The New York Times–bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades, explored only in a series of expeditions dispatched by a secret government agency called the Southern Reach. So far these expeditions have returned—when they have returned—with more questions than answers.
The first group came back with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape, nature having wiped away the last vestiges of human civilization; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned to the Southern Reach as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer.
At the beginning of the Southern Reach Trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition: four female scientists from a variety of disciplines, prepared to map the terrain, to document the flora and fauna, to collect and analyze samples. But once they cross into Area X, it becomes apparent that the rules of nature as they understand them do not apply, and that the goals and parameters of their mission are much different than they had been led to believe.
Back at headquarters, the Southern Reach itself falls into disarray, its arcane bureaucracy and obsessive secrecy collapsing into paranoia and paralysis just as Area X begins to reveal its true nature. Area X’s hidden history, its present mysteries, and its seemingly malevolent future—all have begun to unfurl, and those tasked with understanding and controlling it seem doomed to respond only with irrational, desperate measures. Is it possible that one last mission across the border can save them?
Together for the first time in one volume, the three celebrated novels of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy—Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance—tell an exhilarating, disturbing, and all but unbearably suspenseful story of humanity engaged in what might be an existential confrontation with nature. It is destined to become a classic of its kind.
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 multiple year’s best anthologies. He writes nonfiction 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.
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