Dust jacket illustration by Scott Eagle.
We’re thrilled to publish a brand new novella (45,000 wordsl) by Jeff VanderMeer.
Our edition will be printed in two colors throughout, and is the only print edition currently under contract. Details from Scott Eagle's wraparound dust jacket art will be printed throughout the book.
About the Book:
The Glass Drifters are musicians on tour in a nation that only recently completed a fifteen-year civil war. They are a trio, hopelessly intertwined with one another in terms of both history and romance. And they are headed down river to a big gig that might make or break them, but nobody, not even their mysterious local promoter, Bob-Henri—or possibly Henri-Bob—seems to have any details. This all happened a long time ago, “and in some other version of this story, the Glass Drifters never leave the fucking river.” In this version, they do.
In this startling new novella, Bliss, world-renowned, New York Times bestselling fantasist Jeff VanderMeer masterfully conceals and reveals, crafting a tale both intimate and far-reaching. Readers might feel unfooted, but they will never feel unsure, guided as they are by prose so assured it might turn the wind, or the tide, or a river’s current.
Bliss incorporates details of physical culture so vivid that they stir sense memories, and details of counter-factual history so specific that they threaten to undermine reality. At the same time, VanderMeer’s deep fascination with how humanity interacts with the environment is a constant during the Glass Drifters’ journey.
Jeff VanderMeer is the World Fantasy Award and Nebula Award winning author of the best-selling Southern Reach trilogy, basis of the critically acclaimed film Annihilation. VanderMeer has produced a body of work so unique and imaginative that the New Yorker crowned him “the King of Weird Fiction.” Bliss is yet another example why.
Limited: 750 signed numbered hardcover copies
From Stephen Graham Jones:
“Ribald and intellectual and playful and hilarious and a technical feat—this is Pynchon and Coover and Nabokov, but it’s also Martin Amis and Percival Everett and Jennifer Egan, while never even for an instant ceasing to provide the magic on the page we’ve come to expect from Jeff Vandermeer. Bliss isn’t just a book from a writer at the top of his game, this is a book that changes the game.”
From Brian Evenson:
“The story of an abortive band tour that goes from bad to (really, really) worse, Bliss shades from the madcap into downright frightening. An off-kilter and darkly funny narrative in which the pov buzzes fly-like between several characters in a way that feels exhilarating and complex and satisfying, it kept me beautifully off balance and kept on surprising me.”
They were a three-piece rock band sailing down the river to a gig in the middle of fuck-all nowhere. The Glass Drifters. Petey and Sarah and Ed. Or Edward sometimes, but never Peter. Petey liked Sarah, Sarah liked Ed, Ed liked Petey, and sometimes Petey liked Ed and Sarah liked Petey. Which is how it felt now going downriver, all of them playing Twister by mistake or on purpose, arranged that way by a speedboat captain who had told them if they didn’t remain locked in position the boat would capsize—too much luggage, too many people, too long a trip.
It was hot. It was humid. Even though Petey liked Sarah he wasn’t too fond of being folded in half, staring at her ass while sweat trickled down her legs and his balls. And Sarah didn’t want Ed’s face that close to hers. Not really. Not with that forest exploding from his nostrils and the vague, plaintive look, as if he couldn’t decide whether to sneeze or come. With Ed, she usually had sex with her eyes shut and sometimes from behind. That way, too, there was no chance she’d have to play pretend and every once in a while, eyes open, there was a nice view out a window as a bonus. Ed liked looking into Sarah’s face. He thought someday she might tell him what he was supposed to do with his life.
The Glass Drifters were traveling downriver at the behest of a millionaire—a businessman who had brought some essential service to the ass-end of this war-ravaged part of the country adjacent to their own.
They’d been on the road since four in the morning.
They’d started out at a tourist trap up in the mountains, an improbable former fortress. To Petey, the fortress hugged the mountainside, but Sarah kind of thought the place was reckless, in a way that to Ed said “fuck it” on the other, jutting end, where the buttresses spilled out into improbable Euclidean space.
Now it was early afternoon and the journey seemed endless. Perhaps pointless. The river water was so tired that it couldn’t move. The reflections in it, of the trees, of them, didn’t seem to follow their movements—trapped there, left behind, only to reappear later, still motionless. In the distance, a haunting: a heron or stork or crane. It was too far away and none of them were birders. Something big and avian, with a long neck and the silhouette of an up-ended shovel. It made metallic rasping sounds like displaced gravel. It remained in their line of sight longer than seemed natural, just like their reflections.
“Stupid stupid,” Ed muttered, but the others didn’t know about what.
Secretly, Petey wished Ed wasn’t on this trip, so it could just be him and Sarah. That the reflections might only show him and Sarah, and maybe the weird bird.
This all happened a long time ago. Everyone in this story is dead, bones scattered across fields, buried in backyards, sunk into the banks of rivers. Everyone who ever heard this story is dead, too.
- Scott Eagle
- Jeff VanderMeer