Annihilation is two things: it’s a close and personal character study of a biologist with a spider-silk connection to the rest of humanity that is slowly being severed, and it’s a deeply strange but structurally perfect story about a wilderness that infects and changes the people who enter it. Annihilation is weird and tense and pacy, and I’ve never before been made to feel as close to a story’s setting as I am to its characters. Reading VanderMeer’s prose is like wading into a bog. You sink and sink until you realise you’ve gone too deep and may never resurface.
There was much activity in town when Death arrived.
“The twins have opened a Starbucks at Union Square!” said a stranger, when Death stepped off the bridge on Delancey. He nodded in pleasant response to this, though he was not certain what a Starbucks was or why the twins would have bothered with it. Read more
N.K. Jemisin does Gaiman better than Neil in this warm, weird story about gods and what they do when there aren’t any people around. (more…)
A beautiful and sinister novel about memory, loss and emotional decay. I dipped into All the Perverse Angels expecting a quirky artsy story about love and loss, but what I got was a dark, surprising journey downwards into a damaged mind that can only grip the realities it can reach through a picture frame. I sank completely into this book, biding my time, soaking up the cold atmosphere and agonising over the awful things the characters put each other through. There are ‘slow’ books and ‘quiet’ books, but I now suspect they are failed prototypes for this, which is neither.