Signal Boost: The Third Bear by Jeff VanderMeer

Underword’s Signal Boost picks up posts of interest and passes them on to others. The latest Signal Boost features The Third Bear by Jeff VanderMeer.


Largehearted Boy has posted “Book Notes – Jeff VanderMeer” — a special music feature about Jeff VanderMeer’s collection The Third Bear. The post includes “The Quickening” (2010), an exclusive free PDF of the only original story in the collection. You can also find it listed below.

The Third Bear has been one of the best-reviewed collections of 2010, with starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, among others. It was also blurbed by Junot Diaz and Mike Mignola.

Per Jeff, all royalties received from The Third Bear will go to supporting the translation component of the Leviathan 5 anthology project. A worth goal!

From the larghearted boy’s website:

In his own words, here is Jeff VanderMeer’s Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection, The Third Bear:

My latest story collection The Third Bear is meant to be tight and unified, unlike my prior collection Secret Life, which was meant to be loose and free-flowing. Any and all musical styles would’ve served for Secret Life. But The Third Bear is a different creature. It’s somewhere between elegy/dirge and celebration, chronicling the strange moments that occur more often than we want to believe. At base, it’s a collection that’s about the search for something beyond what we know—a search either forced upon the protagonist or eagerly sought out by that person. It’s also an acknowledgment that certain things will always be beyond our ken. The stories, in terms of music, seem to me to be coiled and constantly turning in on themselves, with the counterpoint of moments that burst free from that maze. I don’t know if that makes any sense, because I’m trying to convey a feeling in my brain that probably can’t be put into words.

Regardless, the soundtrack that makes the most sense to me would include bands that do the same thing in their music: they can be sedate and subtle one moment, and then transcendently noisy and out of control the next.

[Read the rest of Jeff VanderMeer’s feature on the largehearted boy’s website.]

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
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