If you enjoyed the crazy, spooky atmosphere of Annihilation and you’ve also already read the other two parts in the series, and you don’t know what to read next, we are happy to help! Here are some more recommendations for people who enjoyed reading Annihilation. We also have some discussion questions at the end to use in your own book club!
A good other VanderMeer suggestion, after finishing this series, is City of Saints and Madmen. This is part one of The Ambergris series, which is much longer in page length than the Southern Reach trilogy. The book is a composite of stories, fragment and other weird snippets of information, all set in the strange and fictional world of Ambergris. Definitely a place not to get lost in.
Moving away from the writer, I would recommend House of Leaves for anyone who enjoyed the eerie, creepy, scary atmosphere of the novel. I’ve already written about how House of Leaves scared the bejeesus out of me and VanderMeer’s Area X definitely reminded me of the terrifying house that makes House of Leaves.
Our final recommendation is more old skool as Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are science fiction heroes. Their book Roadside Picnic must have been an inspiration for VanderMeer while creating Area X. Roadside Picnic is a short science fiction story about The Zone. Aliens have visited earth and in doing so they changed the natural aspects of what is now known as The Zone. It’s a place, illegal to visit, but The Stalker will bring you there for a price. And while you’re at it, watch the movie ‘based’ on this book by Tarkovsky. Definitely a movie recommendation for this book!
If you have any other recommendations, let us know!
Possible Discussion Questions:
– The biologist has a very peculiar personality. Do you find this fitting with the story or does her aloofness detract from the immersion?
– The four main characters are all women, but all act in a very gender-neutral and sometimes even manly manner. Would the book have worked if all the characters had been male? What does the decision to have female main characters add to the story?
– What do you think of the publishing decision to publish the entire series in a period of just one year?
– Is it a tunnel or a tower? We really couldn’t decide…