Annihilation: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Feb 4, 2014 - Fiction - 195 pages
1 Review


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.


What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

After their high-risk expedition disintegrates, it's every scientist for herself in this wonderfully creepy blend of horror and science fiction. This is the first volume of the Southern Reach trilogy ... Read full review

Selected pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

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'sAmerican Fantastic Tales and in multiple year's-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction forThe Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, andThe Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.