I know we just had St. Patrick’s day, but in my house, it might as well be Halloween. Everything I watch or read lately has been super creepy, and Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (Kindle here) is near the top of the creepy list.
Annihilation is the diary of a woman, known only as the biologist, as she goes on a mission to explore Area X. Every member of the mission is required to make a record of their findings, and to keep it private so they don’t contaminate each other’s results.
Area X is a section of land that’s been blocked off by the government. Each team member on a mission brings a certain skill set: The biologist’s teammates are the psychologist, the surveyor, and the anthropologist. The linguist backed out at the last minute. No one uses their names, referring to each other only by their occupations.
I’m not totally sure which government is in charge, or what year it is, or where they are. Area X oozes weirdness almost immediately, when the biologist and her team happen upon a tower with a long, winding staircase. As they walk down the stairs, the biologist starts to see the writing on the wall–literally, and it’s made of plants.
This super creepy vine-and-moss scrawl inspired my embroidery. It begins “where lies the strangling fruit” and only gets weirder and more nonsensical as it spirals down into the darkness.
The biologist’s story is deeply unsettling. Between hallucinations, new forms of life, and plenty of death, she’s not sure what she’s exploring, dreaming, or seeing. And when plants learn how to write, and no one has a name, and you can’t trust what’s alive or dead, holding on to your humanity may be impossible.
Annihilation is the first of three books in the Southern Reach Trilogy. The next book comes out so soon! The publishers decided to do an expedited publication schedule–which I think is really cool–so you can pick up the second book, Authority (Kindle here), on May 6 or preorder it now. The third book, Acceptance (Kindle here), comes out on Sept. 2, and you can preorder it, too. Annihilation was a quick read at just less than 200 pages, so get to it! And watch for plants creeping in to your nightmares.
I am working on a project to sew some of my favorite quotes and images. You can see the other pieces of my embroidery project here:
- S. (embroidery no. 20)
- beyonce (embroidery nos. 18-19)
- goldie the gargoyle (embroidery no. 17)
- izabel from saga (embroidery no. 16)
- i am the one who knocks (embroidery no. 15)
- lying cat (embroidery no. 14)
- breaking bad (embroidery no. 13)
- God bless you but (embroidery no. 12)
- valar morghulis (embroidery no. 11)
- chapter 19 (embroidery no. 10)
- i carry your heart with me (embroidery no. 9 and happy mother’s day)
- everyone was going (embroidery no. 8)
- see synonyms at monster (embroidery no. 7)
- oodles of charm (embroidery no. 6)
- embroidery display
- gibberish (embroidery no. 5)
- if you love me (embroidery no. 4)
- there are other worlds than these (embroidery no. 3)
- mischief managed (aka embroidery no. 2)
- favorite quote embroidery project
(I picked this book out on my own and was not being paid to write about it. But if you buy through my links, I’ll receive a little bit of money for it.)