One of the abiding pleasures of writing books, and being lucky enough to have them published, is the way in which they have led me to discover parts of the literary world I may not have discovered otherwise. Among them is a brand of science fiction and fantasy that’s been given all kinds of labels—my favorite is the New Weird—but basically boils down to books in which many strange and interesting things happen, and in which the writing is really, really good. My running favorite author in this group, which makes him one of my favorite living authors, period, is Jeff VanderMeer, a prolific and vastly talented writer perhaps best known for his books about a fantastical, decaying, and distinctly postcolonial city called Ambergris. In these books, VanderMeer displays not only an astonishingly rich imagination, but also a pretty ridiculous command of numerous fiction styles, from quasi-Borgesian to hard-boiled noir. His books are social, political, personal: everything I want in fiction. If I were the competitive type, I’d say he’s the man to beat.
29 July 2010
Brian Slattery Joins the Third Bear Carnival
The Third Bear Carnival continues, and will continue to continue over the next few weeks, I expect. The latest
freakshow act contribution comes from Brian Francis Slattery, who offers some thoughts on "The Goat Variations" and "Three Days in a Border Town" over at The New Haven Review. Here's a taste: