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Why Should I Cut Your Throat? Paperback – September 21, 2004
A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Why Should I Cut Your Throat is divided into three segments. The first, Career & Craft, discusses VanderMeer's growth as a writer and his efforts to get his work published. Of particular note is "City of Saints and Madmen: The Untold Story", in which VanderMeer describes not only the artistic genesis of Ambergris, but also his struggle to get stories set in that city published, and finally to publish a collection of these stories. The essay is a fascinating look behind the scenes of small press publishing and of the challenges that face writers outside the mainstream. The rest of the Career segment isn't half as interesting. Did we really need, for example, an interview with the artist who drew the original City of Saints and Madmen cover?
The next section collects VanderMeer's reviews over a period of a decade. Most of the reviews are the kind you'd expect to find in a periodical - a brief discussion of the book's plot and an overview of its strengths and weaknesses. In other words, not something that needs to be preserved for the ages.Read more ›
Regardless of its parts, it is always brave and brutally honest (one wonders, after reading some of VanderMeer's scathing reviews, how much hate mail he has received), always compassionate and encouraging (particularly to aspiring writers in his notes on how to teach creative writing). But above all, it is a passionate, compulsively readable love letter to the imagination.
Anyone who believes fantasy is simply orcs and hobbits, or doubts the literary merits of contemporary fantasy, needs to buy this book.