Gaylord Dold is the author of fifteen works of fiction including the highly acclaimed private detective series featuring Mitch Roberts, a well as numerous contemporary crime thrillers. Many of his novels have been singled out for awards and praise by a number of critics and writer’s organizations. As one of the founders of Watermark Press, Dold edited and published a number of distinguished literary works, including the novel Leaving Las Vegas by John O’Brien, which was made into a movie starring Nicholas Cage and Elizabeth Shue. Dold lives on the prairie of southern Kansas.
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.