“A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unraveling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and claustrophobic dread that lingers long afterward. I loved it.” —Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls
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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.
Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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.
Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, which will be published throughout 2014: volume two (Authority) in June, and volume three (Acceptance) in September.
Jeff VanderMeer’s New York Times bestselling Southern Reach trilogy has been translated into over 30 languages and made Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 list. The first novel, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and Shirley Jackson Award, was shortlisted for a half dozen more, and has been made into a movie to be released by Paramount Pictures in 2018. His new novel, Borne, is the first release from Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s new MCD imprint. The novel has also been optioned by Paramount. The New Yorker has called Jeff “the weird Thoreau” and he frequently speaks about issues related to climate change and storytelling, including at DePaul, MIT, and Vanderbilt. His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, and many more. With his wife Ann VanderMeer he has edited many fiction anthologies, including The Big Book of Science Fiction. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
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