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Shriek - Jeff VanderMeer My first novel by Jeff VanderMeer, I wasn't sure what to expect, nor am I quite sure what I got.

Well let's see; it's a fictional afterword written by a fictional character (Janice Shriek) to her brother's (Duncan Shriek) book which is a historical account of a fictional city (Ambergris) in a fictional world. But it's actually more of an account of her and her brother's lives since the death of their father that chronicles the ups and downs of their personal and professional fortunes. This account was found abandoned, the author having disappeared, with annotations added later by her brother, also having now disappeared, and published for all to see.

Ambergris, a city like one of our own in many ways but different in others, not least because of it's former fugnal occupants (the "Greycaps") that were driven out and now reside somewhere in the depths of the passageways and tunnels under the city. This is a world where fungal forms of life have apparently achieved some kind of sentience although not as we quite understand it. Indeed, many Ambergrisians live in complete denial of this notion and making them see the error of their ways is part of Duncan's life long obsession. The other part being to study and try to understand them better. What do they want and what are they trying to do?

Let's just say that you won't quite see the mushrooms on your plate in quite the same light after reading this...