Father’s Day

by Matt Ruff on June 18, 2017

This is the oldest surviving photo of my Dad, with Grandma Mabel, taken in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1922.

Bonus ancient Ruff pic:

From left: Oscar, Lydia, Albert, and (my grandfather) Walter Theodore Ruff. Early 1910s. Happy Father’s Day, kids.

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The surprise sales spike following the announcement of the Lovecraft Country HBO series led to a brief paperback shortage, but a reprint has now made its way into the distribution channel, so the novel should once again be available from your local indie bookstore or your favorite online retailer.


* A new event has been added to my Locus Awards Weekend schedule. From 11:00 to 11:45 AM on Saturday, June 24, I’ll be joining Nisi Shawl, Seanan McGuire, and moderator Daryl Gregory for a panel discussion titled “How Much Is That Trope in the Window? Repurposing Genre Elements to Tell New Stories.” Following the panel, from noon to 12:30, I’ll be signing books at the official autograph session. Then it’s on to the Locus Awards ceremony, where Lovecraft Country is a finalist in the best horror novel category. Hope to see you there!

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liberal horror show
Thanks to everyone who sent congratulations about last week’s big news, and a special high-five to Salon.com, who had my favorite headline on the story. “Liberal Horror Show” is the name of my next band.

A few Tuesday morning notes:

* Lovecraft Country is a finalist for best horror novel in the 2017 Locus Awards. To the extent that it is possible for me to be even more excited, I am psyched about this. If you are attending the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, I’ll be signing books at the noon autograph session on June 24, so come by and say hi.

* The Nebula Awards were announced last weekend. Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky won best novel, and Arrival, the film adaptation of Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life,” won the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. Congrats, Charlie and Ted! (Full list of winners and nominees here.)

* The German translation of Lovecraft Country will be published early next year by Carl Hanser Verlag. I should have an exact publication date soon.

* If you’re in the UK or some other part of the British Commonwealth and are wondering why you can’t find an ebook of Lovecraft Country, this is an unfortunate side-effect of the way English-language publishing rights are divided up. English ebook rights in Britain, Australia, etc. are typically reserved for the UK publisher, so if a book doesn’t have a UK publisher—as is the case right now for Lovecraft Country—there’s no way to get the ebook. I’m hopeful that the novel will eventually find a British publisher, but for now, your best bet is to order a print copy of the American edition from the Book Depository.

* And finally, last Friday I had a nice chat with Robin Shantz for the Invaders from Planet 3 podcast. You can listen to our conversation here. It’s also available (free) on iTunes, here.

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Lovecraft Country will be a series on HBO

by Matt Ruff on May 17, 2017

The A-Team: executive producers Jordan Peele, Misha Green, J.J. Abrams, and Ben Stephenson

Some good news I’ve been sitting on for a while: last year, Warner Brothers Television optioned Lovecraft Country, with J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele, Misha Green, and Ben Stephenson attached as executive producers.

Two days ago I got word that HBO had picked up the show and ordered a full series. HBO publicly announced the deal yesterday afternoon, so I am free to say: Woo-hoo! In addition to being super excited in general, I’m really, really happy that Jordan Peele and Misha Green are on board. If you haven’t seen Misha’s series “Underground” yet, or if you’re one of the three people on the planet who hasn’t seen Get Out, get thee to a Netflix queue/movie theater and you’ll see why I’m so psyched. (P.S., if you’ve managed to avoid Get Out spoilers, keep it that way.)

A number of people have asked me when the show will actually air. The answer is I don’t know yet, but I’ll post more details once I have them.


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Mother’s Day

by Matt Ruff on May 14, 2017

The photograph above, taken in Brazil in 1936, is the oldest surviving image of my mother that I possess. Mom is the blond toddler in the lower right with the suspicious look on her face. The cheery-looking gent holding her is my grandfather, the missionary Albert Lehenbauer. Pictured in back, from left to right: Uncle Siegfried, Aunt Naomi, Uncle Ronald, Aunt Flora (who four decades later would teach me how to type), and Uncle Reginald. The infant is my uncle Tommy, and the woman holding him is Grandma Helene, whose expression of dismay may stem from a premonition that she’s not quite done having kids yet—one more uncle, Winfred, would be born in Argentina in 1939.

Happy Mother’s Day, guys.

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Victor LaValle on the Juggernaut podcast

by Matt Ruff on April 13, 2017

This week’s guest on The Juggernaut podcast is Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom. As a fan of both the podcast and Victor’s work, I’m happy to see these crazy kids get together. (You can listen to my own Juggernaut appearance here.)

Also, a reminder that tonight I will be reading and signing books at Queen Anne Book Company, starting at 7 PM.

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This Thursday, April 13, at 7 PM, I’ll be reading, taking questions, and signing books at Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle. The Seattle Times calls it a “don’t miss author appearance,” and I believe they use science to determine that sort of thing, so if you’re in the neighborhood, come on by and catch my act!

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This Tuesday, March 21, at 7PM, I’ll be appearing at Elliott Bay Book Company with Nisi Shawl. Nisi is the author of Filter House, Writing the Other, and most recently, Everfair, a fantastical alternate history in which the native Congolese and their allies use radium-powered blimps to turn the tables on the forces of King Leopold of Belgium. Basically, Everfair does for steampunk what Lovecraft Country tries to do for cosmic horror—and it’s great.

Nisi and I will be reading short passages from our novels, talking about the ideas behind the stories, taking questions, and signing books. If you’re in the Seattle area I hope you’ll join us.

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Lovecraft Country ebook on sale for $1.99

by Matt Ruff on March 13, 2017

Just a heads up that the American ebook edition of Lovecraft Country is on sale for $1.99, as part of HarperCollins’ monthly “Steals and Deals” promotion:

GoogleiTunesKindleKobo Nook

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The Night Ocean

by Matt Ruff on March 10, 2017

Paul La Farge’s novel The Night Ocean was published this week, and I had the pleasure of interviewing him for the Los Angeles Review of Books. You can read our conversation here.

The Night Ocean takes its title from a short story co-authored by H.P. Lovecraft and his teenaged fan Robert H. Barlow, whom Lovecraft visited in Florida in the summers of 1934 and ’35. In the novel, a journalist named Charlie Willett tries to get to the truth of Lovecraft and Barlow’s relationshipwere they lovers?and after several reversals of fortune ends up in a mental hospital. Then he apparently commits suicide. Then his wife, Marina, the novel’s narrator, gets emailed a photo of “a stretch of nearly black sand, and, beyond it, an indigo ocean,” that she thinks might be from Charlie. Then things get weird.

This may sound like the outline of the kind of horror story that Lovecraft himself would write, and for the first few chapters of The Night Ocean it seems like La Farge might be going that way. But as I note in the intro to our interview, this is one of those books that’s impossible to categorize, and part of the fun of reading it is never being sure what genre you’re in. Just trust me, it’s an awesome read with some great charactersand as with Lovecraft Country, you don’t need to be a Lovecraft fan to enjoy it.

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