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Minh Nguyen
Posted on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 12:43 am:   

Hello Jeffrey,
I just placed a pre-order for the PUNKTOWN deluxe edition through Shocklines, so here's hoping I don't get laid off from my job anytime soon! Man, that is an expensive book, but I know it will be worth it. As you already know, I loved the original PUNKTOWN so it was a no-brainer that I was gonna buy this version.
It said on the Delirium website that the people that buy this edition will be characters in an upcoming story!?! That is too damn cool! If everything works out and I do get the book, can my character die in a hail of gunfire? Just a thought. Oh yeah, and also quoting Nick Cave when I die...
Take care and congratulations on all of the great projects coming out.

-Minh
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Jeffrey Thomas
Posted on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 12:09 pm:   

Don't push it, Minh, don't push it! :-) THANKS for ordering the Ultra, man!! You surely rule!!!!! It *is* an expensive book so I was SHOCKED that it's already half sold out in one day. I'll give you a good part in the story, I promise! ;) Right now I'm calling it THE COLOR SHRAIN. (Maybe I should call it THE COLOR MINH?) Sorry about the cost, and maybe your bills will get behind, but I'm glad you have your priorities straight! :-o
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April Harkness
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2003 - 12:34 pm:   

When is the "Ultra" edition of PUNKTOWN going to be released? I curious to see what an "Ultra" edition looks like, since they sound nice but not something that I would normally buy. I know that there are "Ultra" editions of Keene's THE RISING and Piccirilli's MEAN SHEEP, but with only 6 copies each, I doubt that I'll ever see one of those. Just curious...
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Jeffrey
Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2003 - 01:14 pm:   

The "Ultra" Punktown (from Delirium Books) should be out any time now, April,though all 26 copies are already sold (I think Camelot Books has a copy or two for sale). I'm anxious to see what it looks like, myself! I have a number of limited edition traycased books coming out (LETTERS FROM HADES, GODHEAD DYING DOWNWARDS, and BONELAND will all have an edition of this kind) but I've never seen ANY traycased book, myself, so I know it will be exciting for me. :-)
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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, May 23, 2003 - 08:16 pm:   

Well, I've now got a copy of Monstrocity, but I'm wondering: will I "get" it, not having read Punktown? Should I wait until I get Punktown, and read that first, or does Monstrocity stand on its own?
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Jeffrey
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 10:19 am:   

I like to think MONSTROCITY stands on its own...I try to make every Punktown piece, every short story, capable of standing on its own. Maybe I can't see the forest for the trees anymore, but I think you'll do okay with it. :-)

PUNKTOWN ULTRA arrived two days ago and it's a treasure, just on a sensory level alone...the smell and feel of the leather binding and outer box...ahhhhh!
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 01:48 pm:   

I read Monstrocity without having read Punktown, and it stands very well on its own. Wanna read Punktown now...
Monstrocity is reviewed in my May Locus Online column, which should be up any time now...
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April Harkness
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 12:50 am:   

How many stories are in the "Ultra" Edition of Punktown? Will all of those stories be included in the Prime Books edition?
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Jeffrey
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   

Claude, I heard you were to review MONSTROCITY - I can not wait to see that! I'm glad you're interested in reading PUNKTOWN as a result...

April, there are 18 stories and 1 poem in the Ultra - all but one story (a bonus for the Ultra, which incorporated the names of all 26 people who preordered the book) will appear in the Prime edition. (There were 9 stories in the original Ministry of Whimsy edition...which for its beauty and what it's meant to me will no doubt go down as my favorite edition of all my books past and future; that's why in the introduction to the Ultra I gave Jeff VanderMeer the key to the city. I wish Jeff had a copy of the Ultra but he'd have to sell his collection of paintings by Martin Lake to afford it!)
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 01:45 pm:   

Are there any left? I can probably buy one. How much? And that's awfully kind of you re the intro.

JeffV
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 02:16 pm:   

Jeffrey:
do make sure that I get a review copy of the Prime edition of the Punktwon Ultra (don't send me any leatherbound books, though; I'm a rabid animal rights guy, and I have to admit that all this gushing over leatherbound books -- not to mention their very existence -- has me more than a little troubled...)
Also: Jeffrey, can you email me at
lostpages (at) look.ca
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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 02:32 pm:   

Animal rights? I figure animals have pretty much the same "rights" as humans, for what that's worth. I don't have any more problem eating cow than I do lettuce, though, and if I did it would be more along the lines of "the feed that fed this cow could have fed ten hungry people" than "this poor cow was slaughtered horribly." On the other hand, I do lobby pretty actively against puppy mills (and pet stores that support them), against the treatment of veal calves, and I work at a bird hospital. But I have lots of friends that live on farms, and I've noticed a fundamental difference between those who live on farms and everyone else. Most people look at a cow and say, "Oh, a cow!" People on farms look at a cow and say, "Dinner." It's just a matter of perspective, I guess. I'm against cruel treatment of animals. I'm against fucking up the environment that they (and we) need to survive and live in. But I certainly enjoy eating them.

And I have now gone on at (relative) length in entirely the wrong forum. :-)
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:15 am:   

The Locus Online review is up
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Jeffrey
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   

Claude, what a wonderful, wonderful review - thanks so much! What a relief; one never knows how a book will be received. I'm flattered to have my Punktown stories mentioned in the same paragraph with the likes of DiFilippo, VanderMeer and Mieville. I'm fascinated that you can see Montreal in Punktown, and observe that a Londoner or New Yorker might feel the same sense of recognition. I've never lived in anything but a small town, which is probably why cities seem so awesome, frightening, dazzling to me. I recognize you from your photo; I've seen you at ReaderCon repeatedly; this year I'll have to introduce myself to you!

Re: animals. I used to be a leather cutter at a boot company and later at a pocketbook company, and the smell of leather gives me a nostalgic sense of those younger days. But I stress that I used to be horrified at the skins I was given to work with. They were frequently scarred from injuries the animals apparently received while alive; I'd see mysterious wounds that had been stitched...maybe an operation that had been to the animal's benefit, but who knows? Worst of all were the brands. Some skins had multiple brands, apparently from the cow's having passed hands. But some of these brands covered HUGE areas...it was monstrous to see these things, and how deeply they penetrated into and through the skins.

My wife and I tried to stop eating pork and beef about ten years ago, but I'm ashamed to say I didn't last long. I've heard it said that if you eat meat, you aren't an activist...not sure if that's fair. My wife and I have donated to animal groups many times, and are very compassionate. Anyway, in researching my current novel I've been reading about the slaughter of pigs and it's just appalling, depressing. I hope I can outrage people a little with my story. Some years ago I watched FACES OF DEATH (much of which, including I hope the monkey brains sequence, is faked anyway) and I wasn't much roused by it until they started showing animals being killed in slaughterhouses, which had me literally yelling at my TV screen. So I hope I don't come across as insensitive to animals. I'm one of those people who (perhaps unfortunately?)gets more haunted and angry by footage of animals starving in an Iraqi zoo than by images of suffering humans. Though I often think animals are more worthy of my concern.

Jeffrey- proud owner of a Japanese dog (Akita-Isu) and Japanese amphibian (Japanese fire-bellied newt, I THINK).
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Jeffrey
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 02:14 pm:   

P.S. - Jeff V., I think all the Ultra Punktowns are spoken for, alas, though Camelot Books might have one for sale. But the intro for the Prime version will be almost exactly the same, so... :-)
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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 02:47 pm:   

>>I'm one of those people who (perhaps unfortunately?)gets more haunted and angry by footage of animals starving in an Iraqi zoo than by images of suffering humans.


I remember some interview with Poppy Brite where she mentioned that although she could write about the most horrendous things happening to human beings, she couldn't stomach any violence against animals. I thought about it and realized that it was true for me too, but as a reader. Not sure why that is. Or whether it's a good or a bad thing.
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Mastadge
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 03:05 pm:   

It's the same thing with most people. With some very few exceptions (such as Hitchcock), a director can gruesomely slaughter as many people as he want in a film, but one of the prime Hollywood rules is never to kill the dog. You'll lose the audience. People are either "desensitized" or for some reason simply less affected by atrocities and so forth committed against humans than animals - particularly cute ones. Which, by the way, is one of the "reasons" that often bugs me: if people choose vegeterianism for the sake of health, or even animal rights, more power to them. But I hate it when people refuse to eat meat because "animals are cute." Anyway, I generally fail to see the difference between eating plants and eating meat, and I wonder why there aren't people lobbying to stop the wholesale slaughter of wheats and grains and legumes. I try to stick to meat that's been slaughtered as humanely as possible, and treated (relatively) humanely in life - usually kosher meats from a butcher I trust - but I like my steak and I can afford it. I must admit I'm not a big fan of most pork products, anyway.
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:03 pm:   

Jeffrey:
Although I have a prepraid membership that I bought at the end of last year's con, I might not make it to Readercon this year. I'm still in the midst of deciding. There are several good reasons for me not to go, sadly...
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Jeffrey
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:48 pm:   

That's too bad! :-( I finally have some communication with you and I can't say hi in person! Hopefully you can make it the next year, then. ???

In my research on the slaughtering of pigs, I read an article that showed the inner workings of one of England's "better" slaughterhouses. It was monstrous! No matter how humane places are, so long as there is a man in a room with an animal destined to die, chances are good that man is going to strike that animal if it isn't moving along quickly enough to its own demise. But having said that, and as upset as I get, I still eat meat. It's the paradoxical way of humans. After I watched that video of FACES OF DEATH and roared at the on-screen slaughter of animals, I went out and bought Chinese food, full of meat, the irony (or hypocrisy) not lost on me at the time.
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Claude Lalumičre
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 06:04 pm:   

I might still go to Readercon... I'm torn about it. I'll be making up my mind soon, though.
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Jeffrey
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 12:21 pm:   

(I meant I roared at the filmed slaughter of animals as in roar of outrage, not roar of laughter!) BTW: In MONSTROCITY I take a stab at factory farming...Lovecraft style.

Hope you can make it, Claude.

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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 12:57 pm:   

Yeah, I'm about halfway through MONSTROCITY now, and I noticed your reference to pig slaughter in the paragraph about the subjectivity of evil.

In other news, my copies of Terror Incognita and Aaaiiieee!!! came in today. Amazon.com still has copies of the hardcover of TI, so I went with that edition rather than the TPB.
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Jeffrey
Posted on Sunday, June 01, 2003 - 06:05 pm:   

Huh, I forgot about that part. There's much more about the uses of animals toward the end. It gets weird. Hope you're enjoying MONSTROCITY.

Glad you were able to find one of the last TI hardcovers, and flattered that you'd want to! In that edition, each story is preceded by a little introduction (the trade doesn't have this). Hope you like it, and AAAIIIEEE!!!

Jeesh, I really appreciate your interest in my work!!! :-)
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 08:09 am:   

Just ordered PUNKTOWN. I should have bought it from you at Readercon, but now I'm getting it. I can't wait to see it!

JK
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Jeffrey
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 04:15 pm:   

Better late than never, John - I appreciate your interest in it!

News on the German version of PUNKTOWN: the publishers drove 7 hours to meet with H. R. Giger, who is providing cover art, so that he could autograph the signature sheets to the book (Michael Marshall Smith, who provides the introduction, has signed them as well). I'm told the publishers discussed PUNKTOWN with Giger a lot, and he has changed his mind about which painting of his should appear on the cover (this is his third choice so far, and the one he currently favors was my secret first choice for the book...so I'm crossing my fingers he'll settle on this one). The publishers (Festa Verlag) relate that Giger asked them to say hello to me for him. Whew, that's heady stuff. The book is 80% translated, so I'd better get my posterior in gear about doing the five interior illustrations they've asked of me. It's a thrilling project; the publisher says he wants to make me "famous in Germany". :-)
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Luís
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 05:12 pm:   

Wow -- Giger! Congratulations!

Cheers, and good luck with the German edition,
Luís
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Mastadge
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 06:05 pm:   

I couldn't wait for the Special Edition, so I finally picked up Punktown sometime in June. Good. Very good. As much as I liked your other collections, I thought Punktown really blew them away.

And I liked Monstrocity better than Hades, too.
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Jeffrey
Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 02:46 pm:   

Thanks, Luis!

I'm glad you picked up PUNKTOWN already, Mastadge - the original, Ministry version is so beautifully done; that Fassl cover is just the coolest thing I could ever hope to see on the cover of one of my books. I too think PUNKTOWN is heads above AAAIIIEEE!!! and TERROR INCOGNITA (not that I'm not proud of those collections). PUNKTOWN represents to me the work I expect of myself.

I'm intrigued that you liked MONSTROCITY better than HADES. Nothing wrong with that, though! :-) I'd like to hear from more people who've read both, as to which novel they prefer. I. myself, am wondering if I don't prefer my just-finished novel BONELAND over the both of them - ???
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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, August 05, 2003 - 03:54 pm:   

I think I was a bit disappointed with HADES because the events in the book weren't quite as huge as the cover blurb'd lead you to believe. If not for the blurb saying "and sets in motion a series of events that could lead to the final battle between Heaven and Hell", I think I'd have liked the book more, but that line raises expectations a little higher than the book delivers. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it quite a bit, just not as much as I'd been hoping or expecting to. Whereas with MONSTROCITY, I had no idea what to expect, and I ended up really liking it.
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Jeffrey
Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 04:09 pm:   

I suppose the HADES blurb might lead a reader to think that the Demons/Celestials battle is the primary focus of the story, whereas the story actually takes place on a much more intimate level than that; really, the focus is on one man's experiences in the netherworld. So the big battle/rebellion, while important, is definitely a secondary issue to the more personal one. Blurbs do tend toward hyperbole, by their very nature.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - 06:10 am:   

Jeffrey:

I'm only about three stories into PUNKTOWN, but I'm totally digging it. Where should a humble Jeffrey Thomas fan go next for more cool fiction?

JK
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Jeffrey
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 04:47 pm:   

John, you *rule*. My novel MONSTROCITY, from Prime, takes place in the city of Punktown. It's SF/horror/weirdness with a Lovecraftian slant. And I'm very proud of my novel LETTERS FROM HADES, Bedlam Press, which takes the form of a journal written by a new citizen of Hell. Both are available at Amazon. Also, Earthling Publications has released a novella of mine titled GODHEAD DYING DOWNWARDS, which I could quickly describe as a supernatural tale set in Victorian England. Again, John, thanks for your endorsement of, and interest in, my work!!!!! Wish we'd had more time to talk at Readercon...
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, September 12, 2003 - 08:20 pm:   

I finished PUNKTOWN about two days after posting my first message. Absolutely incredible. I'm leaning towards MONSTROCITY, so I can get my fill of Punktown, and then move on to the rest of your ouevre.

JK

PS--Will you be at World Fantasy?
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Jeffrey
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 03:12 pm:   

No, unfortunately...one of these years, I keep telling myself. THANKS for the kind words, John!!!
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Luís
Posted on Monday, November 15, 2004 - 03:45 pm:   

Here's what the _Punktown_ special edition cover will look like.

Punktown


Look for it in stores!

Best,
Luís
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Jeffrey
Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 01:29 pm:   

Again, I really love this, Luis -- the familiar image from the original MINISTRY OF WHIMSY edition but given a different look via b/w, etc...

(This is the special hardcover edition from PRIME with twice the stories as the original. Coming sooooon...)
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 05:58 pm:   

Uh oh, are we going to have another thing like City of Saints & Madmen on our hands? First the paperback edition, then the bigger hardcover, then a paperback version of the hardcover (but with one piece of artwork changed), and finally a UK edition with even more stuff?

Anyway, I look forward to it.
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Mike S.
Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 01:33 pm:   

There was also a collapsable rubber chair version of Saints that was handy to bring to the beach.
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 02:07 pm:   

I have the new limited edition that comes with a built-in sunshade and a cup holder. Signed by the author.

(Thanks again, Jeff! Both hardcover and paperback designs are with Sean, so you should have a copy of the book in your hands soon-ish.)
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JV
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 07:39 am:   

Mike fails to mention that the rubber chair version of Saints is a one-off that he made himself. So no one else has a copy. I imagine he's working on a quilted version of Punktown right now. And more's the pity--Mike, Atlanta's a huge city with many dens of iniquity and pits of vice. You should get out more and flounder around in them, rather than creating these ghastly one-off limited editions.

Rhys...er, I mean, Jeff V
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Mike S., Mayor of Atlanta
Posted on Thursday, December 02, 2004 - 12:00 pm:   

LOL!
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Jeffrey
Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 02:07 pm:   

Luis...cool...I didn't know Sean was doing a new trade paperback along with the hardcover. Nor, that Mike was doing a quilted edition. Hopefully a nice soft quilt one can read while curled up under it on the sofa, and not a heavy uncomfortable hardcover quilt.
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Jeffrey Thomas
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 12:33 am:   

Great new review of PUNKTOWN at Bookgasm:

http://www.bookgasm.com/reviews/horror/punktown/
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Jeffrey Thomas
Posted on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 - 12:13 am:   

A couple of years ago I came across the following lengthy review of the original, Ministry of Whimsy edition of PUNKTOWN (2000), and I'm not sure if I've shared it at my various message boards or blogs before. The reviewer, Arinn Dembo, says here that the review was intended for the New York Review of Science Fiction but that it was turned down as being too "incendiary." She writes: "Very simply put: I was a happier woman before I visited the streets of Jeffrey Thomas’s Punktown. I was happier because I genuinely believed that it was useless to read science fiction, fantasy or horror any more; happier because I believed that these genres had been strip-mined of every last pebble of their creative potential; happier because it was a relief to set down the burden of my once-vibrant faith in the worthiness of SF to be called “literature”, and surrender any notion of SF ever being taken seriously as Art." Hm! Incendiary? Maybe, but it certainly stoked the flames of my needful ego. You can read her apparently controversial review of PUNKTOWN in its entirety here:
http://www.arinndembo.com/Reviews/Punktown.htm

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