Dec 24, 2019

Advent Calendar: 24th Wormhole

Last but not least some more new weird.
Hope you folks have the time to read and relax a lot over the festive days!

Jeff VanderMeer
Jakob says: My Christmas present to myself: read a book by Jeff VanderMeer. I am an avid fan not only of his Southern Reach Trilogy, but maybe even more so of his earlier Ambergris and Veniss novels and stories. However, I kept putting up reading one of his more recent novels, Borne. Stupid me! Now I‘m at it, and of course I love this post-apocalyptic story of parenthood. Especially since the „child“ that the main character has decided to care for is a shape-changing creature that, in its usual form, looks like an upside-down vase with tentacles coming out of it, and that occasionally has all kinds of eyes (bird-eyes, fish-eyes, human eyes) swirling over its body. Would you believe that this is an endearing creature? Well, it certainly is more endearing (and more human) than that kaiju-sized flying bear hovering over the city …
I‘m going for the big, gimmicky stuff, which will lure you into reading this, but the essence of Borne is of course more than that: it is, as mentioned before, an honest depiction of parenthood (especially the scary parts), and it deals with heavy political stuff – like a protagonist who has spent most of her life as a fugitive from social and ecological disaster, but still vaguely remembers having a life where you could go to a restaurant or even to school … the creatures and vistas of Borne are outlandish, but the psychology of its characters (including some of the creatures) is so close to home that it hurts - in the best way that good books can hurt.
(What, you have already read Borne? Then you need to go and get Dead Astronauts, VanderMeers brand-new novel that picks up on elements from Borne!)

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