The Third Bear

The Third Bear

Jeff VanderMeer

“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

Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy) 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.

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The Third Bear

by Jeff VanderMeer

ISBN: 9781892391988

Published: 2010

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and eBooks

Description

“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

Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy) 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.

Praise for The Third Bear

“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

“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.”
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.”
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review<DIV>

About Jeff VanderMeer

World Fantasy and Nebula Award-winning author Jeff VanderMeer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Reach Trilogy, Borne, City of Saints and Madmen, Finch, and Booklife. A film of the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation, will be released as a science fiction thriller starring Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. VanderMeer’s fiction has been translated into more than twenty languages and his novels have appeared in numerous year’s best lists including Publishers Weekly, Verge, and the Wall Street Journal. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in Washington Post Book World, the Huffington Post, the Guardian and the New York Times Book Review. He is also the editor of numerous canonic anthologies such as The New Weird and the Steampunk series, co-edited by his spouse, Ann VanderMeer. Vandermeer grew up in Fiji and lives in Tallahasse, Florida.

Praise for Jeff VanderMeer

“The best of our contemporary visionaries, who could well be creating the dominant literature of the 21st century.”
—Michael Moorcock, The Guardian

“Jeff VanderMeer is an extraordinary writer…passionate, beautiful, complex, terrifying.”
—Tamar Yellin, author of The Genizah at the House of Shepher, winner of the Jewish Book Council Award

“In the hands of a brilliant writer like Jeff VanderMeer, writing fantasy can be a means of serious artistic expression. In VanderMeer’s hands, it is also playful, poignant, and utterly, wildly, imaginative.”
—Peter Straub, author of Ghost Story

“One of the most literary fantasy writers or fantastic literary writers we’ve got working these days, take your pick.”
—Ron Hogan, Mediabistro’s GalleyCat

“One of modern fantasy’s most original and fearless pioneers.”
—Richard K. Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

Visit the Jeff VanderMeer website.

Contents

Appoggiatura
Errata
Finding Sonoria
Fixing Hanover
Lost
Predecessor
Shark God Versus Octopus God
The Goat Variations
The Quickening
The Secret Life of Shane Hamill
The Situation
The Surgeon’s Tale (with Cat Rambo)
The Third Bear
Three Days in a Border Town
Afterword