Tomorrow Never Knows: Thanks, Ann VanderMeer

The Uncanny Beauty Issue

I read with dismay this morning that Ann VanderMeer will no longer be editing at Weird Tales, a publication she helped resurrect and redefine over the last four years. When I first started writing speculative fiction seriously, I remember staring at the Weird Tales website, thinking that some day in the magical future my writing might find its way there, into Ann’s hands. And it did, it turns out. I was part of the Uncanny Beauty issue, right there with my name on the cover, barely getting my feet wet in the spec fic world, and yet welcomed. Not many people have that opportunity, and I’ll be forever grateful.

Beyond that though, with Ann at the helm, I knew that opening Weird Tales, each story would make me feel something, would inspire me in some new way, whether it be through fright or surprise or simply fascinating writing. That’s the hallmark of an amazing editor. Someone you can trust. Someone in whose name you can assign faith. And that’s not easy. It saddens me to think that I won’t be able to look at Weird Tales that same way again. A loss, all around.

That’s not even to mention what a magnificent role model Ann is, especially for women writers and editors of the weird and wonky. I finally met Ann a few weeks ago, in person, and she is as smart and sharp and funny as I expected. Meeting her only deepened my admiration of her. (Oh, and Ann: next round of Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout is on me!)

The good news is that Ann is an astonishing talent, and will do amazing things beyond Weird Tales. Her projects are always inspired and unusual, and though she will no longer be lending her expertise and enthusiasm to Weird Tales, it will go elsewhere…

…though it doesn’t make the situation suck any less right now, I know. Right now it still doesn’t seem possible or fair or sensical at all. Right now is just sad and frustrating.

But: tomorrow never knows. Here’s to better days. Thanks, Ann. For all you’ve done, and all you have yet to do.

Weird Tales Uncanny Beauty Issue

Picture via Jeff VanderMeer's Flickr stream

I’ve been waiting to talk about this until it was official but, hey, look: official! And awesome. I had the privilege of coming up with a project together with Brigid Ashwood, a brilliant artist and fellow lover of speculative fiction. The piece in the upcoming issue is entitled “The Wakened Image” and it’s a look at some of the “made” women in mythology, taken from the Mabinogion and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Brigid helped me brainstorm the subject, and then I wrote a three-part poem in blank verse; Brigid provided some astonishingly beautiful pictures to accompany the text.

The issue isn’t available yet, but soon. I’ll keep you posted. I am so excited to share this piece, and definitely squeed a little seeing my name on the front of Weird Tales. Who wouldn’t? :)