While his Southern Reach Trilogy is being adapted for film, Jeff VanderMeer has sold a new novel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Farrar, Straus and Giroux has acquired the rights to Borne, a futuristic tale about a woman who discovers a mysterious creature in the ruins of a collapsed civilization. (Similar themes are present in VanderMeer’s Annihilation, the first book of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which sees a biologist, anthropologist, surveyor, and psychologist investigating the abandoned Area X.)
The novel follows a woman named Rachel in the future; searching through debris, she discovers a creature that she calls Borne. It’s unclear what kind of organism Borne is, not least its purpose (“deity” and “cruel experiment” are two potential identities). THR included this short exchange between Rachel and Borne:
“Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
“Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
VanderMeer has been talking about Borne for some time; last year, he described it to Geekadelphia as such:
It’s set in an unnamed mid-Collapse city and in addition to the giant, Godzilla-esque floating bear named Mord, it features memory fish you stick in your ear to relive the good old days, a terrestrial intelligent sea anemone, and an odd bioengineering Company from which issue forth marvels and atrocities both. It’s a bit like a Chekov play in the round with two huge monsters fighting in the backdrop. The usual kind of thing.
Borne is expected to be published in 2016.