Borne

Jeff VanderMeer

“Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
“Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”

In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel makes her living as a scavenger. She finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic despotic bear that once prowled the corridors of a biotech firm, the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly, and broke free. Made insane by the company’s torture of him, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers.

At first, Borne looks like nothing at all?just a green lump that might be a discard from the Company, which, although severely damaged, is rumored to still make creatures and send them to far-distant places that have not yet suffered collapse.

Borne reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment that she resents: attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick?a special kind of dealer?not to render down Borne as raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.

But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel?and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.

Reviews of Borne

  • Praise for the SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY:

    ‘I’m loving the Southern Reach Trilogy … Creepy and fascinating’ Stephen King

    ‘Hauntingly weird and brilliantly new … These are contemporary masterpieces and career-defining novels’ Adam Robert, Books of the Year, Guardian

    ‘This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece … Remarkable … Tense, eerie and unsettling … VanderMeer writes much better prose than Poe ever did … This is genuinely potent and dream-haunting writing. VanderMeer has arrived.’ Guardian

    ‘A teeming science fiction that draws on Conrad and Lovecraft alike … “Annihilation” shows signs of being the novel that will allow VanderMeer to break through to a new and larger audience’ Sunday Telegraph

    ‘A lasting monument to the uncanny … You find yourself afraid to turn the page’ Guardian

    ‘VanderMeer’s novel is a psycho-geographical tour de force, channelling Ballard and Lovecraft to instil the reader with a deep, delicious unease’ Financial Times

    ‘What a haunting book this is, lodging deep in the memory in similar fashion to otherworldly classics such as David Lindsay’s “A Voyage To Arcturus” … “Annihilation” is so disquietingly strange as to defy summarisation. Read it’ Daily Mail

    ‘Astonishing, frightening, spectacular … The imaginative daring and reach with which VanderMeer has invented and executed a concept such as Area X is breathtaking … Powerful and echoing … I hope the trilogy will come to be seen not only as the instant sci-fi classic it is, but also as Literature’ New Statesman

    ‘Immersive, insightful and often deeply bloody creepy, this is a startlingly good novel … A major work’ ***** SFX Magazine

    ‘A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unravelling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot of Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and claustrophobic dread that lingers long afterwards. I loved it’ Lauren Beukes

    ‘Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent’ Warren Ellis

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