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Annihilation

by Jeff VanderMeer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Southern Reach (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,9323091,772 (3.7)1 / 320
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 a biologist, who is our narrator. 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.… (more)
Recently added byRennie8888, private library, zikurat, rorenbuch, PotwinPublicLibrary, RusselsSource, kingmob2, tctwc, ALP-Education
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  1. 100
    Roadside Picnic by Arkady Strugatsky (Tuirgin, jeroenvandorp)
    Tuirgin: The Strugatsky Bros.' Roadside Picnic seems to be a touchstone of the Southern Reach Trilogy—and this continues with greater parallels in Authority. The styles of writing are entirely different, but the concept of Area X is a definite echo of the Zone. Roadside Picnic is a classic of European Science Fiction and well worth reading.… (more)
  2. 70
    Solaris by Stanisław Lem (ShelfMonkey)
  3. 50
    Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer (LiteraryReadaholic)
  4. 40
    The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Scientists exploring an alien environment
  5. 40
    Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (andomck)
    andomck: Swamps are crazy, man
  6. 30
    The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard (ShelfMonkey)
  7. 20
    Wool by Hugh Howey (thenothing)
    thenothing: dystopia, conspiracy
  8. 10
    Wilder Girls by Rory Power (bibliovermis)
  9. 10
    Nova Swing by M. John Harrison (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: The infection/mutation of characters and their ambivalent encounters with transcendent power are in both cases oriented toward a mysterious region of putatively non-human influence.
  10. 10
    The Ruins by Scott Smith (BeckyJG)
  11. 10
    The Dream Archipelago by Christopher Priest (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both contain landscapes and people that play with with our sense of reality.
  12. 00
    City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: VanderMeer's earlier world-building venture, full of weird-ass fungus war and other monsters. It's lovely and grotesque.
  13. 00
    The Hollow Places by T Kingfisher (sturlington)
  14. 00
    Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol (FFortuna)
  15. 11
    The Other Side of the Mountain by Michel Bernanos (marietherese)
  16. 00
    Evolution's Shore by Ian McDonald (Litrvixen)
    Litrvixen: A strange alien vegetation begins spreading across Africa and transforming everything and everyone it comes in contact with.
  17. 00
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (hairball)
    hairball: Maybe it's the fuzzy cover of the one book, but they remind me of each other.
  18. 00
    The Last Letter (Conversation Pieces, Vol 31) by Fiona Lehn (psybre)
    psybre: Also set in an odd near-future (where an environmental disaster has made an entire island dangerous and soon to become uninhabitable).
  19. 24
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (LiteraryReadaholic)
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» See also 320 mentions

English (300)  Italian (2)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (306)
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
Absolute brilliance. ( )
  suzannekmoses | May 20, 2022 |
Well damn! This was amazing, and kind of insane. The entire book was fantastic, creepy, claustrophobic, atmospheric and even emotional. But the climax was absolute perfection. So well written. I didn't know this was a trilogy going in but I am really excited to read the next installment. ( )
  Halestormer78 | May 15, 2022 |
The first book in a horror sci-fi trilogy from 2014. This book grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. A biologist is part of a team sent to Area X, a mysterious zone where the normal rules of Earth biology don’t seem to apply. Very strange and unexpected things unfold, and you are never quite sure what exactly is the cause. I’m eager to check out books two and three.

The book was turned into a movie in 2018 with Natalie Portman, which came and went from the theaters pretty quickly. In fact, I didn’t even know there was a movie until I googled the book after I read it. Sounds like a case where the book was better than the movie. Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ( )
  stevesbookstuff | Apr 16, 2022 |
I enjoyed this but probably won't read any more in the series... ( )
  Tosta | Apr 11, 2022 |
This was in my wheelhouse for genre. i liked it a lot, and was creeped out just enough. looking forward to the next two. NOTHING like the Natalie Portman film adaptation. ( )
  thelxdesigner | Mar 31, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
Atemberaubend!
 
...strange, clever, off-putting, maddening, claustrophobic, occasionally beautiful, occasionally disturbing and altogether fantastic...Annihilation is a book meant for gulping — for going in head-first and not coming up for air until you hit the back cover.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Jason Sheehan (Feb 7, 2014)
 
"Annihilation," in which the educated and analytical similarly meets up with the inhuman, is a clear triumph for Vandermeer, who after numerous works of genre fiction has suddenly transcended genre with a compelling, elegant and existential story of far broader appeal.
added by zhejw | editLos Angeles Times, Lydia Millet (Jan 20, 2014)
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aula, NikoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomeyer, MarionCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corral, RodrigoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellner, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCormick, CarolynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyquist, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strick, CharlotteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Ann
First words
The tower, which was not supposed to be there, plunges into the earth in a place just before the black pine forest begins to give way to swamp and then the reeds and wind-gnarled trees of the marsh flats. Beyond the marsh flats and the natural canals lies the ocean and, a little farther down the coast, a derelict lighthouse. All of this part of the country had been abandoned for decades, for reasons that are not easy to relate. Our expedition was the first to enter Area X for more than two years, and much of our predecessors’ equipment had rusted, their tents and sheds little more than husks. Looking out over that untroubled landscape, I do not believe any of us could yet see the threat.
Quotations
Desolation tries to colonize you.
"Annihilation!" she shrieked at me, flailing in confusion.  "Annihilation! Annihilation!" The word seemed more meaningless the more she repeated it, like the cry of a bird with a broken wing.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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 a biologist, who is our narrator. 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.

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Book description
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.
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