Dear Jeff VanderMeer,
I love to write. It's a steadfast passion that doesn't seem to wane no matter what life has to throw at me. Through my endeavors to create a tangible world that transmutes to the reader, I delve inwards, spending time spelunking through the percolating primordial stew of my imagination. It's a place that's resplendent with colorful fauna of characters and crisis, horror and grizzle, beauty and enlightenment. While my brain works tirelessly to manifest these worlds on its own, I'm always at the mercy of the books I read. They inspire, invigorate, and help build this imaginative fauna into newer and more brilliant visions.
So many authors have lent their own creativity to bolster mine, but none other so much than your incredibly powerful, smoky, and delicate writing style.
It was within your novels that I discovered the potentiality of breaking the seemingly steadfast barriers into the ethereal marshlands of literary science fiction. I started my journey with Annihilation, followed swiftly by the rest of the Southern Reach Trilogy. These books transfigured the natural world around me, your tantalizingly creepy, visceral, and delicately woven words disrupting my vision and dreams in a beautiful way. The sun no longer fell in complicit pathways, but meandered with an intention of its own. Shadows bore a darker hue of menace. The tangled and slightly molded vines of my squash plants carried fragrances that I'd never noticed before. As I consumed the trilogy one word at a time, everything around me came to life, the change born entirely from the vivid otherness that you imparted on the page, .
I am stirred by your writing style and by the intimate way you ask the reader to unravel the story on their own. I decided to delve deeper. Next up was Borne, followed by The Strange Bird, and topped off with your editing work on The Weird compendium of science fiction stories. The strength, flaws, and intelligent determination of your female characters made them endearing friends and mentors to me, as they fought to survive the terrors of your post-apocalyptic landscapes and the emotional hurdles of the men that entangled themselves within their lives.
Reading your novels has incubated a wonderful sense of confidence in the weird and strange that I have always strived to create in my own work. For this, and all of the above, I want to thank you for the gift of untethered freedom that your creative ingenuity and brilliant writing has bestowed upon me.
Your local bookseller, Chelsea