** February Challenge – Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic **

goodreads The Aussie Readers group on Goodreads has the February Challenge – Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic;

Let’s celebrate February with reads that are Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic in nature! See how many you can find that are already on your bulging TBR lists – do you also love Young Adult in these genres? Well now’s your chance to lower your TBRs of all those Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic books!

Annihilation is also the Sword & Laser read for February 2015.

Annihilation Jeff VanderMeer – Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1)
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.

(Media: audio book)
VERDICT: ★★★★
I’m still not too sure about this being SF or being Horror. Weird, creepy, unsettling … was our narrator really there or was this all a thought experiment?

“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

[1] From Annihilation to Acceptance: A Writer’s Surreal Journey (2015-Jan-28) [The Atlantic]
The author agreed to publish three novels in one year—and then things got weird.
[2] SFF180 | ‘Annihilation’ by Jeff VanderMeer [YouTube]
A haunting odyssey into a mysteriously altered coastal landscape becomes, for four explorers, far more of a journey inwards than any of them were expecting.

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2 Responses to ** February Challenge – Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic **

  1. Joe Abercrombie gives a shout out for Annihilation at 38m25s in the ‘Rulers of the Realm’ panel (San Diego Comic Con 2014)

  2. SFF180 | ‘Annihilation’ by Jeff VanderMeer ★★★★

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