Tor.com: Errata Novelette (with squirrel)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 15th, 2009 @ 9:20 pm • Audio, Fiction, News


(Taken from Tor.com, by Jonathan Twingley.)

I am writing this sitting in the waterlogged lobby of a rotting, half-finished condominium complex. I am surrounded by cavorting freshwater seals and have two pearl-handled revolvers in my lap, a bottle of vodka in my right hand, a human body in the freezer in the kitchens behind me, and a rather large displaced rockhopper penguin staring me in the face. – from “The Errata”

Tor.com has just posted my novelette “Errata”. I refuse to tell you what is true and what is not. In lieu of truth, I offer you instead two squirrels, one podcasting the first couple paragraphs of the story (to contrast with my own podcast on Tor’s site) and the other reciting some famous tongue-twisters). Thus, you may enjoy the story and the squirrel, or hate the story and enjoy the squirrel, but in all cases still take pleasure from the experience. (If you do like the story, please do add a comment to the story thread.)

Thanks to Ekaterina Sedia for Russian pronunciations, but she is only responsible for the correct ones, as I had to record part of the story before I received her email. And a huge thank you and lots of love to all of the authors who let me excerpt their Argosy stories–and especially to James Owen, and also to Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Liz Gorinsky.

Now, without further ado, squirrels talking:

Squirrel reading from “Errata”

Squirrel reading tongue-twisters. (And a few answers to common questions.)

11 Responses to “Tor.com: Errata Novelette (with squirrel)”

  1. Larry says:

    I’m going to read your story at length this weekend (or maybe in the morning if school is out due to this blasted cold front), but I can’t help but to think that any appearance of a squirrel, talking or not, adds “flavor” to anything. I wonder if the squirrels can be made to speak with a Russian accent now?

  2. Anne S says:

    Terrific story – very much enjoyed it. Now I must listen to the squirrel version

  3. GlenH says:

    I’ve finally realised that the squirrel only reads out “question mark” when it gets an apostrophe so contractions should be written without them for best effect, but it’s probably a bit late for that.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Alas, no Russian squirrel.

    Thanks, Anne!

    Glen–I’ll fix that now. Thank you for pointing that out.

    jeff

  5. Deightine says:

    As always, Jeff, your piece made that little part of my brain wrapped around the pituitary gland ache and feel like my eyes were about to be dislodged from the pressure. Being that this is a pain I attribute to forced neuronal growth in my forebrain, I salute you!

    *rubs his brain*

  6. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    It’s just a story about a penguin! LOL. ;)

    Anyway, thanks for the comment, but sorry about the pain.

    Finch’ll cure that–thriller/mystery.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  7. Deightine says:

    And yes, that -was- a compliment. :) I think it was the way you layered it, the timing, etc, it all made sense but my brain had to compensate for the order of events it was, recursively within a narrative running in a linear way, all from the perspective of characters that are real people, only they’re not, taking in the context of Tor publishing it in place of the publisher that was supposed to publish it on orders from his brother who may or may not exist.

    Spontaneous. Neuron. Growth. *laughs*

    And yes, Finch is on my immediate list. It has me curious. :)

  8. Celsius1414 says:

    Hunter S. Nabokov: Pale Fire and Loathing in Siberia. :) Loved that story, execution and all. Well done.

  9. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Ha, Celsius! That’s exactly the effect I was going for–you expressed it perfectly.

    Thanks, Deightine. While I was writing it, I thought, “Let’s try for something that would never get nominated for a Hugo in a million years.”

    Jeff

  10. James says:

    Jeff, dude – will you let me out of the trunk, now? The batteries on my laptop are going, and it’s getting cold.

    Also, I think there’s a penguin in here.

  11. SCFaulkner says:

    Jeff,
    I have never read you. In fact I still haven’t.
    To do that, I’d have to meet you, shake your hand, insert my thumbs up to the first knuckle in your indigo chakra, and that wouldn’t be safe for either of us.
    In fact, after reading your report, I’m not sure I should be writing this.

    …I’m sorry, I get confused.
    I meant to say:
    Great story, I used to know a penguin his name was Clancy the Bear. I think his mother was on a lot of medication…

    Never mind.

    Just, good story.
    Good story!
    That’s it.
    Nothing else.
    I’m all done.
    I’m fine.
    How are you?

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