebook should be available very soon, too; I’ll post a notice as soon as I’ve got confirmation.

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At Emerald City Comicon this Friday

by Matt Ruff on April 5, 2016

eccclogoIf 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!

 

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Talking with Victor LaValle about Lovecraft

by Matt Ruff on March 30, 2016

blacktomThe same day Lovecraft Country first appeared in book stores, Tor.com 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.

 

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In which I return from Canada, bearing gifts

by Matt Ruff on March 21, 2016

LCcustom

binding by Richard Smart

As usual, I had a wonderful time reading at Pulpfiction Books in Vancouver, BC last Friday. Store owner Chris Brayshaw and his significant other Lisa Jean Helps took me out to dinner and let me know that, in the event of a Donald Trump regency, they’d be happy to sponsor me and my Lisa for Canadian citizenship. I love Vancouver, so if I ever did have to flee the U.S. I could see settling there, though given current real estate prices I’d probably have to sell the family Picasso to afford it. (Note to self: acquire a family Picasso.)

While I was at the bookstore I got a surprise visit from Richard Smart of the Old English Bindery, who’d been commissioned by my friend Ed Smith to do a custom-bound version of Lovecraft Country. Richard has previously done special bindings for The Mirage and Bad Monkeys, but this one is particularly cool, with a definite Lovecraftian grimoire vibe.

In other good news, Charlie Jane Anders wrote a wonderful review of Lovecraft Country for io9.com, declaring it “one of the most thrilling books of the year.” (Thanks, Charlie Jane!) Lovecraft’s hometown Providence Journal has also weighed in, calling Lovecraft Country an “adventure-stuffed, often terrifying, always thrilling, rollicking roller coaster of a novel.”

My next public appearance will be here in Seattle, at Emerald City Comicon, where I’ll be signing books at the University Book Store booth (#5100) on Friday, April 8, from 11 AM to noon. And a week later I’ll be taking another trip down to Oregon, to read at the Book Bin in downtown Salem, OR on April 15 at 7 PM. Hope to see you there!

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