The Next Best Book Club discussion

197 views
Author/Reader Discussions > Borne - AuthoReadeR Discussion

Comments Showing 1-50 of 112 (112 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3

message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
In July, we'll be discussing Borne with author Jefff Vandermeer.

We had a blast discussing The Southern Reach Trilogy with Jeff a few years back and I cannot wait to see what you all think of his new novel!!!

His publisher, MCD/FSG is giving us a total of 10 hard cover copies (for US residents only, sorry international folks!)

In order to be considered, you must comment here or on the blog for a shot at winning one and secure a spot in the discussion that kicks off on July 24th.

http://thenextbestbookblog.blogspot.c...

This giveaway will run through June 9th.


Winners will be announced here and via email (if you provide one) on June 10th.


Here's how to enter:

1 - Leave a comment here or in the giveaway thread over at TNBBC's blog (linked above). REMEMBER, You must be a resident of the US to qualify ffor this one. The winners will be chosen via Random.org at the end of the giveaway period.

ONLY COMMENT ONCE. MULTIPLE COMMENTS DO NOT GAIN YOU ADDITIONAL CHANCES TO WIN.

2 - State that you agree to participate in the group read book discussion that will run from July 24th through July 30th. Jeff has agreed to participate in the discussion and will be available to answer any questions you may have for him.

*If you are chosen as a winner, by accepting the copy you are agreeing to read the book and join the group discussion right here in this thread next month.

3 - If your goodreads profile is blocked (set on private), please leave me another way to contact you.


GOOD LUCK!!!!


message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments I super agree.


message 3: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Farrell (vanaef) | 46 comments Rhonda Farrell
This is going on my to read wish list! If I win I agree to participate in the author discussion.


message 4: by Diane (new)

Diane | 588 comments I just saw this the other day and wanted to read it because of our discussion on Annihilation! I would love to participate in this one as well.


message 5: by Chris (new)

Chris Wallace (chrispwallace) | 112 comments I dont know if I successfully posted a comment on google account. But I want to say I really like Annihilation. I was part of the discussion before. I would love to read more from him.

chrispwallace@yahoo.com


message 6: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Bihlmayer | 81 comments I've had this on my tbr list for awhile. I agree to participate in the discussion, if I win a copy of the book 😊


message 7: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments I would LOVE to read this and ask some questions. I agree to participate in the discussion, and I live in the good ol' falling-apart USA.


message 8: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Coffman (tiffanycoffman) | 24 comments I would love to read this and agree to participate! I read his Southern Reach trilogy and loved it. Thanks!


message 9: by Marvin (new)

Marvin | 19 comments I'd like to read this book and agree to participate in the discussion. Thanks!


message 10: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat I would love to read this book and participate in the discussion!


message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori | 35 comments I inhaled the Southern Reach trilogy. Been waiting for his next. I would love to participate in the discussion that starts Judy 24th.


message 12: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
Hi everyone. Sorry for the delays notification on the winners! I just returned from vacation. Thanks for being patient with me.

Winners have been chosen at random - we had 11 entries, and only 10 copies to give. Sadly, that means there was one unlucky commentor.

Rhonda... I am sorry honey! We only had so many copies to give :( I hope you will still join us in the discussion though!!!


As for the rest of you.. I will be sending out goodreads messages emails now to collect your shipping addresses.

Thanks! And see you at the discussion with Jeff in July!


message 13: by Rhonda (new)

Rhonda Farrell (vanaef) | 46 comments I got me a kindle copy so I will work on reading it this month. Thanks for the author discussion and entry drawing. Not everyone can win. That's the way it goes!


message 14: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
That's so true Rhonda! I'm glad you got it on the Kindle so you can read and join in!!!


message 15: by Diane (last edited Jun 21, 2017 08:56PM) (new)

Diane | 588 comments I received my copy of Borne yesterday. I will be starting it this week :)


message 16: by Erin (new)

Erin (dindrane) So excited!


message 17: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
So glad to hear that you guys!


message 18: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Coffman (tiffanycoffman) | 24 comments So excited. Started it this afternoon and can't put it down!


message 19: by ash (new)

ash | spaceyreads (ashych) I would love to participate in the discussion, I have read the book a week back!


message 20: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
We would love to have you Ashley! It kicks off on Monday (a week from today) and runs the whole week long!!


message 21: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
Are you guys ready?!
The discussion officially kicks off tomorrow!


message 22: by Diane (new)

Diane | 588 comments I am ready :) Getting wisdom teeth pulled Wednesday so my participation will be at the beginning and end of the discussion. I don't think I will be up to it Wednesday or Thursday.


message 23: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
Ouch, getting your wisdom teeth pulled sucks! Sorry to hear that Diane!


message 24: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Jul 23, 2017 12:49PM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10087 comments Mod
Since I work tomorrow, I wanted to take a moment now to welcome Jeff back to our group!

For those of you who might not have been around, a few years back, Jeff and his publisher made copies of Annihilation, the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy, available for us. And we discussed the heck out of it! Jeff was an amazing guest and we're thrilled to have him back for another round of Author/Reader Discussions.

Welcome Jeff!

And thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to visit with us again.

I love seeing the fan art that BORNE has inspired in your readers. My favorite has to be the garden astronaut. It must be so cool to see how deeply your writing has affected your audience.

description

Can you tell us... how did you develop the vision of Borne, the creature?


message 25: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Bihlmayer | 81 comments Hi Jeff,
my first question is.. where do you get your ideas? My second question is about the southern reach trilogy, how will annihilation ever play out on the big screen, without losing your vision?


message 26: by Eric (new)

Eric | 59 comments Jeff,

I saw you speak at Vanderbilt a couple years back--really enjoyed it. With the fight against climate change becoming more dire by the minute, do you think a writer's greatest challenge in tackling the subject is making the reader acknowledge the threat, or take up arms against it? I'm fascinated by the hyperobject as utilized in your work, and I'm interested in knowing if you think the metaphor rings clearly enough, or if, perhaps, you trust the reader to make the leap? That is to say, maybe I've misread the application of the metaphor, and the shark is just a shark, as Hemingway would say.


message 27: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments Hello, Mr. VanderMeer, and thank you so much for joining us! It is such an honor to get to speak with you.

In prep for this Q&A, I also read Annihilation, and I want to talk about a couple similarities in the books. First, the first-person in general: Do you feel more comfortable writing in first-person? What challenges does that pose for you? And what about it do you like?

Secondly, about the female perspective: Again, what challenges or comforts do you find in inhabiting a female role, female mindset? Did you find it more difficult to write from the female perspective? What did you learn in doing so?

And third, the two together: What challenges came from writing in both first-person and from the female perspective? Was that easy for you, and what do you feel you learned from it?


message 28: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Lori wrote: "Since I work tomorrow, I wanted to take a moment now to welcome Jeff back to our group!

For those of you who might not have been around, a few years back, Jeff and his publisher made copies of Ann..."


Hi! Thanks for having me back! Honestly, I thought of Borne as having two influences: What he was made to do and then what Rachel wants him to be and what Rachel teaches him. But then there's the wildcard of what he's absorbing from sources other than Rachel, so to speak. In a context where Borne starts out childlike and becomes more like a teenager and adult later.

In thinking about Borne as child, I channeled my conversations from years back with my daughter Erin, when she was eight or nine. And then I had in the back of my mind for late-stage Borne the tone of novels like--don't be surprised!--Tale of Two Cities and other novels in which sacrifice occurs. Mid-stage Borne I just reveled in being able to be inconsistent in his syntax, sometimes mature sometimes not. While also having conversations where Borne is trying to tell Rachel things using simple vocabulary, messages that Rachel doesn't quite get because she doesn't understand how sophisticated a creature Borne is.

As for Borne's physicality--I thought of course of squid and other sea creatures, but in a land context. So Borne clearly has a brain distributed across his body like a squid. Since I'm so familiar with these kinds of creatures, the physicality of Borne came easily.


message 29: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Eric wrote: "Jeff,

I saw you speak at Vanderbilt a couple years back--really enjoyed it. With the fight against climate change becoming more dire by the minute, do you think a writer's greatest challenge in ta..."


A novel can't be a thesis--it has to be messy and it has to be complicated in ways different from, say, a theory of hyperobjects. So that might be why. Also, of course, I was coming from it in the context of character points of view, etc., which lend a certain refraction to the framing of an idea.

Personally, I think many climate change deniers won't be swayed by fact or fiction. What I hope is to sway the person who says they believe in climate change but they think it's not going to happen in any catastrophic way for another forty or fifty years.


message 30: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Leah wrote: "Hello, Mr. VanderMeer, and thank you so much for joining us! It is such an honor to get to speak with you.

In prep for this Q&A, I also read Annihilation, and I want to talk about a couple similar..."


I'm frankly sick of male perspectives in fiction, for the most part, and sick of the parts of book culture that still don't value women's writing as they should. So I would say I've more and more with conscious intent abandoned male perspectives. Also, because, frankly, individual characters come to me unbidden. So, I tell my subconscious I have a preference and then some unique, interesting person comes along I have to tell a story about.

I like first and third person, but usually the third person has to be tight-in like in Authority, or it's not of interest to me. There has to be room for interiority of character.

I can't say any particular way is easier--just that one particular way always seems better for a particular novel.


message 31: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Deanna wrote: "Hi Jeff,
my first question is.. where do you get your ideas? My second question is about the southern reach trilogy, how will annihilation ever play out on the big screen, without losing your vision?"


These days, just about anywhere. I was reading a Tana French novel yesterday and her protagonist mentions some drones hovering in the corner of an office building. French meant employees, I literally saw little black drones hovering and now I've got a whole short story idea around that.

With Borne, I had the opening scene in my head and just didn't write more for a long time to think about what it meant and who the characters really were.


message 32: by Chris (new)

Chris Wallace (chrispwallace) | 112 comments Good morning Jeff. Thank you for using your writing time to talk with us. ( I watched a Utube clip where you said you wrote early in the day.).

The idea of what makes up a person stuck with me. You developed that very well without lecturing. Borne's development was intriguing. I did see him developing like a child. One minute a child and the next a teenager and back forth. Did you have him ( I thought of Borne as male ?) developed before writing or did was he born as you wrote?


message 33: by Chris (new)

Chris Wallace (chrispwallace) | 112 comments I was writing my question and did not see previous response - sorry for that.


message 34: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments You deal a lot in colors: purple, emerald green, carious yellow. Is there an importance to the color? Does it signify more than just color to you, like, say, purple = royalty, yellow = cowardice, etc.? Or is it merely a means to an end for description? Do you think carefully about the colors ascribed to objects, to give symbolism?


message 35: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments I'm going to bust right in here with my next question, too. People have asked about Borne, but I'm curious about Mord. As a writer myself, I often give antagonists traits that are characteristics I fear personally in people or things. How did you settle on a bear? What was the inspiration behind that, and do you have any personal Stephen Colbert-esque fear of bears?


message 36: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Chris wrote: "Good morning Jeff. Thank you for using your writing time to talk with us. ( I watched a Utube clip where you said you wrote early in the day.).

The idea of what makes up a person stuck with me. ..."


I think I had Borne in my head from the very beginning. He was really easy to write, to be honest. I don't know why. So it's hard to analyze how he came to be, because he kind of just popped up in my imagination.


message 37: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Leah wrote: "You deal a lot in colors: purple, emerald green, carious yellow. Is there an importance to the color? Does it signify more than just color to you, like, say, purple = royalty, yellow = cowardice, e..."

Everything in the world is a particular color and a particular shade or hue of that color. So I like to be precise, when I think a viewpoint character would be precise.


message 38: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Leah wrote: "I'm going to bust right in here with my next question, too. People have asked about Borne, but I'm curious about Mord. As a writer myself, I often give antagonists traits that are characteristics I..."

I love bears and I love them in part for their physicality. Mord was always a bear--it just happened that way because I'd wanted to write about bears, being fascinated by them. Facts like that bears are always perpetually nursing some injury, like a linebacker, because it's just the nature of being a bear. The many kinds of sounds they make. Their adaptability as a large omnivorous predator despite so many other large species in decline. So just because he's a predator and has issues doesn't mean I dislike bears or even dislike Mord. In that Mord is very honest about who he is--he is what he advertises he is. And he even has a kind of tragic story about how he got where he is, revealed in the novle.


message 39: by SarahKat (new)

SarahKat Hi Jeff! I really enjoyed this book and Annihilation. Many of the questions I had in my head were already asked and answered. One thing I noticed in both books was the protagonist mentions hanging around tidal pools and studying that creatures there. Is that a personal past-time of yours as well?

I like how the human(s) in the book are described almost scientifically throughout, as if they are simply a species to be studied.

I also enjoyed the biotech aspect of the book. Many dystopian/futuristic stories are full of technology, or completely devoid of even present-day tech. This seemed new and different to me.

More questions and comments to come when I have my book in front of me!


message 40: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments How did you come up with the idea for the Company? Is there nebulous origin there, or did it stem from inspiration of any specific or single entity?


message 41: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Leah wrote: "How did you come up with the idea for the Company? Is there nebulous origin there, or did it stem from inspiration of any specific or single entity?"

I think the seamlessness and thus anonymity of some kinds of modern tech design inspired it and also the fact that multi-nationals often become "the company" to the area from which they are extracting resources to send elsewhere. So if you look at current cities where that situation applies, that would be the main inspiration. But in dealing with mythic elements like a giant flying bear, you have to be cautious about naming things. Sometimes a more specific name makes something less universal or less successful. Just like names in Annihilation would have made me understand the character less, naming the Company, for some reason, would have made me know the Company less.


message 42: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments SarahKat wrote: "Hi Jeff! I really enjoyed this book and Annihilation. Many of the questions I had in my head were already asked and answered. One thing I noticed in both books was the protagonist mentions hanging ..."

I grew up in Fiji and loved seeing the miniature worlds in tidal pools, and then later in Florida. Also, I had an overgrown swimming pool in the back of our house in Florida, full of fish, frogs, with herons and all kinds of other critters.


message 43: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments Jeff wrote: "Leah wrote: "How did you come up with the idea for the Company? Is there nebulous origin there, or did it stem from inspiration of any specific or single entity?"

I think the seamlessness and thus..."


Interesting what you say about naming things, because I find that, in the work I've read of yours (to which, granted, I'm a newbie.), names seem to be a sort of sacred thing. Like a reward. I recall Rachel not being named for quite some time, I believe, and we didn't really know her sex until we truly knew her name. And in Annihilation, you don't give names, only occupations, and the names are referred to as this desired, unreachable plateau for these strangers trying to learn (or guess at) each other when things get desperate. Is this something you, yourself, feel, outside of your characters? That names are some sort of sacred thing? Or that something is lost (or too much gained?) if we get to a name in a book when it is still unearned? How do you feel this helps/hinders your readers getting inside the character? Do you think names will become less important in the future if our own times get too desperate?


message 44: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Leah wrote: "Jeff wrote: "Leah wrote: "How did you come up with the idea for the Company? Is there nebulous origin there, or did it stem from inspiration of any specific or single entity?"

I think the seamless..."


I'm not sure sacred so much as not always important to characterization. It is true that I don't like novels where first-person characters artificially introduce themselves very early on. This is especially true when unfortunately some default to a narrator being white male if not told otherwise. And frankly I kind of like the idea of it naturally coming out and if the reader has formed a different mental image...well...


message 45: by Leah (new)

Leah Angstman (leahangstman) | 56 comments Jeff wrote: "Leah wrote: "Jeff wrote: "Leah wrote: "How did you come up with the idea for the Company? Is there nebulous origin there, or did it stem from inspiration of any specific or single entity?"

I think..."


I really liked it, too. Since I did not read Annihilation first, which might have dropped a clue of female perspective, I did not expect Rachel to be a woman until her name was mentioned. I had an a-ha moment at that. I thought she was a male (because like you said, that kind of seems to be the default), and I thought there were some LGBT undertones, even. Male and male, can't be seen together, etc. It was an excellent reveal. How intentional was that? Did you purposely leave her ambiguous in the beginning, so readers could form different mental images? (I might be reading into this a bit, but as a woman, this was a takeaway message for me at the beginning:) Was there any kind of statement/message in this choice that sex doesn't matter when it comes to action or survival, or that we don't know what the sex is at the beginning because the sexes are equal? Any kind of, say, subtle feminist equality statement, if that makes sense?


message 46: by Diane (new)

Diane | 588 comments Hi Jeff, by the time I logged in here my main questions have been answered in one way or another. I just want to say that I loved how visual your book and writing is. It really allowed me to see the story unfolding as I read.
As a parent, I couldn't help but to see and feel the development of Born as a child. I saw my own children's development and thought processes and it made this truly unique character real for me. I was particularly touched by Rachel's thoughts at the end of part 2.

" I had been watching him the whole time, with every last little thing I did, even when I didn't realize I was teaching him. With every last little thing I did, not just those things I tried to teach him. Every moment I had been teaching him, and how I wanted now to take back some of those those moments. How I wanted now not to have snuck into Wick's apartment. How I wished I had been a better person."

What parent has not felt this in retrospect? How much of your inspiration for Born came from your own experience as a parent? As a parent what do you wish you have done differently?


message 47: by Chris (new)

Chris Wallace (chrispwallace) | 112 comments My favorite line in thee book was - Borne made me happy - but happiness never made anyone less stupid. Just wanted to add that. Your writing style is excellent. Both in Annihilation and Borne. Is there any chance for a ReBorne or Borne Again?


message 48: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Chris wrote: "My favorite line in thee book was - Borne made me happy - but happiness never made anyone less stupid. Just wanted to add that. Your writing style is excellent. Both in Annihilation and Borne. Is t..."

I have a novella called The Strange Bird coming out from FSG as an e-book only on August 1. It intersects with the Borne timeline about two-thirds of the way through. It also includes a lot more about the little foxes.


message 49: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Diane wrote: "Hi Jeff, by the time I logged in here my main questions have been answered in one way or another. I just want to say that I loved how visual your book and writing is. It really allowed me to see th..."

Yeah, I definitely think my experience as a stepdad influenced those parts of Borne. Some of the silly conversations, but also what I wanted for my daughter and the things you can teach and not teach, and the mistakes you make.

But also teaching at and helping run the Shared Worlds teen SF/F writing camp out of Wofford College the last ten years, re those particular lines. I learned after the first year that those students weren't just learning from what we did when we were teaching, but everything we did, even when we didn't think we were "on." And that deeply influenced how I approached organizing the camp, the guest writers we invited, etc. I see the whole camp now, from the first moment the students set foot on campus to when they leave as the experience, not just the stuff on the schedule. And that's where those lines came from.


message 50: by Jeff (new)

Jeff VanderMeer | 57 comments Leah wrote: "Jeff wrote: "Leah wrote: "Jeff wrote: "Leah wrote: "How did you come up with the idea for the Company? Is there nebulous origin there, or did it stem from inspiration of any specific or single enti..."

Well, I mean, too, the cover description says she's a woman, so I didn't feel a huge obligation to state it in the first paragraph for that reason either.


« previous 1 3
back to top