Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy Concludes

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Acceptance, The final book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy is on shelves for the first time today. We lined ’em all up in our Science Fiction section. Joe and Raul have been highly anticipating the conclusion to this story.

Joe: 

Jeff VanderMeer is a towering figure in contemporary speculative fiction. Whether it’s editing anthologies with his wife Ann which give scope and definition to the New Weird movement that seeks to breakdown the walls separating science fiction, fantasy, and horror; or it’s penning his own award-winning stories and novels, VanderMeer is a man with a particular vision and never is that vision more apparent than in his Southern Reach Trilogy.

Published over a period of nine months, these novels are the pinnacle of the New Weird. Each novel is an amalgam of influences made whole. Annhilation is a book of slow moving dread, creeping up on you as if Stanley Kubrick decided to make 2001 an adaptation of Lovecraft instead of Arthur C. Clark. This is the landscape of Florida made as alien and unknowable as the narrator is unreliable. The middle book in the sequence, Authority, takes a step back and marries John Le Carre’s Cold War moral ambiguity to the same Kubrickian landscape of the previous book. Imagine George Smiley tracking down not some Soviet mole, but instead the insidious creatures in Philip Kaufman’s 1978 film version of Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers.

These two novels are together and alone some of the best examples of works that bridge the gap between genre and literature. Like Samuel Delaney’s Dhalgren before him, VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy is apparantly redefining the very form and function of speculative fiction with the release of the third and final book, Acceptance.

Raul: 

Acceptance is an astounding conclusion to a trilogy that packs both philosophical and nightmarish quandaries for the human race – what are we except that which we can become? This work examines what happened before Area X occured – who really is the lighthouse keeper? What exactly is Area X and what are the true motives of the Southern Reach? Played out in chapters that serve as prequels to the lives of all the characters and all that has gone before, this book provides eerie insights and a sinister denouement that will disturb you.

Copies of all three books in the Southern Reach trilogy are now available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Fans might also like to know that Farrar, Straus & Giroux will publish all three books together in hardcover on November 18. We’re now taking pre-orders.

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