Daily Archives: December 6, 2007

A Moment of Clarity

I was just taking one of those Internet tests to see how much of a geek I am, when I suddenly thought, what the fuck am I doing? I’m a published science fiction writer. Do not pass “go,” do not collect $200, you know? Just go straight to the geek win.

That’s right, I win at geek. Tell me I’m wrong.

A Month of Writers, Day Six: Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is a guy who does weird well, which sounds like he spends most of his time skulking and muttering, but that’s not what I mean (I know Jeff personally; I’ve yet to see him skulk, and he mutters no more than the average person). What I mean he builds worlds that are strange but compelling; when you visit his fictional city of Ambergris, as you will in Shriek: An Afterword, in the first hour you’ll be going “what the hell?” and then in the second and subsequent hours you’ll be hoping that you won’t actually ever have to leave. See, that’s doing weird well.

But Jeff knows a secret, which is that every day life can be weirder — and far less comprehensible — than any fiction. To make this point, please enjoy the following video presentation, in which Jeff tells a story involving his step-daughter, a corporate mascot, touch-sensitive Britons, testicles, and Jeff walking into a room with an incriminating substance on his hands. This all happened.

(The original entry, with comments, is here. Also, visit the Web site of Shriek: An Afterword, all kinds of audio, video, and text, here.)