The Southern Reach Trilogy
Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance) explores ecological and global warming issues through the lens of the mysterious Area X, a pristine wilderness separated from the rest of the world by an invisible but potent barrier. In some sense, Area X is to humans as humans are to animals, a laboratory for interrogation of human inconsistency and absurdity within a Baudrillardian hegemony.
The attempts of scientists and the government to uncover the mystery behind Area X allow VanderMeer to engage in what the New Yorker called “experiments in weird nature writing…and meditations on the theme of epistemic pessimism, in the tradition of Kafka.” These meditations, as noted by the Los Angeles Review of Books, evoke Timothy Morton’s idea of “hyperobjects,” as applied to a “collapsitarianism” that comments on the Dark Mountain movement, among others. A critical and commercial success, the Southern Reach defines the post-human as a posing of questions in the context of a coming post-Anthropocene era.