Jeff VanderMeer with Paul Constant
A most welcome Elliott Bay return is made this evening by the brilliantly imaginative novelist Jeff VanderMeer. Author of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the first book of which, Annihilation, won a Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award, and Borne, he is here tonight with his newest, Dead Astronauts (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
“In the ruin of the world that the nefarious Company has left behind after its biotech experiments went south, such things [confusion about identity, existence] are commonplace, and nothing is quite as it seems, although everything dies. Sometimes, indeed, everything dies even as it lives, which explains why those three astronauts, a nicely balanced blend of ethnicities and genders, are able to walk and talk even as their less fortunate iterations lie inert ...Much of the action in VanderMeer’s story is circumstantial, but it provides useful backstory to his previous books Borne and The Strange Bird, delivering, for example, the origin story of the blue fox and emphasizing the madness of a humankind that destroys the natural world only to replace it with things very like what has been destroyed. Or at least that’s their intention, creating instead a hell paved with the results of mad, bad science. VanderMeer is a master of literary science fiction, and this may be his best book yet.” - Kirkus Reviews.
Jeff will appear in conversation with Paul Constant, writer and co-founder of SeattleReviewofBooks.com.