I took to books at an early age and can still remember my father reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit to me at bedtime. When I could read on my own, my mother brought home books from the library for my siblings and me. She tells me, that I would look at the covers and say "not interested", but if she left them on my night stand I couldn't help, but devour them--the genres and titles didn't seem to matter. Growing up the oldest of five children outside the city of Chicago, our house was always teeming with activity--so it may be no wonder that I enjoyed staying up late to read when things were quiet. There was always something transcendent about disappearing into another world while the rest of the house slept. Books taught me so much about myself and the world around.
I've crossed through a few different genres trying to find my voice but mostly dwell in fantasy, science fiction, and literary fiction. A few authors who have inspired me are: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Frank Herbert, Richard Adams, J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams and William Shakespeare.
Official website: www.ryanseanoreilly.com
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.