1. Books

VanderMeer and Pittman: Whose Florida is weirder?

You think Florida is weird? Let Jeff VanderMeer and Craig Pittman tell you about it.

VanderMeer, a bestselling author in a genre-crunching field called New Weird literature, lives in Tallahassee. His most recent novel, Borne, is set in a nameless city in a dystopian future. His Southern Reach trilogy — the first novel, Annihilation, comes to movie screens in 2018 — is set in a strange and hostile landscape not unlike the wilderness parts of the Panhandle.

Pittman, the Times' award-winning environmental reporter, didn't speculate about the state's weirdness for his book Oh, Florida! He just reported it — from its perils (hurricanes, pythons, sinkholes, politics) to its pockets of paradise, natural and manufactured.

Times Festival of Reading

Jeff VanderMeer (Borne) and Craig Pittman (Oh, Florida!: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country) will talk about "Truly Weird Florida" at 1 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom as part of the 2017 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on Nov. 11 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.