Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
A Novel

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“Borne” is a work that exemplifies the notion of pick-and-choose literature; there are elements of science fiction and fantasy of course, but also flavors of thriller and love story and coming of age. And regardless of genre influence, there’s a crackling intelligence on every page. It’s new, it’s weird … and it is wonderful.
-The Maine Edge

Synopsis

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Book Riot, Chicago Reader, The Week, and Publishers Weekly.

“Am I a person?” Borne asked me.
“Yes, you are a person,” I told him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.

“He was born, but I had borne him.

But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.

 

About Jeff VanderMeer

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JEFF VANDERMEER is a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award and a past finalist for the Hugo, Philip K. Dick, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, Stoker, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
 
Published April 25, 2017 by MCD. 336 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Apr 26 2017

“Borne” is a work that exemplifies the notion of pick-and-choose literature; there are elements of science fiction and fantasy of course, but also flavors of thriller and love story and coming of age. And regardless of genre influence, there’s a crackling intelligence on every page. It’s new, it’s weird … and it is wonderful.

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