Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy #1)
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The Southern Reach Trilogy begins with this Nebula Award-winning novel that "reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world" (Kim Stanley Robinson).
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
Praise for ANNIHILATION and the SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY: 'I'm loving the Southern Reach Trilogy ... Creepy and fascinating' Stephen King 'Hauntingly weird and brilliantly new ... These are contemporary masterpieces and career-defining novels' Adam Robert, Books of the Year, Guardian 'This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece ... Remarkable ... Tense, eerie and unsettling ... VanderMeer writes much better prose than Poe ever did ... This is genuinely potent and dream-haunting writing. VanderMeer has arrived.' Guardian 'A teeming science fiction that draws on Conrad and Lovecraft alike ... "Annihilation" shows signs of being the novel that will allow VanderMeer to break through to a new and larger audience' Sunday Telegraph 'A lasting monument to the uncanny ... You find yourself afraid to turn the page' Guardian 'VanderMeer's novel is a psycho-geographical tour de force, channelling Ballard and Lovecraft to instil the reader with a deep, delicious unease' Financial Times 'What a haunting book this is, lodging deep in the memory in similar fashion to otherworldly classics such as David Lindsay's "A Voyage To Arcturus" ... "Annihilation" is so disquietingly strange as to defy summarisation. Read it' Daily Mail 'Astonishing, frightening, spectacular ... The imaginative daring and reach with which VanderMeer has invented and executed a concept such as Area X is breathtaking ... Powerful and echoing ... I hope the trilogy will come to be seen not only as the instant sci-fi classic it is, but also as Literature' New Statesman 'Immersive, insightful and often deeply bloody creepy, this is a startlingly good novel ... A major work' ***** SFX Magazine 'A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unravelling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot of Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and claustrophobic dread that lingers long afterwards. I loved it' Lauren Beukes 'Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent' Warren Ellis
Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America's American Fantastic Tales and in multiple year's-best anthologies. He writes non-fiction for the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.