Boris Smus

interaction engineering

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation was first recommended to me by KO. This book is a creepy combination of Roadside Picnic and Soylent Green. It was advertised to me as Sci-Fi, but I think it really leans into horror, which is Jeff VanderMeer's specialty.

I found this to be a captivating read with a very rich atmosphere, despite the world building being extremely shrouded in uncertainty. Nothing can be trusted. Neither your senses nor your sensors. The vibes this book emanates are unlike anything else I can remember. Reading this book gave me a perpetual sense of Déjà vu.

Annihilation was a very quick read. I don't plan to read the rest of the books in the Southern Cross trilogy yet, although I am somewhat intrigued. I hope that the next book reveals something about the authorities that send missions to Area X. I found this to be the most fruitfully mysterious part for a sequel.

Let me speculate about the book overall and provide my overall theory of what is happening in Area X. This is based on a book club discussion with VK, MM, MK & AK. What if Area X is a generalized next token predictor that uses human cells as its tokens? The gibberish writing spiraling inside the tower could have easily been generated by an LLM. What if this whole world of Area X is an LLM in biological space?