April Book Club Selection: 'Annihilation' by Jeff VanderMeer

LitReactor Book Club

Every month here at LitReactor, we celebrate reading with a new selection in our Book Club. For April we will be reading and discussing Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.  Here's a synopsis:

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 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.

Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, which will be published throughout 2014: volume two (Authority) in June, and volume three (Acceptance) in September.

Author: Widely regarded as one of the world’s best fantasists, Jeff VanderMeer grew up in the Fiji Islands and spent six months traveling through Asia, Africa, and Europe before returning to the United States. These travels have deeply influenced his fiction. He is the recipient of an NEA-funded Florida Individual Artist Fellowship for excellence in fiction and a Florida Artist Enhancement Grant. VanderMeer’s book-length fiction has been translated into 20 languages, while his short fiction has appeared in several year’s best anthologies and short-listed for Best American Short Stories.

Discussion for Annihilation will kick off on April 1st, but you should pick up the book and start reading ASAP!  (We've provided a handy link below). Once you're locked and loaded, you can announce your presence in the Book Club. (No invitation needed!)  That thread is where all discussion about the book will go down.

If you read our March Book Club selection, Nefarious Twit, by Tony McMillen, make sure you check out that thread as discussion there has officially started.

Happy reading!

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Image of ANNIHILATION (The Southern Reach Trilogy)
Author: JEFF VANDERMEER
Price: $10.06
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 208 pages
Jacey Cockrobin

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He has also written for the popular film site Screen Anarchy and for ChuckPalahniuk.net, the official website of 'Fight Club' author Chuck Palahniuk. He is the author of 'Kanye West—Reanimator.' His short fiction has appeared in Zetetic, Motherboard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Dark Moon Digest, Pantheon Magazine, and multiple print anthologies. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.

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Comments

Benjamin Joseph's picture
Benjamin Joseph from Southern U.S. is reading Knockemstiff March 3, 2014 - 11:23pm

Funny, two minutes before I checked the LitReactor front page I was just on Amazon debating on this book. Love the premise.