THE SITUATION by Jeff VanderMeer. Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK; PS Publishing; 2008. 1st edition hardcover.
Synopsis / Contents:
"The last raise had been a huge leech shaped like a helmet. It was meant to suck all the bad thoughts out of your head. It smelled like bacon, which seemed promising. I had invited Mord and Leer over to my apartment and we'd fried it up in a skillet. I'd gotten a week's worth of sandwiches out of it."
In a city where the future has betrayed the past, a nameless employee struggles to hold onto his job at the Company, fighting off the predations of the merciless Scarskirt and his former friends: a transformed Mord and helpless Leer. In addition, he has to deal with a Manager he calls "Damager" who puts him in ever more difficult situations:
"Up close, her eyes were like the glistening grit you find at the edges of drying asphalt. Her fingers on the desk seemed as long as the legs of a spiny crab. In the quiet, I could hear the leaf in her chest - just the slightest whispering shift of dead plant matter against plastic each time it touched the sides of her ribcage. I wondered if each time another piece disintegrated into the dust at the bottom of her chest cavity. 'Do you love me?' she always asked. I could remember a time and a world where such a question could never have been asked."
Is there a way out? Will he find it in time? What awaits him in the city beyond?
"Her knife sliced down, up, down, up, down as the fish tried to get away from her ever more slowly, spurting a thick green blood."
In The Situation, Jeff VanderMeer has written the most chilling, and the funniest, commentary on corporate office life since Kafka and Dilbert.
"In The Situation, Jeff VanderMeer has created a work of surreal humor, bemused sadness, and meticulous artifice. It is as if the workplace novels of Sinclair Lewis and Joshua Ferris had been inverted, shaken, and diced until they came out looking like a Terry Gilliam creation. That a story which curves so resolutely inward toward its own logic could also be so poignant is something of an astonishment." - Kevin Brockmeier.
"Take Dilbert, insert him into Gormenghast, add lashings of nighmarish biotech, and you'll have something of the flavour of Jeff VanderMeer's The Situation. This darkly hilarious story tells horrible truths about modern work and workplace relations. Anyone who has ever had a dysfunctional colleague, or served a flawed organisation, will recognise all too easily the machinations and the monsters in here." - Margo Lanagan.
Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED NUMBERED hardcover edition of 200 copies. Fine in fine dj. OUT OF PRINT.