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About Jeff VanderMeer
VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy was one of the publishing events of 2014, the trilogy made more than thirty year's best lists, including Entertainment Weekly's top 10. Paramount Pictures has made a movie out of the first volume of the Southern Reach, Annihilation, slated for release in 2018 and starring Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic.com. VanderMeer also wrote the world's first fully illustrated creative-writing guide, Wonderbook. With his wife, Ann VanderMeer, he has edited may iconic anthologies. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with two wonderful cats. His hobbies include hiking, reading, and bird watching.
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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.
After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X—a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization—has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray.
John Rodrigues (aka "Control") is the Southern Reach's newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he's pledged to serve.
In Authority, the second volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Area X's most disturbing questions are answered . . . but the answers are far from reassuring.
It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it--the Southern Reach--has collapsed on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they've been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril.
Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X--what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to understanding Area X--and who may have been corrupted by it?
In this last installment of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may be solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound--or terrifying.
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Book Riot, Chicago Reader, The Week, and Publishers Weekly.
“Am I a person?” Borne asked me.
“Yes, you are a person,” I told him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.
One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.
“He was born, but I had borne him.”
But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.
A 2020 LOCUS AWARD FINALIST
Jeff VanderMeer's Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth—all the Earths.
A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden.
From the author of Borne and Annihilation comes the one-volume hardcover reissue of his cult classic Ambergris Trilogy.
More than twenty years ago, Jeff VanderMeer first introduced the world to the fictional city of Ambergris, a beautiful and sinister sprawling metropolis populated by artists and thieves, composers and murderers, geniuses and madmen. Ambergris bristles with intellectual fervor and religious rivalries; it thrives on cultural upheaval, and its politics are never short on intrigue, conspiracy, and even terror. There are stories within stories, mystery, mayhem, and a dark history that threatens to consume the city itself as the gray caps, the mysterious and deadly mushroom people who once ruled Ambergris and have since been driven underground, now threaten to rise again.
Ultimately, the fate of Ambergris comes to lie in the hands of John Finch, a beleaguered detective with a murder on to solve and too many loyalties for one man to bear. The city is bursting at its seams, seemingly held together only by the tense, fraying tendrils of his investigation.
The Ambergris trilogy is made up of three novels, each of which has become a cult classic in its own right: City of Saints and Madmen, Shriek: An Afterword, and Finch. It is a marvelous, unparalleled feat of imagination. And yet the books themselves, as celebrated and influential as they have become, have a publishing history as arcane and elaborate as Ambergris itself. Over the years they have slipped in and out of print and have never before been available as a complete trilogy. Until now.
For fans both new and old of the work of Jeff VanderMeer, Ambergris is essential reading. Welcome to Ambergris. We can’t promise you’ll leave untransformed.
For the fifth anniversary of the original publication, Jeff VanderMeer has added an additional 50 pages of diagrams, illustrations, and writing exercises creating the ultimate volume of inspiring advice that is also a stunning and inspiring object.
Quite possibly the GREATEST science-fiction collection of ALL TIME—past, present, and FUTURE!
What if life was never-ending? What if you could change your body to adapt to an alien ecology? What if the Pope was a robot? Spanning galaxies and millennia, this must-have anthology showcases classic contributions from H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia Butler, and Kurt Vonnegut alongside a century of the eccentrics, rebels, and visionaries who have inspired generations of readers. Within its pages, find beloved worlds of space opera, hard SF, cyberpunk, the new wave, and more. Learn the secret history of science fiction, from literary icons who wrote SF to authors from over 25 countries, some never before translated into English. In THE BIG BOOK OF SCIENCE FICTION, literary power couple Ann and Jeff VanderMeer transport readers from Mars to Mechanopolis, planet Earth to parts unknown. Read the genre that predicted electric cars, travel to the moon, and the modern smart phone. We’ve got the worlds if you’ve got the time.
· Legendary tales from Isaac Asimov and Ursula LeGuin!
· An unearthed sci-fi story from W.E.B. DuBois!
· The first publication of the work of cybernetic visionary David R. Bunch in 20 years!
· A rare and brilliant novella by Chinese international sensation Liu Cixin!
· Space battles!
· Technology gone wrong!
· Technology gone right!
A Peculiar Peril is a head-spinning epic about three friends on a quest to protect the world from a threat as unknowable as it is terrifying, from the Nebula Award–winning and New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer.
Jonathan Lambshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather’s overstuffed mansion—a veritable cabinet of curiosities—once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities: It holds clues linking to an alt-Earth called Aurora, where the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley has stormed back to life on a magic-fueled rampage across a surreal, through-the-looking-glass version of Europe replete with talking animals (and vegetables).
Swept into encounters with allies more unpredictable than enemies, Jonathan pieces together his destiny as a member of a secret society devoted to keeping our world separate from Aurora. But as the ground shifts and allegiances change with every step, he and his friends sink ever deeper into a deadly pursuit of the profound evil that is also chasing after them.
Step through a shimmering portal . . . a worn wardrobe door . . . a schism in sky . . . into a bold new age of fantasy. When worlds beyond worlds became a genre unto itself. From the swinging sixties to the strange, strange seventies, the over-the-top eighties to the gnarly nineties--and beyond, into the twenty-first century--the VanderMeers have found the stories and the writers from around the world that reinvented and revitalized the fantasy genre after World War II. The stories in this collection represent twenty-two different countries, including Russia, Argentina, Nigeria, Columbia, Pakistan, Turkey, Finland, Sweden, China, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic. Five have never before been translated into English.
From Jorge Luis Borges to Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock to Angela Carter, Terry Pratchett to Stephen King, the full range and glory of the fantastic are on display in these ninety-one stories in which dragons soar, giants stomp, and human children should still think twice about venturing alone into the dark forest.
Completing Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's definitive The Big Book of Classic Fantasy, this companion volume to takes the genre into the twenty-first century with ninety-one astonishing, mind-bending stories.
The Strange Bird—from New York Times bestselling novelist Jeff VanderMeer—is a novella-length digital original that expands and weaves deeply into the world of his “thorough marvel”* of a novel, Borne.
The Strange Bird is a new kind of creature, built in a laboratory—she is part bird, part human, part many other things. But now the lab in which she was created is under siege and the scientists have turned on their animal creations. Flying through tunnels, dodging bullets, and changing her colors and patterning to avoid capture, the Strange Bird manages to escape.
But she cannot just soar in peace above the earth. The sky itself is full of wildlife that rejects her as one of their own, and also full of technology—satellites and drones and other detritus of the human civilization below that has all but destroyed itself. And the farther she flies, the deeper she finds herself in the orbit of the Company, a collapsed biotech firm that has populated the world with experiments both failed and successful that have outlived the corporation itself: a pack of networked foxes, a giant predatory bear. But of the many creatures she encounters with whom she bears some kind of kinship, it is the humans—all of them now simply scrambling to survive—who are the most insidious, who still see her as simply something to possess, to capture, to trade, to exploit. Never to understand, never to welcome home.
With The Strange Bird, Jeff VanderMeer has done more than add another layer, a new chapter, to his celebrated novel Borne. He has created a whole new perspective on the world inhabited by Rachel and Wick, the Magician, Mord, and Borne—a view from above, of course, but also a view from deep inside the mind of a new kind of creature who will fight and suffer and live for the tenuous future of this world.
Praise for Borne
*“Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy was an ever-creeping map of the apocalypse; with Borne he continues his investigation into the malevolent grace of the world, and it's a thorough marvel.” —Colson Whitehead
“VanderMeer is that rare novelist who turns to nonhumans not to make them approximate us as much as possible but to make such approximation impossible. All of this is magnified a hundredfold in Borne . . . Here is the story about biotech that VanderMeer wants to tell, a vision of the nonhuman not as one fixed thing, one fixed destiny, but as either peaceful or catastrophic, by our side or out on a rampage as our behavior dictates—for these are our children, born of us and now to be borne in whatever shape or mess we have created. This coming-of-age story signals that eco-fiction has come of age as well: wilder, more reckless and more breathtaking than previously thought, a wager and a promise that what emerges from the twenty-first century will be as good as any from the twentieth, or the nineteenth.” —Wai Chee Dimock, The New York Times Book Review
“Cunningly crafted stories full of wonder and intelligence. VanderMeer proves again why he is so essential and why everybody should be reading him.”
—Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Featuring “The Situation,” a story set in the universe of VanderMeer’s bestseller, Borne.
Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy) continues to amaze with this surreal, innovative, and absurdist gathering of award-winning short fiction. Exotic beasts and improbable travelers roam restlessly through these darkly diverting and finely honed tales.
In "The Situation," a beleaguered office worker creates a child-swallowing manta-ray to be used for educational purposes (once described as Dilbert meets Gormenghast). In "Three Days in a Border Town," a sharpshooter seeks the truth about her husband in an elusive floating city beyond a far-future horizon; "Errata" follows an oddly familiar writer who has marshaled a penguin, a shaman, and two pearl-handled pistols with which to plot the end of the world. Also included are two stories original to this collection, including "The Quickening," in which a lonely child is torn between familial obligation and loyalty to a maligned talking rabbit.
Chimerical and hypnotic, VanderMeer leads readers into a new literature of the imagination.