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Matt Ruff Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Fool on the Hill (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Set This House in Order (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bad Monkeys (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Mirage (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lovecraft Country (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
88 Names (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Sewer, Gas and Electric (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of The James Tiptree Award Anthology Books

The James Tiptree Award Anthology 1 (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Matt Ruff is an American author best known for writing books like Set This House in Order and Lovecraft Country. Matt was awarded the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, a Washington State Book Award, and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award for his third book, Set This House in Order. Those awards allowed him to secure a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts that helped him to write his fourth novel, Bad Monkeys.

Ruff was born in 1965 in New York City. He had a love of books from a very young age and knew that he wanted to be a fiction writer from the age of five years old. He would spend much of his early life learning how to write and tell stories. Eventually, he attended Cornell University to study writing and English even more. As part of his senior thesis in Honors English, Ruff wrote the novel Fool on the Hill. His work was so impressive to his professor, Alison Lurie, that she helped him to find an agent to get the book published. It was six months after his graduation that Fool on the Hill was sold to Atlantic Monthly Press. From this moment on, Ruff was a full-time writer. At times he would need a little help with foreign rights sales, generous family contributions, and grant money, but he was able to make a full dedication to writing and it has been his primary occupation since his college graduation.

With his fourth novel, Bad Monkeys, things really started to pick up for him in his career. That book would win the 2008 Washington State Book Award for Fiction, a PNBA Book Award, and an Alex Award. The book even got optioned to be made into a film. He would then go on to write his sixth novel, Lovecraft Country was another big hit for him and lead to it being turned into a television series by HBO with huge names like Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams attached to produce it.

Matt’s family are Lutheran and he is of German ancestry. His father was a hospital chaplain, and his mother was a missionary’s daughter. His mom was always very supportive of his writing and dreams, and one year she bought him a typewriter as a birthday gift. Ruff’s mother would pass in his last semester at Cornell. A few months later, after his first novel was published, Ruff would also lose his father. Matt got through this by telling himself the story that they had done their jobs, but that doesn’t stop him from continuing to think about and miss them.

One of Ruff’s most popular books is Lovecraft Country. This book takes place in 1954 and combines the terrors of life in Jim Crow America for the black community and combines them with the horrors of Lovecraftian horror and fantasy. The book starts with a 22-year-old Army veteran named Atticus Turner who is living in the south when he receives a letter summoning him back to Chicago. Atticus returns to see what his father Montrose is up. The two don’t have a great relationship, but he’s close with his uncle George. Upon his arrival, the two discover that Montrose has headed off to New England to search for something related to Atticus’ dead mother and their ancestry. Atticus and George, along with their friend Letitia, head off to New England in search of his father.

Their trip takes them to a very old and segregated portion of New England and, eventually, to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite. He is the heir to the estate and the estate can be traced back to one of Atticus’ ancestors who was a slave their. The group discovers Montrose in chains as he is being held prisoner by a secret group that calls themselves the Order of the Ancient Dawn. The group has ties to the occult and they have all joined together to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus.

They will have to work together to try and escape this predicament, but escaping could turn out to only be the beginning of their problem with Braithwhite and the Order of the Ancient Dawn. This is a powerful novel with a unique blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that tells its horror story through the equally terrifying lens of racism. A true page turner, it’s easy to see why this drew the attention of Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams.

In Ruff’s Bad Monkeys, almost everyone is consider to be a bad monkey of some time. The book sees a woman named Jane Charlotte telling her story to a psychotherapist in the Las Vegas County Jail nut wing about how she was assimilated into the Bad Monkeys, an organization dedicated to fighting the forces of evil. It remains to be seen if she is crazy or sane, but Jane is still a murderer and someone is dead by her hands. As the book goes on, nothing in Jane’s story is quite what it seems. She talks of tracking a serial killer and talks about her brother, but the ideas get turned on their head as more details come out. The book is full of unexpected twists and turns, and is told at lightning speed. Bad Monkeys is fantasy, falsehood, and science fiction, all mixed together in a wholly unique way.

Matt is also the author of 88 Names that is based in the world of online role-playing games. John Chu is a paid guide to these games that, for a fee, will provide players with a top-flight character equipped with the best weapons and armor, and take them to the most exciting parts of the game. Chu’s latest client is the wealthy Mr. Jones who is offering big money for a tour of the world of VR gaming. As the tour begins, Chu starts to suspect that Mr. Jones is really North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and that he has ulterior motives in the game. Making matters worse is “Ms. Pang” who may or may not be an agent of the People’s Republic of China, and his angry ex-girlfriend, Darla Jean Covington. Chu’s online adventure will take him into the real world where he’ll fight to stay one step ahead – because unlike the game, you can die in real life.

Matt Ruff is a noteworthy American writer of science fiction, comic, and thriller stories. He has written several widely successful standalone books in his career. They include Fool on the Hill, The Mirage, Bad Monkeys, Lovecraft Country, etc. He has also penned a short story collection called Sewer, Gas, and Electric that was published in 1994. Ruff’s work in the field of literature has helped him to win several popular awards, including the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, Washington State Book Award, and the PNBA Book Award. Additionally, he has been nominated for awards such as the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, John. Campbell Memorial Award, and the World Fantasy Award. Author Ruff was born as Matthew Theron Ruff on September 8, 1965, in New York City. His family followed the Lutheran ideology and he belongs to the German ancestry. Ruff’s father was a chaplain at a hospital, while his mother was the daughter of a missionary.

When he was 5 years old, Ruff showed an interest in becoming a fiction writer after growing up. Throughout his childhood and adolescence, he was involved in learning the art of telling stories. However, his desire to be a writer was not taken seriously by many adults when he was small. Some of them even tried to persuade him to develop other interests and choose some other career. But, he received a lot of support from his mother, who was quite hopeful that her son will grow up to become a successful writer. On one of his birthdays, Ruff’s mother gifted him with an IBM typewriter. The first serious attempt made by Ruff at writing a novel was a soap opera kind of story based on a family that had too many children. He was quite fascinated by the topic of siblings as he has several older half-siblings. Ruff finished this novel in the 70s, but could not publish it.

While describing it, Ruff said that the story did not contain an overall plot and had only several loosely connected episodes. There were chapters where the kids would compete among themselves to dig tunnel systems under their house and then fall sick due to weird flu. If he had the chance to write it in a different period, Ruff would have tried to start the entire thing again. Author Ruff has spent a major part of his career focusing on full-length fiction novels. Although, he wrote a few short stories in between. During elementary school, Ruff wrote numerous short stories featuring his classmates that were cribbed from TV of movies. His first experience of performing for an audience was when he was made to read aloud those stories in the English class. The experience made him believe that he can entertain people with his effective storytelling abilities.

When Ruff was in the final semester at Cornell University, he lost his mother. His father also died soon after the release of his first novel. While growing up in New York City, Ruff studied at a parochial school until eighth grade. He graduated high school from the Manhattan-based Stuyvesant High School, where one of the teachers was the popular Irish-American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt. In 1987, Ruff obtained his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. One of his English professors at university was the American academic and novelist Alison Lurie, who helped him in finding an agent. Many of the earlier works of author Ruff remained unpublished. They include a fantasy novel that he had started in the late 70s and early 80s and had finished writing 13 out of the planned 16 chapters.

From 1982 to 1984, Ruff worked on a semi-autobiographical story about the son of a Lutheran Minister. It was an attempt to make it clear to his parents that being a devout Christian was out of the question for him, which they already knew. In 1985, he worked on a coming-of-age story during the sophomore & junior years at university. It was set in Queens and centered around a female character that was inspired by one of his classmates. After finishing the 400-page manuscript, Ruff gifted it to the girl. Ruff gained the attention of the critics with the release of his debut book, Fool on the Hill. It is based on his experience while studying at Risley Residential College and published immediately Ruff completed his graduation from university. Its grand success motivated him to write other novels, win several prestigious awards, and become a well-established author.

A successful book written by author Matt Ruff is entitled ‘Set This House in Order’. It was released by Harper Perennial in 2004. The primary characters featured in this novel include Andy Gage, Penny Driver, Aaron, Adam, Aunt Sam, Seferis, Jake, Gideon, etc. Initially, it is mentioned that Andy Gage was murdered by his stepfather soon after his birth in 1965. The murder was not an ordinary one as it was not a real one. Andy was abused and tortured by the stepfather that killed his soul and not his body. Then, as he grew up, the broken pieces of his soul came together to co-inherit Andy Gage’s life. As he begins to face the outside world, many other souls take shelter inside his head in an imaginary house, who struggle to maintain their orderly coexistence.

Among the souls living inside Andy Gage’s head, there is Aaron, a father figure; a frightened little boy Jake; an artist named Aunt Sam; a mischievous teenager Adam,’ Gideon, and Seferis. Andy Gage’s coworker named Penny Driver also suffers from multiple personality disorder. But, she only has partial information about it. When Penny’s souls ask for Andy’s help, he agrees reluctantly and this sets into motion a serious of events that threaten to destroy Andy’s head’s house. Later, Andy and Penny work together to unravel a dangerous secret that Andy has kept hidden from everyone, including himself.

Another excellent novel penned by the author is known as ‘Bad Monkeys’. It was also published by Harper in 2007. The principal character of this novel in Jane Charlotte. Ruff has depicted at the start of the novel that Jane Charlotte gets arrested on the charge of murder. Upon interrogation, she informs the police that she belongs to a secret group that is devoted to battle against evil. Also, she has a separate division in the organization which is commonly referred to as Bad Monkeys. As soon as Jane Charlotte makes this confession, she is transferred to the psychiatric wing in the jail. A doctor is appointed to study her condition and find out if she is crazy, lying, or playing an altogether different game. The story then moves forward to describe a gripping and clever plot that keeps the readers intrigued until the last line.

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