Release Day: Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

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Release Day: Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

Posted on 2013-10-15 at 20:50 by montsamu

A very happy release day indeed to Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss!

[caption id="" align=“aligncenter” width=“280”] Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction
by Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss
Abrams Image (October 15, 2013)[/caption]

“This all-new definitive guide to writing imaginative fiction takes a completely novel approach and fully exploits the visual nature of fantasy through original drawings, maps, renderings, and exercises to create a spectacularly beautiful and inspiring object. Employing an accessible, example-rich approach, Wonderbook energizes and motivates while also providing practical, nuts-and-bolts information needed to improve as a writer. Aimed at aspiring and intermediate-level writers, Wonderbook includes helpful sidebars and essays from some of the biggest names in fantasy today, such as George R. R. Martin, Lev Grossman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Catherynne M. Valente, and Karen Joy Fowler, to name a few.”

I’ve collected a nice slate of excerpts and highlights and early reviews and appreciations and other materials about the book, and today the book’s official companion website,, launched with a Welcome to post, along with an extensive selection of web extras, exercies, interviews, and (something I’ve been looking forward to in particular) an editors roundtable which presents the same story manuscript “marked up” by eight fantastic editors: Paula Guran, Ellen Datlow, Gardner Dozois, Liz Gorinsky, James Patrick Kelly, Nick Mamatas, Ann VanderMeer, and Sheila Williams. And! There’s a Facebook page with links and images to flip through and enjoy as well. More? Of course. There’s already a review up on the book’s Goodreads page, and! has a giveaway sweepstakes with 10 (TEN!) signed copies.

The book should be easy to find in pretty much any B&N you walk into this week; it’s been holding in the mid 3-digits in the sales ranks; and if there’s an independent bookstore [see IndieBound] who’s temporarily sold out they will be happy to have a copy waiting for you or sent to you. As far as other handy links to where to get the book, here’s a few:

Lastly: congrats to Jeff and Jeremy on the fantastic culmination of so much hard work. I'm hoping to carry a "Hardest Part" essay from Jeremy on that front soon, and am looking forward to settling down with this book in the months to come. Both Jeff and Jeremy have been inspiration, help, and contributors to Bull Spec over the years so far (Jeremy's cover for issue #6 is all VanderMeer, all the time) and every contact with them leaves me ready to create something. Having a book by them, at hand, about creating imaginative art? Yeah. It's safe to say I've been looking forward to this!


Some rapid-fire updates since yesterday:

Fantastic interview at the B&N Review:

Another giveaway opportunity:

A 4-star review from SFX:

And two 10-out-of-10 reviews here and here


Along with’s “Look Inside” feature, is carrying a flip-through online sample:


Author Jeff VanderMeer interviewed artist Jeremy Zerfoss about the two year project of creating the book:

And io9 showcases the lifecycle of a science fiction story:


Wonderbook’s cover design featured on Good Design is Good:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged jeff vandermeer, jeremy zerfoss, wonderbook