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A triumph of the bizarre

VanderMeer’s Recommended Reading List
1. – Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
2. – The Gormenghast Trilogy, Mervyn Peake
3. – Lanark, Alasdair Gray
4. – Jerusalem Poker, Edward Whittemore
5. – The Chess Garden, Brooks Hansen
6. – The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, Angela Carter
7. – Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
8. – Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
9. – Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
10. – Observatory Mansions, Edward Carey
11. – Possession, A.S. Byatt
12. – In Viriconium, M. John Harrison
13. – Arc d’X, Steve Erickson
14. – V, Thomas Pynchon
15. – Sinai Tapestry, Edward Whittemore
16. – Quin’s Shanghai Circus, Edward Whittemore
17. – If Upon a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino
18. – Collected Stories, Franz Kafka
19. – The Master & Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
20. – The Collected Stories, J.G. Ballard
21. – The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
22. – Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
23. – The Birth of the People’s Republic of Antarctica,
John Calvin Bachelor
24. – House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski
25. – The Riddle Master trilogy, Patricia McKillip
26. – The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino
27. – The Circus of Doctor Lao, Charles Finney
28. – The Circus of the Earth & the Air, Brooke Stevens
29. – Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift
30. – Dictionary of the Khazars, Milorad Pavic
31. – At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O’Brian
32. – The Troika, Stepan Chapman
33. – Solomon Gursky Was Here, Mordecai Richler
34. – Darconville’s Cat, Alexander Theroux
35. – Don Quixote, Cervantes
36. – Poor Things, Alasdair Gray
37. – Geek Love, Katherine Dunn
38. – The Land of Laughs, Jonathan Carroll
39. – The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, Ursula K. LeGuin
40. – The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson
41. – Little Big, John Crowley
42. – One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
43. – The General in His Labyrinth, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. – The Seven Who Fled, Frederick Prokosch
45. – Already Dead, Denis Johnson
46. – The Fan-maker’s Inquisition, Rikki Ducornet
47. – Entering Fire, Rikki Ducornet
48. – The Passion of New Eve, Angela Carter
49. – Views From the Oldest House, Richard Grant
50. – Life During Wartime, Lucius Shepard

Jeff VanderMeer‘s fiction, for my money, is the best value in modern fantasy; his every book is packed with delectable and wicked delights, loads of lush and ominous scenery, taut (bordering on poetic) writing and deep, dark currents of thought – an intense recipe that is sure to invigorate the whole genre of modern fantastic fiction. He has won two World Fantasy Awards, has been a finalist for the Hugo Award, Bram Stoker Award, Philip K. Dick Award, and as you will see below, currently displays no signs of slowing down.

(original unknown, see also Jane Wynn‘s concept)
Also, a word to our international audiences in Europe and Japan: there must be translations of your books in other languages? Spanish? Russian?

I have translations of my books in French, German, Russian, Czech, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Serbian, and several others, with translations of stories in countries like Brazil, for example. I used to document my progress in world domination, although it’s now somewhat out-of-date: Note the photos of the alien baby at the South Pole.

My new site – features observations on writing and pop culture, movie reviews, music reviews, book reviews, polemics, and, of course, the rantings of Evil Monkey. I’ve been posting more and more so content updates daily. Not to mention, you can visit for a bunch of video and audio objects related to Shriek, including the Shriek movie.

(art by Scott Eagle)
One last question – please tell us three things about you that most people don’t know?

1. I played varsity soccer in high school and was my school’s racquetball champion my senior year.
2. I am terribly afraid of cockroaches because while growing up in Fiji, there was a type that would burrow into your ears while you slept.
3. I was tremendously shy in my early 20s and had to force myself to do public speaking, something that I don’t mind at all now.
Thank you Jeff, that was a pleasure, and we wish you all possible success writing the stuff that we all crave for. Barring advent of cockroaches, we should see more wonderful fiction, published under your name in gorgeous editions, full of eclectic art. Truly a case to celebrate – a triumph of the Bizarre.

The King Squid – design by John Coulthart, from “City of Saints and Madmen”

Source: Jeff VanderMeer
(interviewed by Avi Abrams, Dark Roasted Blend) LINK