Review of Jeff Vandermeer’s new book “Dead Astronauts”

Space quest, climate polemic and literary experiment collide in a challenging and visionary epic

The critique of corporate capitalism is clear to see, and this first act, strange and abstracted though it is, is not without precedent. Fans of weird literature are sure to find echoes of Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun, Zachary Jernigan’s underappreciated Jeroun books, even Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

Climate fiction is an important strand in contemporary literature, so much so that in its repeating imagery, its insistent narrative of imminent catastrophe, it may begin to seem over-familiar and thus lose its urgency.  From his 2014 Southern Reach trilogy onwards, it has become clear there is no subject more important to him than the degrading and disastrous effect of human activity on fragile ecosystems. Employing stylistic and linguistic devices that reach beyond narrative, the author deliberately deconstructs the very concept of familiarity and forces us up against his subject matter in a way that demands we not only engage with it, but recognise its vast importance to our lives and futures.


Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.

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