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Posts Tagged ‘jeff vandermeer

The Language Of Victory

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My joint review of Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies by Daniel M Kimmel and Monstrous Creatures by Jeff VanderMeer is up now at SF Site. It turned into a bit of a ramble about the point of collections of criticism:

You love the fantastic, it is in your blood. You have devoted a substantial part of your life to it, a part friends and colleagues have sometimes suggested has been wasted. Sometimes you wonder if they are right. You have poured your blood out through your pen but you find yourself unregarded, unrewarded and out of pocket. You are invested… so you want a return on your investment. How do you crystallise this labour into something that means something? How can you — whisper it — moneterise it? The answer is, of course, a book. A book is an artefact that has value (even in this day and age) beyond its pulped wooden weight. Commensurate with this prestige is a question though: why do my thoughts deserve collecting?

Eventually I got onto the books themselves. Guess which one contains thoughts worth collecting.

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Written by Martin

2 July 2011 at 09:26

Get Off

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Jeff Vandermeer sets out his six rules for writing sex scenes. I am stumped by rule three though:

(3) Don’t use offensive or stupid terms. Several words leap to mind that are either offensive or stupid in the context of a sex scene. You should know what they are, and I’m not going to repeat them here. Just be aware of your terminology, because if you make a mistake or use something inappropriate to the context, your sex scene will either turn people off or annoy them. Terminology should not bring the reader out of the story.

I’m just not sure what these offensive or stupid words are. Vaginal sludge, perhaps? I wish Vandermeer had been a bit more explicit because the context of every sex scene is different and there aren’t any words I can think that need a blanket ban from the bedroom. My teasing notwithstanding, that Jim Younger quote actually works in the context of his ridiculously over the top novel.

In the comments to his post Vandermeer is seeking the best and worst sex scenes. As always, I nominated James Salter for the best. A Sport And A Pastime is generally considered to be his erotic novel but Light Ages is even hotter.

Written by Martin

12 March 2009 at 15:05

‘Exhibit H: Torn Pages Discovered In The Vest Pocket Of An Unidentified Tourist’ by Jeff Vandermeer

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Further evidence that Kessel and Kelly equate meta-fiction (and long titles) with slipstream. This is an enjoyable slice from Ambergris that feels pretty slight once divorced from the mosaic motherlode.

Quality: ***
Slipperiness: *

Part of Feeling Very Strange

Written by Martin

15 October 2008 at 15:34