Jeff VanderMeer and the weird art he inspires

Matt sez, "Cool arts and culture site Dark Roasted Blend offers this exclusive interview with New Weird fantasy author Jeff VanderMeer. The article is accompanied by about a dozen of the weirdest illustrations culled from Jeff's books and stories."

New Weird is a type of urban, secondary-world fiction that subverts the romanticized ideas about place found in traditional fantasy, largely by choosing realistic, complex real-world models. It creates settings that may combine elements of both science fiction and fantasy. New Weird has a visceral, in-the-moment quality that often uses elements of surreal or transgressive horror for its tone, style, and effects – in combination with the stimulus of influence from New Wave writers or their proxies (including also such forebears as Mervyn Peake and the French/English Decadents).

New Weird fictions are acutely aware of the modern world, even if in disguise, but not always overtly political. As part of this awareness of the modern world, New Weird relies for its visionary power on a "surrender to the weird" that isn't, for example, hermetically sealed in a haunted house on the moors or in a cave in Antarctica. The "surrender" (or "belief") of the writer can take many forms, some of them even involving the use of postmodern techniques that do not undermine the surface reality of the text.


(Thanks, Matt!)

(Image credit: Back cover of Vandermeer's book The Situation, by Scott Eagle)

See also:
Urban spaces and sf: interview with Jeff VanderMeer
Economics in fiction with Stross, VanderMeer, et al
Photos of you acting dead needed for indie film
Thackery T. Lambshead Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases