Information about the author.
Jeff VanderMeer’s last book, City of Saints & Madmen, explored the limits of literary fantasy, garnering raves from critics, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Now, with Veniss Underground, VanderMeer explores the limits of love, memory, and obsession in a far future SF novel that combines the grotesque and the sublime in a rousing adventure-mystery.
On a far future Earth where vast deserts—ecological disaster areas—surround walled city-states slowly losing their grip on advanced technology, the mysterious Quin manipulates biological engineering to create sentient species as both toys and a growing source of manual labor. When Nicholas, a failed holo artist, decides to visit Quin, he, his programmer sister, Nicola, and her former lover, Shadrach, will all discover what it really means to know Quin, in the place known as Veniss Underground.
In Finch, mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps have reconquered the failed fantasy state Ambergris and put it under martial law. They have disbanded House Hoegbotton and are controlling the human inhabitants with strange addictive drugs, internment in camps, and random acts of terror. The rebel resistance is scattered, and the gray caps are using human labor to build two strange towers. Against this backdrop, John Finch, who lives alone with a cat and a lizard, must solve an impossible double murder for his gray cap masters while trying to make contact with the rebels. Nothing is as it seems as Finch and his disintegrating partner Wyte negotiate their way through a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception. Trapped by his job and the city, Finch is about to come face to face with a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever.
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.
Once upon a time, on the banks of the River Moth, a city sprang up like no other in or out of history. Founded on the blood of the original inhabitants, the stealthy gray caps, and steeped for centuries in the aftermath of that struggle, Ambergris has become a cruelly beautiful metropolis—a haven for artists and thieves, for composers and murderers. City includes the World Fantasy Award-winning novella The Transformation of Martin Lake.
The World Fantasy Award and British Fantasy Award finalist Ministry of Whimsy, publisher of the Philip K. Dick Award winning The Troika, presents the latest installment of the original anthology series Leviathan. Featuring Zoran Zivkovic’s short novel The Library. From Michael Moorcock to L. Timmel Duchamp, Jeffrey Ford to Brian Stableford, Leviathan 3 showcases the best of contemporary fantastical fiction. Also including work by Rikki Ducornet, Carol Emshwiller, James Sallis, with translations of Gautier and Gourmont.