Saturday, October 8, 2016

Jeff VanderMeer's new nonfiction book in progress... (from a July 2016 interview)

INTERVIEWER TO JEFF VANDERMEER [in July 2016]: You’re working on a nonfiction book, that sort of deals with some of these topics, right?

JEFF: I’ve got around 20,000 words so far. Some of it is based on essays that were published in the site Electric Literature and some of it is unique to the book.

It’s essentially about the storytelling we’ve done, both fictional and nonfictional, about our environment, about our natural environments, and of course the key anchor to those environments: animals, and how we view animals.

So there is a kind of historical section talking about the different ways that we have approached this, from folk tales and other things, to a section on the present day, in both fiction and science. And then an extrapolative section: what would storytelling look like if we really incorporated this complexity but found a way to turn it into a narrative that’s still coherent, that still speaks to readers, that isn’t too experimental, although I also list some experimental things.

So it’s kind of a “what if” book that’s grounded in history and I think it’s different from some other books about global warming out there because of that, because it’s trying to find an organic way to talk about non-fictional and fictional storytelling about what has lead us to global warming, basically.

Or what had led us to the attitudes that have allowed us to develop this situation…So, it’s also kind of an indictment of hard-tech, as well, but I tried not to let it become a polemic, it’s more about the creative side of things.

IQ: It sounds very interesting.

 JEFF: Maybe. I hope. Whenever I jump off a cliff like this, I never know what’s waiting for me at the bottom, if it’s a finished book or just a mess, so…we’ll see.

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