Borne: A Novel

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr 25, 2017 - Fiction - 336 pages
8 Reviews

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lisapeet - LibraryThing

I put a hold on this on a total whim (yet another reason why the library is great: because impulse reading is good when impulse spending is not). I don't read a ton of sf these days, although once ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - adamwolf - LibraryThing

I liked this. It is pretty Jeff VanderMeery, but it also seemed more approachable than most of his other work to someone who reads more... "normal" things. I am excited to read the upcoming short stories set in this world. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
23
Section 3
32
Section 4
35
Section 5
38
Section 6
44
Section 7
47
Section 8
59
Section 15
192
Section 16
197
Section 17
224
Section 18
231
Section 19
283
Section 20
291
Section 21
298
Section 22
317

Section 9
62
Section 10
79
Section 11
106
Section 12
126
Section 13
133
Section 14
161
Section 23
321
Section 24
322
Section 25
325
Section 26
327
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor, and the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America's American Fantastic Tales and multiple year's-best anthologies. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.

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