Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer | Book Discussion

ANNIHILATION is a bestselling slice of weird fiction that follows a woman we know only as “the biologist” into a lost world of sorts, an expanding eruption of primeval paradise called AREA X, wherein multiple ecosystems are rudely spliced and teeming lifeforms mutate at the speed of eternity. She and her colleagues (a surveyor, an anthropologist, and a sinister psychologist) are the twelfth expedition into the shrieking tropical depths of X, where savage miracles unfold on an hourly basis, where history and memory and identity are as mutable as the terrain and nothing is what it seems. It combines a feverish excess of naturalistic detail and the creeping unreliability of a dissociated narrator to immerse us in a speculative thriller that unmakes itself and infects us as we read it.

Join Jason Squamata, Pat Janowski, Mark Savage, and Kate Fenker as Book Circle Online embraces ANNIHILATION.

Jeff VanderMeer is a three-time winner, thirteen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award. His Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, the world’s first full-color, image-based writing guide, is now out from Abrams Image. His Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance) will be published by FSG, HarperCollins Canada, and The Fourth Estate (UK) in 2014, as well as 12 other countries. The film rights have been optioned by Scott Rudin Productions and Paramount Pictures. Prior novels include the Ambergris Cycle (City of Saints & Madmen, Shriek: An Afterword, and Finch) and Veniss Underground. His short fiction has appeared in American Fantastic Tales (Library of America), Conjunctions, and many others. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post, the LA Times, The Guardian, and many others. He has lectured at MIT and the Library of Congress and helps run the Shared Worlds teen SF/Fantasy writing camp out of Wofford College. With his wife Ann he has coedited several iconic anthologies, most recently The Time Traveler’s Almanac and The Weird.

1 reply
  1. jodorowsky never made dune
    jodorowsky never made dune says:

    The developing theme is that of nature’s revenge, and the biologist is clearly an instrument of this – hence the “switching sides” comment near the end. The series seems to be a very dark take (with the expanding Area X) on the idea that in spite of humanity’s efforts to contain nature, nature will win out in the end. I’m fairly sure this is how the next two books will develop but we’ll have to wait and see.


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