The WEIRD (43)
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.
3 Dec 11 – another 90 minutes later
The Lion’s Den – Steve Duffy
This is another re-review: i.e. from here:
<<“They both saw the lions fall upon him, and then he was lost beneath their colliding bodies…”
This could be the enduring Zoo story of all time (i.e. all Zoo and nothing but Zoo at length) – a substantial experience of supreme stylistic accomplishment by someone who surely must have worked in a Zoo for the whole of his or her life. As well as its sheer plot-driven power, there are moments of feral wonder and secret machinations well in tune with this whole book’s [‘Cern Zoo’] own onward drive. Much video time-shift … and a photographic angst which reminds me of the frantic day a year ago when I took the photograph that is now on the book’s cover because I had to run back a long distance with a borrowed camera to capture the image before my transport left without me. An image that is also in tune with this story in so many inscrutable ways.
I have now discovered that a variation on the theme of THEORY [the then retrocausality caused by the Large Hadron Collider] is of this story’s essence, giving even more dimensions to it. The action takes place before and after the 1999-into-2000 New Year when the Millennium Bug was rampant, a phenomenon that reminds me of what we have been talking about in relation to the Hadron Collider. And this story’s new Memes meanwhile are perhaps quietly roosting like Hitchcock’s Birds, except they’re not just birds…
“Along the walls, the watching worm-lizards pressed greedily against the windows…” (17 Oct 09 – another 3 hours later)>>
There is also a supplementary ‘Lion’s Den Syndrome’ HERE.
Today (over two years later): I feel much the same about this story. Just one of those stories that hits a nerve and stays hitting it. And it is so utterly fitting for the gestalt of ‘The WEIRD’, it just isn’t true! The ‘boy’ in the previous story, just one of the connections. And here we have added for us the last turn-of-the-century’s pre-ebook artefacts still in technological evolution. The cage-bars, too. And the world beyond them. And, without all that, it is simply a great perfectly written, compelling story accessible to all – with suspense by night-wire (an even older technology)!
This story will reproduce the “memes” of ‘The WEIRD’ ad infinitum, ad absurdum, ad pet-anthropomorphum. Parthenogenetically.
Continued as The WEIRD (44) HERE.
Index of this whole real-time review HERE.