PositiveWiredJeff VanderMeer’s new novel, Dead Astronauts, has the feeling of a mosaic. Up close, you can marvel at the deft selection of each element, each word and sentence, and appreciate how it interacts with its immediate neighbors. From much further back, taking in the book as a whole, scenes and themes snap together ... Beautiful, certainly. Sensical, certainly not ... Fans of Vandermeer will notice bits of his older work echoing through ... Dead Astronauts is impressionist, stream of consciousness, jazz ... The story, such as it is, is elusive, given to tangent, to mad jumps in time and universe and perspective, each new bit of plot unfolding as if its predecessor were only half-remembered and poorly understood ... Not that that is a criticism, per se. Half-remembered and poorly understood is how VanderMeer’s characters live their lives.
PositiveWiredAny page of It Came From Something Awful would be the most shocking page of most books ... Reading Dale Beran’s chronicle of 4chan...feels like scrolling through the forum itself. Each page turn sucks you ever deeper into chan culture ... Naturally, Beran explores the psychology of young, disenfranchised masculinity that 4chan represents and the sociopolitical context that molded its minds, which is the book’s greatest strength ... while I think Beran gives 4chan a bit too much credit as world-shapers, I likely gave the site too little. When you’ve finished It Came From Something Awful, it’s hard to hold it all in your head.