The Sword and Laser discussion

Annihilation
This topic is about Annihilation
553 views
2015 Reads > Ann: February 2015 Pick: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Comments Showing 1-50 of 90 (90 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6785 comments Mod
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer has been selected for the February 2015 Pick.

For anyone planning to do the audio book, you should keep in mind that you can get the whole trilogy for 1 credit on audible (at least in the US).

They also sell each book individually for 1 credit each, so make sure you search for The Southern Reach Trilogy instead of Annihilation.

Here's the US audible link.


message 2: by Art (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 190 comments The kindle book is only £1.99 on Amazon UK


Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Kindle edition (US) is still $2.99: http://www.amazon.com/Annihilation-No...


Misti (spookster5) | 475 comments Rob wrote: ...For anyone planning to do the audio book, you should keep in mind that you can get the whole trilogy for 1 credit on audible (at least in the US)..."

Nice! I can knock three books off my reading goal in one fell swoop! ;)


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments So excited that this novel was picked! It's gotten such love-it or hate-it reactions that I'm curious which way opinion will swing. I was in the love-it camp, Vandermeer is one of my my favourite authors.


Leesa (leesalogic) | 643 comments I'm always happy when the pick is a book I already have. I got the first book in both audio and ebook in one of those perfect scenarios where either the ebook was a daily deal ($1.99) or the audiobook was on sale ($4.95) in addition to the Whispersync deal you can get on some of these books.


Sophie (quietambition) | 17 comments This definitely sounds amazing but not sure if I want to pay $12 CAD for the Kindle version =/


message 8: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3960 comments Sophie, maybe your local library can help? Inter library loan perhaps?


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown (browneagle44) | 7 comments Great time for a reread! I just finished Authority :)


message 10: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Rowe (benwickens) Wonderful book and sure we will have lots of interesting discussions.

It was probably my favorite genre novel published last year.


message 11: by AndrewP (last edited Jan 21, 2015 04:02PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Wasn't this as sword month? This sounds more like SF.


message 12: by Lindsay (last edited Jan 21, 2015 03:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lindsay | 593 comments It's a bit of a genre bender. A lot about it is SF, but a lot of the things that happen in it and Area X itself might as well be magic in the first book.

EDIT: That's not to say any of it is explained in latter books. I've only read the first one although Authority is on my to-read list.


Geoff (geoffgreer) AndrewP wrote: "Wasn't this as sword month? This sound more like SF."

My library considers it horror. Horror is also the 2nd highest used shelf on Goodreads.

Doesn't bother me either way. We've had other genre straddling books.


terpkristin | 4144 comments AndrewP wrote: "Wasn't this as sword month? This sound more like SF."

Yeah, and horror. Definitely doesn't sound like something that's going to hit my buttons in a good way.


David Coulson | 15 comments Got this book for Christmas and picked up the rest of series when it was on sale a few days ago, so I'm definitely happy that this was the pick.


message 16: by Art (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 190 comments From what I've seen it mixes horror, sci fi and fantasy. I was hoping for something really fantastical this month as I have been reading a lot of other things recently and so am having massive fantasy cravings. But this book still looks really interesting and I guess I'll just pick up something by Robin Hobb once I'm done.


message 17: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben Rowe (benwickens) I think there is plenty in Area X that reads as fantasy and that will rewards a reading looking for something fantastical.

Weird fiction straddles the horror and fantasy genres but often has elements that cannot be explained by any rational explaination and fits fantasy well for me. This introduction by Scott Nicolay does some great contextualising without giving too much away http://weirdfictionreview.com/2014/11...


Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments When explaining New Weird to my friend my one-sentence description was "Literary fiction, but with tentacles."


message 19: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3960 comments My library had it. My library also has e-books of The Sparrow and Children of God. Plus a lot of comics in trade paper form: Fables, lots of Marvel Ultimates, the Marvel Masterworks stuff, a full Age of Apocalypse collection....I could go on and on. Have I mentioned that my library totally rocks?


message 20: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments terpkristin wrote: "AndrewP wrote: "Wasn't this as sword month? This sound more like SF."
Yeah, and horror. Definitely doesn't sound like something that's going to hit my buttons in a good way."

You can always come up with an alternate pick.
if you can get agreement on one


terpkristin | 4144 comments Warren wrote: "You can always come up with an alternate pick.
if you can get agreement on one"


Nah. I've been in this book club since the beginning for the exposure to and push to read books I might not otherwise have come across or read. Plus, I have a "self-imposed requirement" to at least attempt EVERY S&L pick. But they are more approachable when either a) I already had heard of it and wanted to read it or b) when the description and reviews completely turn me off. If I end up not liking it, I have plenty of other things to read and at least I'll have tried. A good thing about this one is that it's short.

That said, I bought the three-in-one audiobook using an Audible credit so hopefully I like it. ;)


message 22: by Ken (new) - added it

Ken | 141 comments Reading the description of this, it reminded me of a routine by either Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor where the kids are in the haunted house and hear "GET OUT!" to which they respond "Cool, let's check it out." In this case it's bad things keep happening to expeditions, so let's send another one! I was going to pass on this one until I read about the three-in-one deal. So, guess I'm in and I'll see what happens to Shaggy and Scooby after the team splits up :)


Trike | 8496 comments All right, which one of you checked it out of Bedford? Hashtag grumpyface.


message 24: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6785 comments Mod
I'm a bit uncertain about this pick as well, so I'm opting for the library. Looks like my hold came in today, so I'll have to sit on it for a bit, or maybe read it a tad early.

If I end up liking it, I'll probably by the trilogy on audible, so I'll be curious to see some feedback on the reader(s). I think each book had a different reader...


Valerie (darthval) | 96 comments I read this toward the end of last year for another book club and thought it was good. It reminded me more than a little of At the Mountains of Madness.


Fresno Bob | 582 comments It filled me with the same kind of dread as House of Leaves


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Warren wrote: "You can always come up with an alternate pick.
if you can get agreement on one "


Nah, at only 195 pages I will probably be finished with this well before February rolls around:)


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments Rob wrote: "I'm a bit uncertain about this pick as well, so I'm opting for the library. Looks like my hold came in today, so I'll have to sit on it for a bit, or maybe read it a tad early.

If I end up liking ..."


Bronson Pinchot reads the second book, and he is excellent and perfect for the tone of that book, which is different than the first. The first is narrated by the same person as did Hunger Games, not my favorite reader but maybe better as a mid-age botanist than teenage kickass.


message 29: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 6785 comments Mod
Thanks Jenny. Now I want to watch to watch Perfect Strangers. Or maybe Beverly Hills Cop...


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments Rob wrote: "Thanks Jenny. Now I want to watch to watch Perfect Strangers. Or maybe Beverly Hills Cop..."

That's exactly why it's so surprising how good he is. I listened to him do Patricia Highsmith first, excellent.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments I think and feel that the series is way too over hyped. It feels like this series is the only books that Jeff has ever written before.


David H. (farrakut) In what sense, Kevin? He did write it to be a bit more accessible than his other works (from some interviews I've read), but I didn't feel like this was the first novel he ever wrote?


message 33: by Mcdf (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mcdf | 2 comments Skipped the Sparrow, but having tried the sample from the Android play store, Annihilation seems much more my cup of tea. Am a big fan of weird, and of horror! Looking forwards to this month's discussions :)


message 34: by Stephen (last edited Jan 24, 2015 11:32PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1327 comments I first heard about Vandermeer by a shout out by Joe Abercrombie who was on a panel with Rothfuss I think. Saw it on Youtube and now have the complete trilogy on my MP3 player and Annihilation as an ebook on my tablet.


message 35: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Morgan (elzbethmrgn) | 275 comments I was a bit iffy on a laser being the sword pick, but horror? Nope nope nope. Can't do it.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments It's more like... Obtuse horror. Strangeness, unsettledness. Not gore and blood and spirits.


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1327 comments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpBH4...
Alright I found the panel, Abercrombie, GRRM, Rothfuss, Lev Grossman & Diana Gabaldon. The shout out is at 37:00, but the whole panel is a blast. I hope that people will just read it and not try to put labels on it.


message 38: by Brendan (last edited Jan 25, 2015 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "It's more like... Obtuse horror. Strangeness, unsettledness. Not gore and blood and spirits."

This, its less violent or gory than your average fantasy novel. Its just kind of creepy. What I found great about it (and other people found terrible about it) is how understated it is.

EDIT: Watching that panel right now, it looks great. I havent read any of Rothfuss's books but he seems like a cool dude.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "It's more like... Obtuse horror. Strangeness, unsettledness. Not gore and blood and spirits."

I'm sure that's where people draw the similarities to Lovecraft.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2859 comments AndrewP wrote: "Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "It's more like... Obtuse horror. Strangeness, unsettledness. Not gore and blood and spirits."

I'm sure that's where people draw the similarities to Lovecraft."


Yes or someone mentioned House of Leaves, not in subject or style but in how you feel reading it.


Leesa (leesalogic) | 643 comments Some argue that horror can be classified as dark fantasy, so in that vein, it fits. :)


Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments My goodness. I picked it up today and have been unable to out it down. It makes dolphins unsettling.


Karly (karlycay) | 79 comments I'm so excited this book was picked. I read it last January and loved it. This will give me an excuse to re-read. I read #1 and #3 in print and listened to Authority. But I wish I had done it the other way. I bet Annihilation is wonderful and eerie to have playing in your ears.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1864 comments I don't think folk should get so hung up on the sword or laser thing. Usually we read one one month and the other the next, but this isn't a rigid rule, certainly not when there are books that straddle the genres. I have only read the first chapter, but, without spoilers, it shows people entering a strange area bringing with them only the most low-tech equipment. It isn't classic swords and sorcery style fantasy, but I can see how it might fit the fantasy heading, and if this book were chosen as a laser pick, I bet there would be some disgruntled cries of 'this is not sci-fi'. The book so far is unsettling rather than horrific, but does satisfy my urge to read something darker, which is cool because a lot of people have been requesting a horror pick. I suggest reading a sample before dismissing it. So far, I think it is an excellent pick.


message 45: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3960 comments I read the first 15% or so. It isn't any further towards horror than some Alastair Reynolds that I've read. And anyway, one of the grand master of SF, Ray Bradbury, had a tendency towards the macabre. Just grab Long After Midnight or Something Wicked This Way Comes.

I was also amused at the relatively short length - 200 pages - when SF these days tends towards "brick" length. In my youth most SF was 200 pages and you'd better be a master storyteller with a serious story to tell (like, say, Heinlein in Time Enough for Love) to go longer.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments John wrote: "I was also amused at the relatively short length - 200 pages - when SF these days tends towards "brick" length. In my youth most SF was 200 pages and you'd better be a master storyteller with a serious story to tell (like, say, Heinlein in Time Enough for Love) to go longer. "

Yeah me too. Although when I see a trilogy published in such short order I suspect it might be one long book broken up into 3 parts as a money grab.


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1327 comments Andrew. my friend , money grab ? We are talking books, there is no money in books. I wish writers ( You know who ) would release three 250 page books every two years instead of one huge book every six years.


message 48: by Rob Secundus (last edited Jan 26, 2015 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob Secundus (quintessential_defenestration) | 1035 comments The other two books are longer. I wouldn't call it a cash grab, but it seems to me that the publisher was trying an experiment-- "will people be more willing to buy books in a series if they know they won't have a long wait for the ending, or will publishing them in a short time cause people to skip the whole thing, as it's asking for too much money in too short a time?" I'd be really interested in knowing if it worked (though I think parts 2 and 3 were on the NYT bestseller list, so, probably it did? Book 1 built buzz, and then 2 and 3 immediately seized on that?)

And yeah, I'm with stephen. I *really* prefer this model.


message 49: by Brendan (last edited Jan 26, 2015 11:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brendan (mistershine) | 930 comments Instead of being a money grab, i was wondering if it had more to do with increasing his chances for literary awards (will more critics read Annihilation if its shorter?) and also what Rob said, releasing them in this unique way built hype. That and one of Vandermeer's things is experimenting with the structure of novel, so that's hardly new.

(view spoiler)


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2481 comments Rob Secundus wrote: "And yeah, I'm with stephen. I *really* prefer this model. "

But then certain other authors would be putting out a 250 page book once a quarter :)


« previous 1
back to top