Nebula and World Fantasy Awards winning author Jeff VanderMeer is interviewed by Emir Alışık on the Byzantine parallels in Ambergris cycle, and the appropriation of history in fantasy settings.
Emir Alışık is the curator of “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture exhibition in the Pera Museum. He is currently the project manager at the Istanbul Research Institute Byzantine Studies Department and a PhD candidate at the Istanbul University Art History Department. His research interests lie in the reception of late Byzantine thought in the Italian Renaissance art, and speculative fiction’s engagements with Byzantine history. His latest article “Towards an Unearthly Byzantium: Mapping Out Topoi of Byzantinisms in Speculative Fiction” appears in “What Byzantinism Is This in Istanbul!”: Byzantium in Popular Culture exhibition catalogue.
Jeff VanderMeer is an acclaimed novelist and editor, a pioneer of the New Weird. Among many of his nominations, he is a recipient of Nebula, Shirley Jackson, and World Fantasy awards both as a fiction writer and as co-editor with Ann VanderMeer of tomes such as The Weird, New Weird, Big Book of Classical Fantasy, and Big Book of Modern Fantasy. His award-winning novel Annihilation was adapted into a movie in 2018 by the director Alex Garland. His fiction has been the topic of numerous academic research articles, and books by respected academic publishers. The Ambergris Cycle has been re-released in a single volume by MCD books in 2020. His most recent novel is Hummingbird Salamander.