The Third Bear

( 2 )

Overview


Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer continues to amaze with this surreal, innovative, and absurdist gathering of award-winning short fiction. Exotic beasts and improbable travelers roam restlessly through these darkly diverting and finely honed tales.

In “The Situation,” a beleaguered office worker creates a child-swallowing manta-ray to be used for educational purposes (once described as Dilbert meets Gormenghast). In ...

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Overview


Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer continues to amaze with this surreal, innovative, and absurdist gathering of award-winning short fiction. Exotic beasts and improbable travelers roam restlessly through these darkly diverting and finely honed tales.

In “The Situation,” a beleaguered office worker creates a child-swallowing manta-ray to be used for educational purposes (once described as Dilbert meets Gormenghast). In “Three Days in a Border Town,” a sharpshooter seeks the truth about her husband in an elusive floating city beyond a far-future horizon; “Errata” follows an oddly familiar writer who has marshaled a penguin, a shaman, and two pearl-handled pistols with which to plot the end of the world. Also included are two stories original to this collection, including “The Quickening,” in which a lonely child is torn between familial obligation and loyalty to a maligned talking rabbit.

Chimerical and hypnotic, VanderMeer leads readers through the postmodern into a new literature of the imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Locus Magazine
Fascinating... the harmonics between the stories cross all sorts of boundaries.
From the Publisher

“Elegantly crafted stories ably demonstrate VanderMeer’s skill at telling tales of wonder in language that enhances the reading experience”
Library Journal, starred review

“One of our very best contemporary practitioners of the fantastic...superb prose, overwhelmingly odd situations, and fascinating, eccentric characters.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Jeff VanderMeer is not to be trusted. He hypnotizes with shiny objects, bizarrely beautiful shapes and phrases, then (more often than not) gently drifts you into very dark places. You won’t know where you’re going till you get there and then, of course, it’s too late.”
—Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy

"In the hands of a brilliant writer like Jeff VanderMeer, writing fantasy can be a means of serious artistic expression. . . . It is also playful, poignant, and utterly, wildly imaginative."
—Peter Straub, author, The Talisman

“Cunningly crafted stories full of wonder and intelligence.... VanderMeer proves again why he is so essential and why everybody should be reading him.”
—Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Vandermeer’s stories hit one’s hindbrain slantwise—they offer no easy answers and no comfort. Rather they are hard, brilliant gems meant to cut and shine—these are some of the most beautiful, upsetting, and accomplished tales I have ever read.”
—Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Orphan’s Tales

The Third Bear contains some of my favorite stories of recent years. There’s the meticulous workplace surrealism of ‘The Situation,’ the remorseless multiworld cataclysms of ‘The Goat Variations,’ the beautiful eldritch heartsickness of ‘The Surgeon’s Tale.’ Jeff VanderMeer is one of the very best.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead

“Annexing the weird half-lit spaces between genres, these stories lean sometimes into fantasy and SF, sometimes into metafiction, but are always deft and pleasurable reads. VanderMeer is one of the few writers out there able to coax something startling and necessary from anything...a very strong collection.”
—Brian Evenson, author of Last Days

“The stories in this collection are smart, gorgeous, allusive, and tricky. VanderMeer is a fantasist extraordinaire.”
—Jack O’Connell, author of The Resurrectionist

“Jeff VanderMeer’s work is subversive and disquieting, possessed of an almost kinetic force in its impact upon the mind. Body horror gone viral, fairy tales wrapped in their own entrails, and metafictional murder; these and other images herein are sure to leave their mark and fester in the subconscious. Already a well-regarded fantasist, The Third Bear reveals VanderMeer at his most fearsome.”
—Laird Barron, author of The Imago Sequence and Other Stories

“One of the leading fantasists of this generation, Jeff VanderMeer’s new collection is a must-have for any discerning reader.”
—Rick Klaw, editor of The Apes of Wrath

“Reminiscent of Japanese surrealist author Haruki Murakami...VanderMeer’s stories are provocative marvels.”
Sacramento Book Review

“...Crisp, elegant slightly detached prose and stories...much to admire and enjoy.”
Fantasy-Magazine.com

“When you add all these [stories] together, what you have is a collection that the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson might have written if they really wanted to mess with the heads of small children.... Ten out of ten.”
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

Sacramento Book Review

Reminiscent of Japanese surrealist author Haruki Murakami . . . VanderMeer's stories are provocative marvels.

Library Journal
In the title story, a monster of seemingly supernatural powers threatens a small village, forcing its leader to find the only way to save his home, while in "Fixing Hanover," a seaside salvage reconstructionist balks at repairing a mechanical device he fears will bring about his own doom. These 15 elegantly crafted stories ably demonstrate VanderMeer's skill at telling tales of wonder in language that enhances the reading experience. VERDICT Fans of imaginative literature and true speculative fiction should appreciate this groundbreaking collection by a World Fantasy Award winner that calls to mind the works of Borges, Kafka, and Stanislaw Lem.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892391988
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff VanderMeer is the best-selling author of City of Saints and Madmen, the noir thriller Finch, and the quintessential guide to writers, Booklife. His award-winning novels have made the year’s best lists at Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Pos, and the New York Times Book Review.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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