’A contemporary masterpiece’ Guardian
THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY – NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ALEX GARLAND (EX MACHINA) AND STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AND OSCAR ISAAC
For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border – an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.
The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.
Now four women embark on the twelfth expedition into the unknown.
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 … 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
About the author
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In the first instalment of fantasy writer Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, four unnamed women—a biologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist and a surveyor—cross the border into Area X, a pristine wilderness shrouded in mystery. What they discover is inexplicable, terrifying and deadly. Strong, beautiful prose heightens the suspense and weirdness. Annihilation is impossible to categorise and even harder to put down.
The unnamed narrator of this brilliant first in a trilogy from fantasy author Vandermeer (City of Saints and Madmen) tells of her ever-more-terrifying, yet ever-more-transcendent experiences, as she, a biologist, and the three other members of her all-women team (a surveyor, an anthropologist, and a psychologist) set out to explore Area X, for some unspecified number of years deliberately isolated from its surroundings. Theirs is the 12th expedition to Area X, sent two years after the last attempt; the team hopes to discover why the zone, so lush and beautiful at first look, is a place from which none return at least not in the same form that they entered. Using evocative descriptions of the biologist's outer and inner worlds, masterful psychological insight, and intellectual observations both profound and disturbing calling Lovecraft to mind and Borges Vandermeer unfolds a tale as satisfying as it is richly imagined.
I was drawn into the struggles of the main character and completely absorbed by the uncanniness of this world.