World Fantasy Award nominee 2011.
Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, inventive
contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer continues to amaze with this
surreal, innovative, and absurdist gathering of award-winning short
fiction. Exotic beasts and improbable travelers roam restlessly through
these darkly diverting and finely-honed tales.
Highlights include "The Situation," in which a beleaguered office worker creates a child-swallowing manta-ray to be used for educational purposes (once described as Dilbert meets Gormenghast); "Three Days in a Border Town," where a sharpshooter seeks the truth about her husband in an elusive floating City beyond a far-future horizon; "Errata," following an oddly-familiar writer who has marshaled a penguin, a shaman, and two pearl-handled pistols with which to plot the end of the world. Also included are two stories original to this collection, including "The Quickening," in which a lonely child is torn between familial obligation and a wounded talking rabbit.
Chimerical and hypnotic, VanderMeer leads readers through the postmodern into a new literature of the imagination.
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.