This is the real-time reviewer, about two years ago, at the Minsmere Bird Sanctuary, Suffolk, England (not too far from Dunwich):-
The WEIRD (41)
Real-Time Review continued from HERE.
The WEIRD: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
First published in Great Britain 2011 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd.
The Hide – Liz Williams
“…the liminal lands between sea and pasture, summer and winter, life and death.”
I know about bird-hides having been ‘persuaded’ to visit several by my wife and daughter over the years. And this story has, for me, a wonderful ‘genius loci’ – reminiscent also of the ‘land’ in ‘The Ghoulbird’ and elsewhere in this book. It is about a narrator who visits a particular hide with her New Age sister and boy friend – and they see cormorants… but black or white ones? [I also know Glastonbury very well (or Glistenberry as I sometimes call it!) having had family holidays there in the seventies, before the New Age thing really kicked off - the Abbey Ruins, the Tor, the Chalice Well Gardens, etc. visits spurred on by John Cowper Powys - and Glastonbury's Animal Zodiac (also see the zoo in 'Nemonymous Night')] – anyway, less of that personal hinterland of mine (!), this story takes on a significance to this whole book and some of my earlier views on it: and also explicitly to Jackson’s “Summer People” syndrome – and my contention that the Weird is some form of Autumn or (dying) Fall before a teeteringly endless Winter. And the creaturification of the mind, involving a mooning paranoia (burrs, here represented by birds) and, in counterpoint to the Angela Carter and Murakami stories, here we have a vision, inter alia, of black snow. ‘The Hide’ has many absolutely incredible cross-references with those ideas as well as being a completely separate work of lingeringly visionary power. And featheredly touching.
“People lived here once. A very long time ago, when this land was called the Summer Country:” (3 Dec 11 – another 2 hours later)
Dust Enforcer – Reza Negarestani
I have just read a good deal of this and skimmed the rest. Perhaps I’m not in the right mood but it seems something I shall never get into, so it would be a false economy to try to do so. I shall keep an eye open for other reviews of ‘The WEIRD’ when I have finished mine, then perhaps pursue reading this ‘story’ again. I often enjoy what I see as experimental fiction (eg ‘House of Leaves’), so maybe I have a blind spot for this. Sorry. (3 Dec 11 – another hour later)
Continued as The WEIRD (42) HERE.
Index of this whole real-time review HERE.