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Acceptance

by Jeff VanderMeer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Southern Reach (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,5851355,758 (3.58)1 / 95
Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknownâ??navigating new terrain and new challengesâ??the threat to the outside world becomes only more daunting.

In the final installment of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profoundâ??or terrify… (more)

  1. 10
    As She Climbed Across the Table by Jonathan Lethem (sturlington)
    sturlington: I feel VanderMeer must have been reading early Jonathan Lethem when he wrote the Southern Reach trilogy, as well as watching old episodes of Lost.
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 The Weird Tradition: The Southern Reach13 unread / 13paradoxosalpha, April 2018

» See also 95 mentions

English (131)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
Not sure why I bothered finishing this series, considering what a slog book 2 was. I had people telling me 3 was better, but really, only minimally. Book 1 with the biologist was at least intriguing & she was the only character I found the least sympathetic in the whole darn thing. 2 stars just to be polite. ( )
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
I think I liked this the most of the three. It got in my head and made me feel slightly crazy, like maybe my world isn't quite real. Still, I was left unsatisfied. It's not that I want more pages per se, but more something I can't quite put my finger on ( )
  bookonion | Mar 9, 2024 |
It was aliens! Oh heck, no point hiding that. It was aliens. A very postmodern approach to an alien approach: we humans can't possibly communicate with it/them or comprehend its/their nature. Completely futile to try. Furthermore, Stephen Hawking was right: if aliens find us, it's not likely to be in order to make friends and is likely to turn out rather badly for us.

Given that humans can't understand or communicate with an alien entity, then, no surprise that much in the books is left vague and unexplained at the conclusion of the trilogy. Some things are known. Area X seems to have been physically relocated to some other coordinates in the universe, with unknown means of transit between it and Earth through the border, and unknown what lies in its corresponding coordinates back on Earth. It appears to have been interconnected with other places in the universe, again by unknown means of transit. The intelligence behind the transformation and expansion of Area X may have been artificial, built by an extinct race, and somehow attracted to Earth through the powerful lens of the lighthouse beacon.

And then Control seems to have shut it down by throwing himself into its essence. Jammed up the gears with his molecules. Seems unlikely, but there you go. Before he managed that though, Area X had expanded suddenly and perhaps greatly (catastrophically?) out of its previous borders, and two survivors strike out to find what if anything remains of humanity out there.

It was a trilogy of promise, which set up some good mysteries and atmosphere, and had a modified trendy hypothesis about alien contact at its center. Often it was not greatly written and characterization tended towards the poor. A mixed bag. It has been optioned by a movie studio, which is interesting... if a potential film can keep those good parts, and fix the bad parts, it might have something. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
30.0%: "Wow the prose is so thick and annoying and unjustified by what it communicates. We'll see if I DNF this, I've been on a DNF spree recently."

34.0% "Boring, having to force myself to read it, returning to the library."
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
The title of this book gives a clue as to the overall point. If it is frustrating and answerless it is because it is supposed to be. This is a little bit of an environmentalist fable and a little bit of a character study; the first because it demonstrates a hostile and conscious natural world that fights back against despoiling humans, and the second because of how it details how individuals react to a solutionless problem. Characters who attempt to fight Area X, or even to understand it at all (a defiance in its own right) will come up short. This doubly applies to the reader in a sense. The biologist who is at home in the natural world and becomes (quite literally) one with her surroundings is the only one who can take the realization that the end is neigh with peace.
That isn't to say speculation is impossible; Vandermeer drops little details and images throughout the book in order to get a rough idea of a self replicating terraforming agent gone wrong-- or maybe a microscopic alien invasion that duplicates the genetics of what it hits-- or is it a magic lighthouse lens that opens a portal to another dimension that is slowly overtaking this one? The point is these details, evocative and diverting as they are, only open up more questions.
By sheer coincidence I am also reading [b:Roadside Picnic|331256|Roadside Picnic|Arkady Strugatsky|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1173812259s/331256.jpg|1243896] which is also about an alien zone whose toxic hazards and all-around weirdness metastasizes into the environment around it. That Vandermeer was influenced by the Strugatskys is evident, we will see how well the two compare with each other. ( )
  ethorwitz | Jan 3, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
[T]he real accomplishment of these books lies less in their well-designed plots than in VanderMeer’s incredibly evocative, naturalist eye....

At its best, VanderMeer’s language is precise, metaphorical but rigorous, and as fertile as good loam. More than mere atmosphere, the rich natural details are the trilogy’s most powerful technique — and, in some ways, its point....

With Area X, VanderMeer has created an immersive and wonderfully realized world; I wouldn’t be surprised if he revisits it. If so, I’ll happily sign up for the next expedition.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Scott Hutchins (Sep 12, 2014)
 
One peculiar satisfaction of being a reader is seeing an author you have followed for a long time finally break into the big time. VanderMeer has been a favourite among aficionados of New Weird fiction for more than a decade, exploring his fascinations with fungi, subterranean spaces and decay across half a dozen books. But with his Southern Reach trilogy – Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance, all released in 2014 – he has finally hit the bestseller lists. And with good reason. This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece.

Finding a way satisfactorily to pay off so much mysteriously tense apprehension is no small challenge for a writer – and VanderMeer manages to avoid banality and opacity both, and generates some real emotional charge while he's about it.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Adam Roberts (Aug 27, 2014)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aaltonen, EinariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomeyer, MarionCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellner, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCormick, CarolynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyquist, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinchot, BronsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sands, XeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Just out of reach, just beyond you: the rush and froth of the surf, the sharp smell of the sea, the crisscrossing shape of the gulls, their sudden, jarring cries.
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Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML:

It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknownâ??navigating new terrain and new challengesâ??the threat to the outside world becomes only more daunting.

In the final installment of the Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profoundâ??or terrify

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