Look Out For… Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer and Dark Screams

reprint-jeffvandermeer-areax-cvr-200Look Out For… Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

“In a world of dull and derivative trilogies, The Southern Reach stands out.”

For thirty years, Area X, monitored by the secret agency known as the Southern Reach, has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border– an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness. Eleven expeditions have been sent in to investigate; even for those that have made it out alive, there have been terrible consequences.

Why We’re Excited About This Book: 

The three volumes of The Southern Reach trilogy– Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance–were released last year as individual books. After much acclaim they’ve now been gathered together in one gorgeous looking hardback.

Area X is a mysterious tract of wilderness sealed off by the American government allegedly due to an environmental disaster; the Southern Reach agency is a clandestine body tasked with investigating and exploring Area X. As the books progress, it becomes clear that the Southern Reach agency is almost as opaque and sinister as Area X itself. The first book, Annihilation, focuses on one of the agency’s ill-fated expeditions into Area X, whereas Authority is a story of the machinations at the Southern Reach. The final volume, Acceptance, brings together characters and events from the first two books.

Jeff VanderMeer has always been associated with ‘weird fiction’ and The Southern Reach Trilogy is no exception. The books combining elements as disparate as JG Ballard, environmentalism, Lovecraft, and The X-Files but the end result is something totally modern and beyond classification. There are horrors in Area X, but pristine beauty too, and VanderMeer’s writing evokes both perfectly.

In a world of dull and derivative trilogies, The Southern Reach stands out, and this new combined volume is the perfect way to explore this modern classic.

 Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy is out now from Farrar Straus Giroux.


e_chizmar01Look Out For … Dark Screams

“Given the calibre of writers involved, Dark Screams: Volume One looks like an essential purchase.”

Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, Bill Pronzini, Simon Clark, and Ramsey Campbell are the first contributors to a mind-bending new series of short-story collections that push the boundaries of horror and dark suspense to the bleeding edge. From Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the acclaimed Cemetery Dance Publications, Dark Screams: Volume One reaches across genres to take readers beyond the precipice of mortal toil and into the glimmering void of irreality and beyond.

Why We’re Excited About This Book: 

A varied collection of stories from well-known writers, Dark Screams: Volume One launches a new anthology series from Hydra.

For many readers, the presence of an unpublished Stephen King story from 1976 will no doubt be enough reason to click download. Despite being previously unpublished, hardcore King fans may suffer a touch of deja-vu reading ‘Weeds’, for this is the original short story King adapted for his Creepshow episode ‘The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill’. However the story itself is darker than its adaptation, and Dark Screams: Volume One also contains tales from Kelly Armstrong, Bill Pronzini, Simon Clark and Ramsey Campbell. Given the calibre of writers involved, Dark Screams: Volume One looks like an essential purchase.

Later volumes in the series will feature stories from such writers as Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Jack Ketchum, Richard Christian Matheson and Shawntelle Madison. With each volume small but perfectly formed, Dark Screams certainly looks like a welcome addition to the horror anthology market.

Dark Screams: Volume One is out now from Hydra.
Dark Screams: Volume Two is out on 3 March 2015.


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