Jeff VanderMeer, thoughts?

zaltys13

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I am familiar with him more as an editor than writer, I have a fantastic collection called The weird, a massive sprawling collection of stories ranging from H P Lovecraft to Daphne Du Maurier, which thinking about it isn't that much of a stretch :) The Southern Trilogy peaked my interest recently when it was recommended in an E-Mail from Subterranean Press.
 

Hazen Sealock

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Yeah, I picked up these books on the strong recommendation of a friend who usually never steers me wrong. Usually. I didn't feel that Annihilation stood on its own. More of a teaser or novella. It seemed like it could go somewhere, though, so I kept on. Acceptance I actually enjoyed for the most part, finally finding in Control something of a sympathetic character and seeing some kind of plot structure (including narrative hook, which the first novel sorely lacked outside of the Weird angle). And yeah, second person is almost always horrible. I didn't see the need for it, and the author could not pull it off the same way that Egan pulled off her various styles in A Visit from the Goon Squad (how she made PowerPoint work is simply amazing. And if you're into that kind of thing, check out Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris; third person plural!). Despite some strong elements (the Saul bits, mostly), the third novel just fell apart for me.
 

sooC

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I read Finch, and as a result decided not to bother with the Southern Trilogy despite the good reviews. Like Springs I had trouble taking to his style, and I wanted to like the book (cordyceps give me the heebee jeebees). I also agree with Extollager's comment about it being easy to adapt into a movie, in fact I would have preferred to sit through a screen adaptation than read it.
 

The Bluestocking

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I got as far as page 10 and then, well, it's the only book this year that I have actively decided to not finish. If the screen adaptation came out, I'd give it a whirl but otherwise, the writing isn't my cup of tea.
 

GOLLUM

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I am familiar with him more as an editor than writer, I have a fantastic collection called The weird, a massive sprawling collection of stories ranging from H P Lovecraft to Daphne Du Maurier, which thinking about it isn't that much of a stretch :) .
This is the best (and most comprehensive) anthology of Weird fiction I've come across. Really excellent.

I quite enjoyed Vandemeer's earlier works but I have not read his current work.

To date his masterpiece foe me remains Veniss Underground.

He and his wife Ann have also edited some other really good anthologies including Steampunk and so-called New Weird.
 

Nechtan

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I read City of Saints and Madmen last year and I just finished Shriek: An Afterword at the weekend. I thought they were amazing. Really inventive and unusual.

It's funny but sometimes when I see other people's views on books I wonder whether they are actually talking about the same book I read.


I don't mean to deny others the right to form different opinions on books that I do. But sometimes I just don't understand where they are coming from...
Fried Egg, I feel like this a lot. I completely agree that everyone has their own opinions but it's just odd when the things that you thought were a book's greatest strength are another's weaknesses and vice versa.
 

Pedro Del Mar

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I finished Annihilation last night, I stayed up relatively late for me and fought sleep to reach the end. Must be honest, I finished the book with a feeling of disappointment due to the lack of clarity given by the author into what exactly is going on. The sense of mystery and impending doom certainly had me gripped but I was hoping to have finished the novel with a deeper understanding of the circumstances surrounding Area X.

I have Authority and Acceptance sat on the shelf and I'm now at a crossroads. Do I continue or cut my losses and give up? I quite enjoyed the style and story but if no further understanding if given in these following novels then I'm going to feel frustrated.

Please could someone let me know (without spoilers!) if by the end of the trilogy it is made clear what's happening or does the tale finish still shrouded in mystery?
 

Extollager

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I found the final volume unfinishable. It might turn out differently some other time.
 

tylenol4000

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I read a really great interview he did with China Mieville one time. It's online somewhere. It was more of a discussion. I love hearing two really talented authors discussing books, genre and other such topics. Although Mieville did kinda spoil 'The Terror' by Dan Simmons, which I was planning on reading...
 

Pedro Del Mar

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I've decided to continue and I'm part way through Authority. I'll see how it goes and I usually finish a book once I've started
 

Toby Frost

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I have to admit that Wonderbook put me off Vandermeer’s fiction – well, off Finch, which sounded like an interesting idea. I didn’t like the writing in any of the excepts he quoted.

I have mixed feelings about Wonderbook itself. The text seems good to me, but I’m not sure what the purpose of a lot of the illustrations is. For a certain type of person it’s probably very inspiring, but for me, I prefer to read blocks of writing and just found the other stuff rather offputting. It also gets (for me) very technical at times, with lots of diagrams about how stories work that felt more like complex literary criticism than how-to-write. That said, it’s probably very good if your mind works like that – which mine doesn’t.
 

Pedro Del Mar

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Two thirds the way through Authority and it's a different beast. It fluctuates from having me hooked to passages that just seem nonsensical.
 

Pedro Del Mar

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I finished Authority last night. More because I'm a stubborn old git rather than because I've enjoyed the series, I'm going to begin part 3 of the trilogy this evening: Acceptance.

In my opinion the first book Annihilation was much better written than Authority. The latter seemed to jump from present to past without any warning so at times I didn't know when things were supposed to be taking place or where. It was very confusing and if I'm honest not a book I'd recommend. It did have sections that had me hooked but mainly due to me wanting to find out what exactly Area X is, and to be honest I don't think I'm actually going to find out. The way it's going if Acceptance is anything like Authority then I'm going to be left very disappointed with what I'd read was supposedly an excellent series.
 
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