Jeff VanderMeer

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Jeff VanderMeer

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in The United States


Member Since
May 2009

NYT bestselling writer Jeff VanderMeer has been called “the weird Thoreau” by the New Yorker for his engagement with ecological issues. His most recent novel, the national bestseller Borne, received wide-spread critical acclaim and his prior novels include the Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance). Annihilation won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards, has been translated into 35 languages, and was made into a film from Paramount Pictures directed by Alex Garland. His nonfiction has appeared in New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, Slate, Salon, and the Washington Post. He has coedited several iconic anthologies with his wife, the Hugo Award winning editor. Other titles include Wonderbook, the worl ...more

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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 cockroach…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: 3.7 · 342,779 ratings · 39,115 reviews · 195 distinct worksSimilar authors
Annihilation (Southern Reac...

3.70 avg rating — 152,241 ratings — published 2014 — 11 editions
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Authority (Southern Reach, #2)

3.51 avg rating — 58,309 ratings — published 2014 — 65 editions
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Acceptance (Southern Reach,...

3.59 avg rating — 44,445 ratings — published 2014 — 60 editions
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Borne (Borne, #1)

3.93 avg rating — 23,909 ratings — published 2017 — 46 editions
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Area X: The Southern Reach ...

3.76 avg rating — 6,087 ratings — published 2014 — 22 editions
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City of Saints and Madmen (...

3.85 avg rating — 5,267 ratings — published 2001 — 21 editions
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The Strange Bird: A Borne S...

4.15 avg rating — 4,017 ratings — published 2017 — 3 editions
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Wonderbook: The Illustrated...

4.36 avg rating — 2,994 ratings — published 2013 — 13 editions
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Finch (Ambergris, #3)

3.97 avg rating — 2,897 ratings — published 2009 — 16 editions
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The Steampunk Bible

3.92 avg rating — 2,194 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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More books by Jeff VanderMeer…

St. Marks Wildlife Refuge: Official Area X T-Shirt!

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There’s now an official Area X T-shirt, available at the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge visitor’s center here in North Florida. As some of you may know, the refuge is the main influence on the Southern Reach trilogy. All proceeds from T-shirt sales go to helping maintain the lighthouse and the refuge. Thanks to the Friends of the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge for their interest.

Here’s the

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Published on September 28, 2018 05:33
Annihilation Authority Acceptance
(3 books)
3.64 avg rating — 261,090 ratings

Borne Dead Astronauts
(2 books)
3.89 avg rating — 31,297 ratings

City of Saints and Madmen Shriek: An Afterword Finch
(3 books)
3.92 avg rating — 9,807 ratings

The Thackery T. Lambshead P...
(2 books)
3.67 avg rating — 1,411 ratings

A Peculiar Peril
(2 books)
3.41 avg rating — 400 ratings

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Winter is upon us and the chill of the season is creeping through in this month's collection of new books. Bundle up,...
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" You can find the image on my site:

Also, they probably will ship to you. They are doing international orders.
...more "
" Lori wrote: "Just a reminder that tomorrow is the final day for questions in our Author Reader discussion with Jeff.

Jeff, I do want to thank you whol
...more "
" Kyle wrote: "My heart and my brain both did simultaneous somersaults when I saw that THE Jeff Vandermeer was commenting on this thread. Congratulation ...more "
" 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
...more "
1218 1865
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
More of Jeff's books…
“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

“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


Preliminary science fiction poll for February BOTM

  20 votes, 28.6%

  19 votes, 27.1%

  15 votes, 21.4%

  13 votes, 18.6%

  3 votes, 4.3%


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message 4: by Sandy

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

Niederberger 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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