Secret Life, by Jeff Vandermeer (Golden Gryphon, 305 pages, $24.95)
Jeff Vandermeer slips around among science fiction, fantasy, horror and the category resisting definition known as slipstream. The Secret Life is a major work collecting his best stories over the past decade and a half.
"Exhibit H" is a very funny excerpt from an Ambergris travel guide with warnings to stay off the streets at night when the mushroom people are about. "The Festival of the Freshwater Squid" is a mock newspaper article about the annual squid celebration in a small Florida town. "Greensleeves" is a charming story about a librarian with a giant frog loose in her unusual library.
The author's notes give interesting bits of autobiography of a born writer who is redefining his field. Even literally writing on top of his field: When he had no other paper with him, VanderMeer had to write a story in the margins of a China Mieville book.
— Fred Cleaver, The Denver Post, Sunday, July 25, 2004
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