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.”

A ruined city of the future lives in fear of a despotic, gigantic flying bear, driven mad by the tortures inflicted on him by the Company, a mysterious biotech firm. A scavenger, Rachel, finds a creature entangled in his fur. She names it Borne.

At first, Borne looks like nothing at all? a green lump that might be a discard from the Company. But he reminds Rachel of her homeland, an island nation long lost to rising seas, and she prevents her lover, Wick, from rendering down Borne as raw genetic material for the special kind of 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

    • ‘Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy was an ever-creeping map of the apocalypse; with Borne he continues his investigation into the malevolent grace of the world, and it’s a thorough marvel’ Colson Whitehead
    • ‘Jeff VanderMeer’s deeply strange and brilliant new novel extends the meditation on the central question of non-human sentience in his earlier work … No one writes a post-apocalyptic landscape like VanderMeer, so detailed and strange in all its lineaments and topography’ Neel Mukherjee, Guardian
    • ‘From being a very successful SF writer, VanderMeer will become mainstream – and Borne is full of signs that he is already thinking ahead of that easy transition, and perhaps subverting it’ Toby Litt, New Statesman
    • ‘No one writes a post-apocalyptic landscape like VanderMeer, so detailed and strange in all its lineaments and topography, at once a wasteland and yet seething with the weirdest kind of flora, fauna and biotech’ Neel Mukherjee, Observer
    • ‘As Borne grows and evolves, so develops a weird family dynamic in a novel that is as much of a fascinating hybrid as its title character, both an enthralling fantasy adventure and a bleak eco-dystopic admonition’ James Lovegrove, Financial Times
    • ‘Borne is a fantastic read, a vivid vision of an apocalyptic future that defies expectations and challenges any preconceptions as to how events are going to unfold. It can be disturbing at times – there are some chilling moments that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror novel – but it’s a book that ultimately transcends genre, offering its reader a range of emotions and a finale that provides more than one twist, all of which should be applauded. Rachel’s story is one that will stay in the memory for a long time; VanderMeer shares her hopes and dreams with us, as well as her failures and concerns, making Borne an intimate portrayal that appeals on a multitude of levels’ Starburst