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Set in the postapocalyptic universe of Borne, Dead Astronauts tells the story of three characters caught up in an epic battle against the Company, a biotech enterprise that has produced bio engineered creatures and organisms which subsequently changed the face of the earth forever Not only has the environment been destroyed, time and space have lost their meaning, and the three astronauts travel through various versions of the world the City while arriving at various stages of the Company s power Yes, these are Schr dinger s astronauts, both dead and alive, and the terrain they explore is like a m bius strip if you look for a breezy read, look elsewhere, but if you look for something unusual and original, you came to the right place, my friend Although with around 250 pages, this is a rather short ish novel, it took me quite some time to finish it, as the entrancing, sprawling sentences require close attention There are so many worlds within the individual paragraphs, so many singular images, so many colors, sounds, and smells When I started out reading, I was frequently confused, but then I realized that the book presents a story and then ventures into the perspectives of different characters, thus explaining what the story we just heard was all about We hear the backstories of the three astronauts one of them a tall black woman of indeterminate age named Grayson one of them a shapeshifter named Moss who consists ofoh yes, you guessed it and one of them a heavyset man named Chen with a guilty conscience , we learn about the motivations of the enigmatic traumatized villain Charlie X and of the bio engineered creatures our protagonists encounter, like the duck with the broken wing, the behemoth, the salamanders, and, my favorite, the blue fox.In order to make sense of this daring book, it is instructive to search for clues in all narrative strands In fact, VanderMeer turns his readers into dead astronauts as well and sends them on a mission While on the one hand, this is your classic po mo extravagaza where we are expected to re establish narrative cohesion by connecting the dots of the different storylines angles, it soon becomes apparent that this rabbit hole of a text also forces us to travel to the sources of the apocalypse, the human impulses that lead to the state of the world we are experiencing in the book The perspective offered by the blue fox, an animal formerly tortured by scientists working for the Company, is particularly harrowing to read, and this chapter exudes a relentless vibe that shares a strange kinship with Darren Aronofsky s disturbing movie Mother.This book will certainly divide opinion, as it operates with a disparate structure that reflects the shattered state of the world depicted , makes the reader work pretty hard and although there are multiple worlds, astronauts et al radiates a grim, claustrophobic feel that goes hand in hand with its message about the Faustian will to play God and humanity s penchant for cruelty IMHO, it pays off to take this dangerous trip and look into VanderMeer s narrative abyss Yes, the abyss will look back into you, but sometimes, you need to muster your courage and prepare for some punches in order to experience something new, smart, and fascinating. Dead Astronauts is the second novel in Vandermeer s Borne World For those of us who haven t previously stepped through the sticky portals into this treacherous world, it is an unnerving experience And, our journey is not made any easier by the format which eschews traditional exposition and tangles with wondrous prose and sometimes devolves into things that there are few poetic licenses for Don t expect all the answers or even a leveling off of your confusion Just absorb the imagery and the rhythms and enjoy the ride What is this world we have so boldly entered It is a dystopian future where much of everything is wasteland but teeming with bioengineered life Okay, teeming with odd biotech life like blue foxes, raining salamanders, gigantic behemoths, orbs, one eyed astronauts named Grayson, a moss like creature that oozes through all biology, Chem who sees the future in equations, a duck, a flying monster, a mad scientist, and a sinister all powerful company At first, it felt like a weird western with the three Grayson, Moss, and Chem setting out across the wilderness to make war against the company and its creations But, no western was ever this weird, different, odd There are parts of it so splendid it s worth reading again, but others that are just incomprehensible. Like a dream, the pieces of Dead Astronauts fit together only loosely and often with a logic of their own making Yet those pieces are exquisitely crafted, making it a joy to cobble together, although it is frequently an exhausting effort.A sequel or continuation to the magnificent Borne this is not, yet it goes deep into that world While Borne was a story with some trippy elements, this feels like a hallucinogenic trip with some elements of story Told from the perspective of many narrators and timelines, and alternate realities, the identities and ordering of which often feel like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, to quote Winston Churchill.It is fragmented, disjointed, ethereal and often confusing, with a style best described as experimental, often crossing into stream of conscious More questions seem to arise than answers A saving grace is that VanderMeer kept it short Despite all the challenges, I find this post apocalyptic world of shattered alternate realities and runaway corporate biotech deeply compelling and evocative I received a copy of this book from the author publisher in exchange for an honest review. 9 21 2019 this cover is interesting fugly it s been fixedsomeone f cked up the dates on this one.like, the audio was published last year that paperback comes out next year.WHAT IS GOING ON Until now my experience with Jeff VanderMeer has been restricted to reading Borne I liked Borne so much, loved it even So when I saw a new book of his come up on Netgalley, I requested it right away without even reading the plot or finding out that it is, in fact, a sequel of sorts to Borne That should have just been the added bonus, but thing is my memory being what it is and my reading being as prolific as it is, I didn t remember the minute details of Borne s plot, such as dead astronauts mentioned in the book I reread my review of Borne and it did jog the memory to the general idea of it, but nothing about dead astronauts Well, apparently they got their own book Although to be fair it shared a lot of page space with other side plots, some tangential, some featuring a prominent Borne universe character And mind you, Borne universe is a place so wildly imaginative, so strikingly original in its mixture of biology and technology that it is well worth another visit But this wasn t the visit one might have planned In fact, not quite sure what this was Initially I remember having some trepidations about reading the New Weird VanderMeer is so famous for, but Borne made the genre so accessible and enjoyable with Borne, I figured it was safe to continue But no, he was just saving up the real weirdness for this book This is so very weird, so stylishly stylistically bizarre that, frankly, it s kinda offputting And that s weird in itself, because Vandermeer is such a terrific writer, his language is a thing of beauty, a genuine pleasure to read But one cannot survive on language alone and plotting here is all over the place, it does technically maintain some semblance of linearity and rationality, but it s so overdone and convoluted and needlessly longwinded, it s difficult to get into or conventionally, at least enjoy After a while you start realizing the narrative tricks VanderMeer utilizes and he doesn t just use, he abuses them all The repetitions, the juxtapositions like something right out of the Tale of Two Cities , the repetitions again This thing where he alternates a set of the same sentences for pages seriously, pages on end, sometimes with minute variations, sometimes without, only to highlight the punchline at the end Such as what the f ck am I reading what is this Is it suppose to be like that this goes on for 3 pages to be followed up with Yes Because Weird is the name of the game Vandermeer literally uses the same trick 3 times within the same lengthy chapter of the book So yeah, after a while, it just gets tiresome And the entire reading experience almost never coheres into something engaging and the direct connect with Borne doesn t even show up until the very end It s all these gorgeous linguistic trees that never add up to a forest And outside of that, the main thing the book had going is how quickly it read, maybe 215 minutes or so But the overall experience is bewilderment, mainly, at the fact that this is how what follows the lovely Borne and this comes from the same author and this is probably totally gonna blow someone s socks off Different strokes and all that But for me, it was a major disappointment and a waste of time, despite all the gorgeous imagery Thanks Netgalley. Jeff returns to the world of BORNE and goes full weird, with a narrative that splinters across every level the molecular, the sentence, the pagination, all of it The density of this book is going to fuck up some people who have only read ANNIHILATION and BORNE, but I hope they fight through it There is no clean narrative here, except for the one that Jeff has always delivered that nature has in it than we dream of in our philosophy, and that we must do to be in harmony with the world This is a hopeless novel that happens to be full of hope not unlike the time at which it was written Basically, I ll read any and everything Jeff ever writes Is this destined to be my favorite VanderNovel No, but I loved it all the same. |Download ⚇ Dead Astronauts ⚔ A Messianic Blue Fox Who Slips Through Warrens Of Time And Space On A Mysterious Mission A Homeless Woman Haunted By A Demon Who Finds The Key To All Things In A Strange Journal A Giant Leviathan Of A Fish, Centuries Old, Who Hides A Secret, Remembering A Past That May Not Be Its Own Three Ragtag Rebels Waging An Endless War For The Fate Of The World Against An All Powerful Corporation A Raving Madman Who Wanders The Desert Lost In The Past, Haunted By His Own Creation An Invisible Monster Whose Name He Has Forgotten And Whose Purpose Remains HiddenJeff VanderMeer S Dead Astronauts Presents A City With No Name Of Its Own Where, In The Shadow Of The All Powerful Company, Lives Human And Otherwise Converge In Terrifying And Miraculous Ways At Stake The Fate Of The Future, The Fate Of Earth All The Earths Set in the same world at his excellent 2017 Borne, Dead Astronauts finds VanderMeer again at the top of his game exploring a universe destroyed by the nefarious Company Delightful strangeness abounds a man disintegrating into hundreds of salamanders, an ancient giant fish called Leviathan, a large blue fox with a message to deliver across time all these and make Dead Astronauts one of VanderMeer s most engagingly strange and beguiling novels He continues to explore deeply environmental themes but uses such a unique lens that it makes the reader ponder our current climate crisis in a new way A wonderfully weird, nature driven science fiction odyssey through time and space. It s poetic, beautiful, and dark at the same time Jeff VanderMeer combines the literary and perceptual to take science fiction and readers to new places What I loved most about this book is the unique approach VanderMeer takes to storytelling.