Jeff VanderMeer

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Jeff VanderMeer

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in The United States


Member Since
May 2009

Jeff VanderMeer's most recent fiction is the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), all released in 2014. The series has been acquired by publishers in 15 other countries and Paramount Pictures/Scott Rudin Productions have acquired the movie rights. His Wonderbook (Abrams Image), the world's first fully illustrated, full-color creative writing guide, won the BSFA Award for best nonfiction and has been nominated for a Hugo Award and a Locus Award. A three-time World Fantasy Award winner and 13-time nominee, VanderMeer has been a finalist for the Nebula, Philip K. Dick, and Shirley Jackson Awards, among others.

His nonfiction appears in the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, the Washington Pos

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Jeff VanderMeer Thank you for the truly great question, Ali. To me, this is the essential theme of our time, and it's not about giving in or checking out. It's about…moreThank you for the truly great question, Ali. To me, this is the essential theme of our time, and it's not about giving in or checking out. It's about adaptation to what's coming. Of course, I'm coming at it from a kind of fantastical point of view. No matter how I deploy science or specific detail about our real world, I'm still somewhere between the real and the metaphorical in these explorations. In part to get the distance to explore modes of thoughts, and in the absence of being able to imagine being truly not-human, to get as close to that as possible without marginalizing that state of being as horrific.

I suppose I don't see it as leaving behind individual consciousness as being in greater harmony and collusion with the contamination we already experience but that is invisible to us, and to also thereby better understand that we do not in fact stick out from our landscape, but are part of it. This is something we've forgotten over the last centuries, and the farther we get away from understanding this, the farther we get from long-term solutions to questions like...What do we contribute to our biosphere? Why do we privilege human-style intelligence to the exclusion of all else? Why do we see as strengths those things that are actually now weaknesses in ourselves as a sustainable species on Earth?

This doesn't even get to the question of being able to see our environment with a fresh eye--so that we no longer think in terms of being stewards or despoilers but some other philosophy altogether. And this in the context, too, of not bringing with us the old "culture creatures" as Schama puts it in his book Landscape and Memory. That we might see with clear vision but also perhaps with a hint of awe just how thoroughly we live on an alien planet that is full of wonders we're only now beginning to understand. And of which we are at times the most mundane.(less)
Jeff VanderMeer My real phobia is cockroaches. Growing up in Fiji, I would sometimes wake up and hear this crackling, shifting sound in my ears. These small…moreMy real phobia is cockroaches. Growing up in Fiji, I would sometimes wake up and hear this crackling, shifting sound in my ears. These small cockroaches would burrow in there and I'd have to fish them out. So I come by my phobia honestly. Also, I should note that it extends to professional cockroaches, not just amateur ones. We were on a claustrophobic boat trip once in Romania (eventually cut off by the Romanian navy and a man in a dinghy, but that's another story0 and there were rustling boxes under each of the bench seats in the passenger area (which didn't have windows you could open). The translation came back as "professional cockroaches." Boxes and boxes of professional cockroaches, to be used as bait by fishermen. I was as phobic about them as any number of amateur cockroaches. When it comes to cockroaches, I treat all equally. (Except, I really hate the flying ones.)

As for using them in my writing, I did once write a children's story called Erin & the Roach, but it has never been published, and probably shouldn't be anyone.(less)
Average rating: 3.67 · 94,010 ratings · 11,953 reviews · 148 distinct works · Similar authors
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More books by Jeff VanderMeer…


Ann and I are preparing to move up to Geneva, New York, where I’ll be teaching a creative writing course as part of serving as the 2016-2017 Trias writer in residence for Hobart & William Smith Colleges. I’ve finally settled on the main texts for the class, which I’ve set out below. These texts require varying levels of involvement from the students and although I’ve set them out in alphab...

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Published on August 12, 2016 13:57 • 88 views
Annihilation Authority Acceptance
Southern Reach (3 books)
3.60 avg rating — 73,447 ratings

City of Saints and Madmen Shriek: An Afterword Finch
Ambergris (3 books)
3.90 avg rating — 7,107 ratings

Leviathan Leviathan
Leviathan (3 books)
3.56 avg rating — 70 ratings

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" Sure! You can find a fair amount of curriculum stuff on found objects in the characterization chapter of my book Wonderbook. (Not saying you should bu ...more "
" Lori wrote: "Hey there guys! Last few hours before we say goodbye to Jeff. Keep those questions coming : )


I wanted to thank you so much for hang
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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
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More of Jeff's books…
“The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.”
Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation

“That's how the madness of the world tries to colonize you: from the outside in, forcing you to live in its reality.”
Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation

“Where lies the strangling fruit that came from the hand of the sinner I shall bring forth the seeds of the dead to share with the worms that gather in the darkness and surround the world with the power of their lives while from the dimlit halls of other places forms that never were and never could be writhe for the impatience of the few who never saw what could have been. In the black water with the sun shining at midnight, those fruit shall come ripe and in the darkness of that which is golden shall split open to reveal the revelation of the fatal softness in the earth. The shadows of the abyss are like the petals of a monstrous flower that shall blossom within the skull and expand the mind beyond what any man can bear, but whether it decays under the earth or above on green fields, or out to sea or in the very air, all shall come to revelation, and to revel, in the knowledge of the strangling fruit—and the hand of the sinner shall rejoice, for there is no sin in shadow or in light that the seeds of the dead cannot forgive. And there shall be in the planting in the shadows a grace and a mercy from which shall blossom dark flowers, and their teeth shall devour and sustain and herald the passing of an age. That which dies shall still know life in death for all that decays is not forgotten and reanimated it shall walk the world in the bliss of not-knowing. And then there shall be a fire that knows the naming of you, and in the presence of the strangling fruit, its dark flame shall acquire every part of you that remains.”
Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation



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message 4: by Sandy

Sandy Parsons WTG Jeff! I loved Annihilation. Couldn't stop reading. I was totally captivated.

Alyssa This image gave me flashbacks to your Southern Reach trilogy (which I DEVOURED in a few short weeks!). Hope you enjoy:

Christine Hatfield Thanks for being my friend

message 1: by Fran

Fran Friel Happy Tuesday, Jeff!

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