Shriek: An Afterword

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Ambergris (#2) Published: 2006 I read it: June 2018 There’s something about the book you read around the time of the summer solstice. Sitting outside in the evening when the birds, beasts, and insects are all lively—the day creatures mingling with the night flyers. I knew…

The Strange Bird

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, novella Full title: The Strange Bird: A Borne Story Published: 2018 I read it: March 2018 Each turn in the story, like a bird dipping across a gray sky before storms, turns around the question: who is the Strange Bird? She is a she, but is she known by more?…

The New Weird

Editors: Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, short stories (anthology) Published: 2008 I read it: September 2017 When I first read Jeff VanderMeer, I was also reading H.P. Lovecraft for the first time. Because of that, and because of my limited exposure to authors in this vein, I over-attributed much of VanderMeer’s craft to…

Borne

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, novel Published: 2017 I read it: May 2017 Jeff VanderMeer returns to the wonderfully weird. His latest novel is set in a not-too-distant future or a parallel now, after the collapse of most of society. Rachel is a scavenger in an unnamed city, “a damaged city, a city that could…

City of Saints and Madmen

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, short stories Part of series: Ambergris (#1) Published: 2002 (this version) I read it: May 2016 The first version I found at Half Price Books was only “The Book of Ambergris.” It’s an older paperback with the cover evoking a surrealist Spanish painting, an appropriate little artifact that vibes well…

Acceptance

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Southern Reach (#3) Published: 2014 I read it: February 2015 There comes a time in every series when the pages are winding down. You will have to leave the characters soon, after all this time together. You get nervous. How can the author wrap all this…

Authority

Author: Jeff VanderMeer Type: Fiction, novel Part of series: Southern Reach (#2) Published: 2014 I read it: February 2015 When Annihilation wrapped up, it seemed like the story could go anywhere. Yet it was so solid a book that it could almost work as a standalone novel, already a direct descendant of Lovecraft’s story/novella “At the Mountains of Madness”…