“Annihilation” Author Jeff VanderMeer Is Adding a Fourth Book to the “Southern Reach Trilogy” (Exclusive)

See the cover of the new novel, 'Absolution,' plus new 10th anniversary covers for the original three books

<p>Ditte Valente; FSG Books</p> From Left: Jeff VanderMeer and

Ditte Valente; FSG Books

From Left: Jeff VanderMeer and 'Absolution' Cover

Jeff VanderMeer fans may have thought the Southern Reach Trilogy was finished — it's right there in the name, after all. But there's a fourth book coming in the now-expanded series, and new covers for the original three books so the whole set can match.

The new installment, Absolution, is due out Oct. 22 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

In advance of Absolution's debut, the publisher will rerelease the original trilogy with new covers and  introductions by N. K. Jemisin, Helen Macdonald and Karen Jay Fowler. Those will be available starting July 30.

<p>FSG Books</p> 'Absolution' cover

FSG Books

'Absolution' cover

"Absolution is the most uncanny, heart-stopping, and, yes, fun novel I’ve ever written," VanderMeer, 55, says.

The author adds, "I didn’t plan to write a new novel in the Southern Reach series — which is now a quartet! I was happy to be finished and done with it a decade ago, although there were always a few ideas about Area X that wouldn't leave me alone."

<p>FSG Books</p> 10th anniversary 'Annihilation' cover

FSG Books

10th anniversary 'Annihilation' cover

Annihilation — the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy — won the prestigious Nebula Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and all three books collectively won the World Fantasy Award.

Annihilation was also adapted for the screen and became a Paramount film by director Alex Garland starring Natalie PortmanJennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson and Oscar Isaac.

Readers may also know Garland for his new film, Civil War, starring Kirsten DunstWagner MouraStephen McKinley HendersonCailee Spaeny and Nick Offerman, as well as Dunst's real-life husband, Jesse Plemons.

<p>FSG Books</p> 10th anniversary 'Acceptance' cover

FSG Books

10th anniversary 'Acceptance' cover

Like VanderMeer's signature twists and turns do for his readers, Absolution pulled the author in and wouldn't let him go.

"I had a series of revelations over the past couple of years that opened it back up for me, and pulled me back in with a force I couldn't resist. The experience was so powerful that I wrote without stopping, all day, every day, until one week I looked around in a daze and realized it was finished," he says.

"It was exhilarating," VanderMeer continues. "Something about the characters and situations had made it easy, even irresistible for me to just go for it. I'm excited for readers to come back to Area X with me — I think they're going to be really surprised and sometimes shocked by what they find out."

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Absolution will come out on Oct. 22, 2024 and is available for preorder now, wherever books are sold.

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