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Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance (Hardcover)
On Annihilation and Authority: "These novels are the pinnacle of the New Weird. Each novel is an amalgam of influences made whole. Annhilation is a book of slow moving dread, creeping up on you as if Stanley Kubrick decided to make 2001 an adaptation of Lovecraft instead of Arthur C. Clark. This is the landscape of Florida made as alien and unknowable as the narrator is unreliable. The middle book in the sequence, Authority, takes a step back and marries John Le Carre’s Cold War moral ambiguity to the same Kubrickian landscape of the previous book. Imagine George Smiley tracking down not some Soviet mole, but instead the insidious creatures in Philip Kaufman’s 1978 film version of Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers."— Joe T.
On Acceptance: "Acceptance is an astounding conclusion to a trilogy that packs both philosophical and nightmarish quandaries for the human race – what are we except that which we can become? This work examines what happened before Area X occured – who really is the lighthouse keeper? What exactly is Area X and what are the true motives of the Southern Reach? Played out in chapters that serve as prequels to the lives of all the characters and all that has gone before, this book provides eerie insights and a sinister denouement that will disturb you."— Raul
— From Sci-Fi & Fantasy
A single-volume hardcover edition that brings together the three volumes of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which were originally published as paperback originals in February, May, and September 2014.
Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is the second, and Acceptance is the third.
Area X-a remote and lush terrain-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 our narrator, a biologist. 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.
After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach-the secret agency that monitors these expeditions-is in disarray. In Authority, John Rodriguez, aka "Control," is the team's newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves-and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that.
It is winter in Area X in Acceptance. 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 unknown-navigating new terrain and new challenges-the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound-or terrifying.
About the Author
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's American Fantastic Tales and in multiple year's-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.