Veniss Underground by Jeff VanderMeer
Jeff Vandermeer and his wife Ann have become established figures in the genre community in a relatively short time for their writing and editing aplomb. But if you have yet to climb aboard the VanderMeer bandwagon, start with Veniss Underground.
Veniss follows an artist named Nick, who descends beneath the city of Veniss in search of the Living Artist Quin—a shadowy, dangerous figure whose bizarre works of biological art threaten to overtake humanity. The story’s first two paragraphs will shoot you into VanderMeer’s living, reeking vision of the far future never to look back, with a style evocative of Burgess’s slavo speak in A Clockwork Orange, and Kerouac’s more frenetic passages in On The Road.
Veniss Underground is a perfect introduction to VanderMeer’s off-beat creativity.