World Fantasy Award nominee.
In the far future, on an Earth of many-leveled cities, such as Veniss, and man-made deserts, the bioengineering known as Living Art is burgeoning. If you can afford them — and as always, few can — you can have manufactured creatures to do whatever tasks you set them. Living Artist wanna-be Nicholas wants a meerkat and is prepared to work for the prodigious Quin, greatest of Living Artists, to get one. When Nicholas disappears, his twin sister, Nicola, tries to find him; after acquiring a meerkat herself, as a gift, she is all but killed by... Nicholas. Her ex-lover Shadrach, who grew up in subterranean Veniss and escaped to the surface to better himself, then sets out to find her, Nicholas, and, eventually, Quin.
"VanderMeer, founder of the sf-fantasy small press Ministry of Whimsy, is nothing if not adventurous. The novel's three parts are in the first, second, and third persons, respectively; its milieu recalls Philip K. Dick, its passages of prose poetry Edgar Allan Poe, its wry fatalism Jim Thompson. Wow." – Ray Olson
Jeffrey Scott VanderMeer (born 1968) is an American writer. He was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but spent much of his childhood in the Fiji Islands, where his parents worked for the Peace Corps. This experience, and the trip back to the United States through Asia, Africa, and Europe, influenced him deeply. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2003, Jeff married editor Ann Kennedy.
Photo: Jeff VanderMeer and his Finnish translators. Taken by Johan A. Creative Commons license.