The WEIRD (42)

Real-Time Review continued from HERE.

The WEIRD: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
First published in Great Britain 2011 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books Ltd.

3 Dec 11 – another 2 hours later

Familiars – Micaela Morrissette

What animal would you like to be?”

Another major discovery unearthed for me by ‘The WEIRD’. I shall eternally be grateful for what this book has given me. Here a boy and his mother within an exquistely conjured world of prose and imagination (unmapped but with a ‘genius loci’ I sense without a map other than “the swampy summer morning“, but not summer forever – and “long gray vines“) – a boy with an ‘imaginary’ friend (as I did as a boy but not quite like this one!)  – this friend or the head-lease boy himself: our earlier ‘feral boy’ or ‘boy-in-the-tree’ I kept wondering while reading. “The boy curtains the windows and holds his hands in front of the lamp and does a bird, a rabbit, a hunchback, a spider.” There is at least one later hint involving cobwebs that the friend is not a million miles from exercising a form of ‘spiderous symbiosis’ – and also becomes a lion (a passage which amazingly prefigures this book’s next story – a story with which I am already very ‘familiar’ retrocausally!) — “…watching trees and clouds move across the reflection of her face in the pane.” And a disfiguring of photographs as in the Tanith Lee story, all of which resonate within this book’s by now well-defined gestalt.  But then, of course (and it goes without saying), it is Autumn again. And, also, more burrs: “…she bats in a fury against the thorns that snag her clothes...”   And not long after I am reminded of my own Cat’s Cradle ancient days ago with my (now ailing elderly) mother, we reach a most striking ending which I shall not spoil with any hint whatsoever. This story has had a big effect on me.

Continued as The WEIRD (43) HERE.

Index of this whole real-time review HERE.

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