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It wasn’t a dream

Ned Beauman: Christopher Priest, 10 October 2013

The Adjacent 
by Christopher Priest.
Gollancz, 432 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 575 10536 2
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... year’s Clarke Award was Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden, a novel about the descendants of two marooned astronauts, reduced by inbreeding and privation to, in the words of the back cover blurb, ‘an infantile stew of half-remembered fact and devolved ritual that stifles innovation and punishes independent thought’. It’s a convenient metaphor for Priest ...

Surrealist Circus Animals

Ned Beauman: Jeff VanderMeer, 16 August 2017

Borne 
by Jeff VanderMeer.
Fourth Estate, 323 pp., £12.99, June 2017, 978 0 00 815917 7
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... it as an achievement in nature writing; a review on newyorker.com, for instance, was headlined ‘The Weird Thoreau’. However, VanderMeer’s descriptions of forest and beach and marsh, though offered in faultlessly precise and rhythmic prose, are seldom striking enough to leave much of an impression on a reader who, like me, doesn’t really care ...

Disruptors

Nick Richardson: Ned Beauman, 16 July 2014

Glow 
by Ned Beauman.
Sceptre, 249 pp., £16.99, June 2014, 978 1 4447 6551 9
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... At what point​ does Ned Beauman’s Glow become fantastical? There’s a kid from South London called Raf who likes drugs and raving. From a girl he meets at a party, Cherish, he learns about Lacebark, an American mining company in Burma that mistreats its workers while its executives swagger ‘like conquerors through the town ...

Diary

Emily Witt: Online Dating, 25 October 2012

... Then I pretended to watch the game on a monitor that allowed me to look the other way. He turned his back to me to watch the monitor over the pool tables, where the pool players now applauded some exploit. I waited to be approached. A few stools down, two men broke into laughter. One came over to show me why they were laughing. He handed me his mobile ...

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