The Weird Thoreau @newyorker, January 14, 2015
The three weirdest books I read last year were all by the same writer.
His name is Jeff VanderMeer, he’s from Tallahassee, Florida, and he’s
the King of Weird Fiction. He writes in the genre—his 2009 novel “Finch”
is a detective story, reminiscent of “Blade Runner,” set in a city
divided between normal people and mushroom people—and he champions it:
with his wife, the influential sci-fi and fantasy editor Ann VanderMeer,
he’s edited the anthologies “The Weird” and “The New Weird.” It’s self-defeating, of course, to try and define weirdness (although VanderMeer has offered definitions). A lot of fiction, moreover, merely pretends to it, invoking its atmosphere without being, in fact, all that weird.
Filed in: currently reading (bk 1, Annihilation).