Great review of the Redoubtable VanderMeer’s latest, Finch, lives here http://www.bscreview.com/2009/11/finch-by-jeff-vandermeer-review/, and a sample cameos below:
So you don’t read fantasy. You heart mystery and crime fiction but haven’t touched a fantasy book since that one summer when you devoured Lord of the Rings. Well, let me tell you that things have changed since then. The SF/F genre has a long history of crossing genre borders, and right here, right now, in 2009, people are starting to notice. Earlier in the year China Mieville wrote a cool police procedural fantasy (The City and The City), and Richard Kadrey wrote a hardboiled fantasy called Sandman Slim that would make even the most wild-eyed of the basement noir crazies stand up and take notice. Jeff VanderMeer closes out the year with a secondary world fantasy, filtered through noir sensibilities, that is, hands down, the best of the bunch.