Daryl Gregory’s WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE is a delicious treat, full of madness, absurdity and philosophical surrealism
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE is a delicious treat, full of madness, absurdity and philosophical surrealism. The reading requires a keen, open-minded spirit and the willingness to dare an unconventional experiment, without questioning every detail and waiting for explicit explanations. I’m warning you, it’s going to be weird, fantastic, crazy and sometimes even a bit scary. Daryl Gregory likes extreme things and does not shy away from brutality. The trick is to look behind the shrill, nerve-racking scenes and to pay attention to the meaning of silent, thoughtful moments. Those who can embark on this approach will experience a unique adventure – with the bizarre self-help group of all time.
Translation from German courtesy of Google.
In their article “D&D Cosmology & the DC Universe,” DIY & DRAGONS offers an unexpected mention of the Shirley Jackson Award-winner WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE.
Seanan McGuire’s “Every Heart a Doorway” and its companion novellas do something similar to D&D and DC by applying systematization to the fantasy worlds of classic portal-fantasy fiction. McGuire imagines that events like Dorothy travelling to Oz or the the Pevensie children traveling to Narnia happen with some frequency, and that the children who come back from trips to fantasy worlds need group therapy and to live in a special asylum to recover from their journeys and readjust to living in the real world.
So, obviously, McGuire is doing something a bit postmodern and metafictional, as Daryl Gregory does in WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE where the survivors of common horror-movie plots form a support group to cope with their shared traumas
Shiri Sondheimer for THE ROARBOTS interviewed Gregory.
San Diego Comic Con isn’t all about the pretty pictures and upcoming blockbusters. There’s actually a massive literary presence throughout the week and tons of fabulous authors with whom one might have the opportunity to speak. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Daryl Gregory, author of WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, Afterparty, and, most recently, Spoonbenders, to talk about reading, writing, and psychic spies.
SWS: One of the things I’ve loved most about your books is that they feature supernatural extremes in a very normal world. How do you strike that balance?
DG: Part of it is, I feel like I’m cheating in a way. If you set things mostly in the real world, where the supernatural is intruding into it, you can do less work as a writer. You can just have the character say, “We’re going to Colorado,” and you don’t have to explain “Colorado.” But also I like the grittiness of the real world because when the strange stuff starts happening… I’ve always liked that effect. I like when things are off-kilter and there’s something about a dirty windshield and a dirty road and then a monster by the side of the road that gets me going. I can’t explain why… maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time daydreaming and hoping stuff would happen and I was trapped in the real world and I just wanted something to come through.
For information on WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY FINE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover design by Elizabeth Story