logo

Jeff VanderMeer
Authority (Book 2: The Southern Reach Trilogy)



Authority (Book 2: The Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer

Following the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the second book of the Southern Reach trilogy introduces John Rodriguez, the new head of the government agency responsible for the safeguarding of Area X.  He finds the Southern Reach in complete disarray; heavily reliant on obsolete technologies, the eccentricities of its staff bordering on hysteria. His first day is spent grappling with the fall-out from the last expedition and his antagonistic assistant director. Area X, the strange terrain beyond the invisible border, remains a mystery. But, as instructed by a higher authority known only as The Voice, the self-styled Control must 'put his house in order'.

From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the mysteries of Area X begin to reveal themselves—and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve.

Undermined and under pressure to make sense of what happened to the twelfth expedition, Rodriguez retreats into his past in a labyrinthine search for answers.  Yet the more he uncovers, the more he risks, for the secrets of the Southern Reach are more sinister than anyone could have known.


"I'm loving the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Creepy and fascinating." —Stephen King

"VanderMeer's handle on the supernatural gives his writing a unique,
dream-like texture, turning the office politics of the Southern Reach's surreal bureaucracy into a story with all kinds of vague and hallucinatory undertones.." —Toronto Star

"[T]ruly compelling" —Entertainment Weekly

"VanderMeer's mind-bending story is written with the pace and intensity of a thriller, and it's vastly entertaining." —The Times (UK)

"The book strengthens and develops the narrative arc while remaining fully coherent on its own, revealing more and more secrets about Area X all the while. VanderMeer's masterful command of the plot, his cast of characters, and the increasingly desperate situation will leave the reader desperate for the final volume in the trilogy." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"It's every inch as sinister and suggestive as its successful predecessor. . . . a marvellous manifestation of the same sense of impending dread that made Annihilation so special. In every other respect, however, the insidious second volume of the Southern Reach turns the series on its head, to unforgettable effect." —Tor.com

"VanderMeer's writing continues to demonstrate the deceptive lucidity of a fever dream" —The Seattle Times

Related media links:

"From Annihilation to Acceptance: A Writer’s Surreal Journey" in The Atlantic

"The Weird Thoreau" in The New Yorker

"The Illusions of Control: Jeff VanderMeer's extraordinary Southern Reach Trilogy" in Slate


Publication Date: May 6 2014
Page extent: 352 (pb)

World rights (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Brazil (Editora Intrinseca) 
Canada (HarperCollins Canada) 
Germany (Verlag Antje Kunstmann GmbH) 
Hungary (Agave Konyvek Kft.) 
Israel (Graff Publishers) 
Italy (Giulio Einaudi Editore) 
Japan (Hayakawa Shobo) 
Netherlands (De Bezige Bij) 
Poland (Wydawnictwo Otwarte) 
Romania (Editura Trei) 
Russia (EXMO Publishers) 
Spain (Editorial Seix Barral) 
UK (Fourth Estate)
Film rights (Paramount Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions) 
Audio (Blackstone Audiobooks)

FOR ALL RIGHTS INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT DEVON MAZZONE AT devon.mazzone@fsgbooks.com
Jeff VanderMeer

Photo Credit: Kyle Cassidy

Jeff VanderMeer's most recent fiction is the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), which prompted the New Yorker to call the author “the weird Thoreau.” The series has been acquired by publishers in 23 other countries. Paramount Pictures/Scott Rudin Productions acquired the movie rights with Alex Garland set to direct. VanderMeer’s nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, the Washington Post, the Atlantic.com, and the Los Angeles Times. He has also edited or coedited many iconic fiction anthologies, taught at the Yale Writers’ Conference, the Miami International Book Fair, lectured at MIT and the Library of Congress, and serves as the co-director of Shared Worlds, a unique teen writing camp located at Wofford College. He is currently working on a new novel, Borne. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, the noted editor Ann VanderMeer.