Like Eva, a 3D-printed copy of another woman, built to be disposable. She should have disintegrated days ago... and she hasn’t.
And now her creator wants her back.
Matt Helm is to captain the last space shuttle carrying passengers to the starship, but his irrepressible desire for Fern Angelus corrupts his sense of duty. He agrees to take part in her time experiments.
Set against a background of passion and longing, Matt's uncanny success with mind projection meets unforseen complications. He projects his mind to a future Earth: a world of shallow, extensive seas, mutated trees growing in layers on each other's branches, and strangely evolved animals like snappersnouts, humpers and energy creatures.
Matt's strange visions eventually meet reality when he discovers that the last load of passengers for the starship has been left behind; and he is one of them.
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.