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WIRED Book Club: A Trip Inside the Mind of Jeff VanderMeer

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Ronald Breau
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Unless, of course, your subconscious is as weird and fecund as Jeff VanderMeer s. From its depths spring images of creaky lighthouses and buried towers, great beasts moaning at dusk, and a brightness that grows inside you—just some of the features that haunt Area X, the mysterious wilderness at the center of his Southern Reach trilogy.

VanderMeer says Area X is a metaphor, in part, for global warming, but as WIRED Book Club learned during our chat with the author, it s just as much a window into his beautifully deranged mind.

I physically broke into my house—while the neighbor kid watched, wondering what the heck was going on—and just recorded the experience.

It also helped that you drew heavily from St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, right?

So I ve been surrounded by scientists my whole life.

I was also aided in the fact that I didn t see the biologist as the world s best biologist.

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Ronald Breau
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