Veniss Underground
Jeff VanderMeer

U.S. Trade Paper
Feb-March '03 (Prime)

U.S. Ltd. Hardcover
May '03 (Night Shade)

U.K. Trade Paper
Oct. '03 (TOR UK)






Alien Online has run a short interview with Jeff about Veniss Underground.
Alien Online

SF Site likes Veniss Underground: "There are so many layers to this seemingly spare novel, that I'm still marveling at the elegance of the writing. For a glimpse of true literary genius, read Veniss Underground."
SF Site

The Scotsman likes Veniss: "City-state Veniss is one of humanity's last redoubts against the polluted wastelands of the Earth, but it is corrupt and rotting from within. Veniss Underground is the Pandemonium that lies beneath it, a netherworld straight out of the paintings of Hieronymus BoschÂ….This is an outstanding first novel brimming with startling ideas made unpleasant flesh by Vandermeer's deliciously decadent prose."

Two major UK writers weigh in on Veniss with advance blurbs:

"Veniss Underground is a darkly beautiful and genuinely nightmarish tale which takes the established ground of dystopian SF by storm and twists it into something utterly new. Jeff VanderMeer has little time for the conventions of a coherent futuristic world-instead, characters of almost mythic simplicity and power stalk a landscape that owes as much to Hieronymous Bosch and Salvador Dali as it does to SF mavericks like J G Ballard or Simon Ings. Cataclysmic external events rub shoulders with brooding personal self examination and intense, dislocated moments of beauty and terror that are nothing short of dreamlike. Warning: do not take hallucinogenic drugs whilst reading VanderMeer's work - it simply won't be necessary. Yup, it's that good." - Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

"A striking and unusual blend of wonders. Stark, intricate and gripping, Veniss Underground takes the reader on a moving journey through a world which is endlessly surprising." - Ian R. MacLeod, author of The Light Ages


SciFi Dimensions has reviewed Veniss, calling it "lyrical, beautifully descriptive, and often quirky."
SciFi Dimensions

Lost Pages has reviewed Veniss, calling it a "lurid and fascinating mix of exotic fantasy, dark horror, and imaginative far-future science fiction."
Lost Pages

A UK reviewer who received an advance copy of Veniss has this to say: "Veniss Underground has echoes of Jack Vance, Hieronymous Bosch and George A. Romero, and VanderMeer at his best can match China Mieville for industrial-strength descriptions of awful strangeness any day."


CNN.com's Porter Anderson reviews Veniss Underground as the lead review for the Books section of CNN Showbiz, writing in part: "Veniss Underground is not to be missed for several reasons. First, it's profoundly serious. In our own society, made daily more stupid by sitcoms, VanderMeer's relentlessly grim vision is a gift. Second, the book defines with surgical clarity the strength of the human heart, even a broken one, and the weakness of the flesh, even enhanced. And finally there's the writing."


Veniss continues to garner praise from a variety of publications "Harrowing, horrific, hallucinatory and haunting in its depiction of the polymorphously perverse fleshscapes born from the twisted mind of [its characters], which seem to have infected reality itself, Veniss is astonishing, repellent, funny, exciting and ultimately moving." - SciFi Weekly

"VanderMeer, author of City of Saints & Madmen, operates at the borders of science fiction and fantasy, mingling the effects of both genres to create something unsettlingly original. Veniss Underground is full of beautiful sentences, black humor and terrible wonders, an audacious riff on the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Every scientific revolution gets its vanguard science-fiction novel. For the Information Revolution, it was William Gibson's Neuromancer. For the biotech revolution, it's Jeff VanderMeer's Veniss Underground. That [VanderMeer]has been compared to Philip K. Dick is no surprise. He unearths the emotions that transform technologies from toys into tools and back into toys. Vandermeer's vision of a world transformed by biotech is dense and beautifully written. Most importantly, like Gibson, he connects the technology intensely with the individual." - The Tallahassee Democrat

March 2003

Veniss Underground is now available for immediate order through

Faren Miller has reviewed Veniss in the March issue of Locus Magazine:
"Visual, in-your-face horrific, mixing wit and shadows like the best contemporary graphic novels...I didn't quite grasp the spirit of this book until I went back to it after a three-hour immersion in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. As scenes from Shadrach's journey [in Veniss], weirdly exquisite, began to play across my mind's eye, echoing the work of expert cinematographers and special effects artists, those graphic qualities came to the fore. Never mind Sunday funnies, Bugs Bunny animation cells, or Night of the Living Dead; VanderMeer's in another zone...[Veniss] will show up on my next Year's Best list."

February 2003

Publishers Weekly has posted an interview with Jeff about Veniss Underground. It originally appeared in the February 3rd issue of the magazine.
Publisher's Weekly Interview

Jeff sold limited edition hardcover rights to Veniss Underground to Night Shade Books. Pre-ordering available.

January 2003

Bookmunch has posted an excellent review of Veniss Underground. Be warned-it contains spoilers!
Bookmunch Review

Jeff has just sold Yugoslavian rights to Veniss Underground, for publication later in 2003.