Jeffrey Scott VanderMeer was born on July 7, 1968 in Pennsylvania. He is an editor, writer, teacher and publisher. He is known for his contributions to the New Weird and his stories about the city of Ambergris, in books such as City of Saints and Madmen. He has also authored the series The Southern Reach Trilogy. VanderMeer is the founding editor and publisher of the Ministry of Whimsy Press. One of the Ministry's publications, The Troika by Stepan Chapman, won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1997. VanderMeer's reviews and essays have appeared in The Washington Post Book World and Publishers Weekly. He is a regular columnist for the Amazon book-culture blog, and has served as a judge for the Eisner Awards. VanderMeer has also started to experiment in other media, resulting in a movie based on his novel Shriek. His title Finch was nominated for the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novel. VanderMeer is working on a new series of novels entitled "Southern Reach." The first Southern Reach novel, Annihilation was published in February 2014, and the second novel in the series, Authority, was published on 6 May 2014. The last novel, Acceptance, is planned for September 2014.
Author Peter Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1943. He earned degrees in English from the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. He taught English at his former high school for three years and worked for a time on his doctorate in Ireland. He began writing in 1969 and published two books of poetry in 1972. His novel Julia (1975) was an attempt to find a successful genre in which to work, after his first novel, Marriages (1973), did not sell well. He found that he had a talent for writing horror thrillers in the Gothic tradition. His stories are complex and well paced, with authentic settings that add to the believability of the plot. He is particularly good at creating grotesque characters and gruesome situations; the eeriness of his work is captivating. He has won numerous awards including the British Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the World Fantasy Award.