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Dead Astronauts

A Novel

Jeff VanderMeer


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ISBN10: 1250758211
ISBN13: 9781250758217

Trade Paperback

336 Pages


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Locus Award Finalist

Dead Astronauts, Jeff VanderMeer's most recent novel, is a collage of a long-changed, post-climate-apocalypse world. Grayson, Chen, and Moss—rebels, and possibly survivors—journey timestreams and dimensions looking for an opportunity to interrupt and dismantle the Company, more specifically its agent, a deranged Dr. Moreau-type biologist named Charlie X (Yes, the same Company from Vandermeer's previous eco-disaster novel Borne and the novella The Strange Bird). Along the way, they are helped on their multiverse journey by many of Charlie’s altered-beyond-recognition monstrosities: a messianic blue fox; a lingering duck with a broken wing; a giant leviathan of a fish called Botch; and a hive-mind of salamanders.

Filled with allegories, symbolisms, and mythologies, Dead Astronauts is a "darkly transcendent novel filled with phantasmagoric visions, body horror and tortured beings traversing a blasted desert hellscape" (The New York Times Book Review).


Praise for Dead Astronauts

"[A] darkly transcendent novel filled with phantasmagoric visions, body horror and tortured beings traversing a blasted desert hellscape . . . terrifying and so compelling."—Chelsea Leu, The New York Times Book Review

"With Dead Astronauts, VanderMeer has expanded to a multiverse with a poisoned past, engineered monsters and a possibly redeemable future, all from something that was merely decoration. There’s no limit to where it might go next."—Los Angeles Times

"A Mobius strip of a novel, with each chapter containing worlds upon nested worlds, all of them dreamlike and dark. In this shattered landscape, VanderMeer explores urgent ideas about capitalism, greed, and natural destruction."—Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire

"Like nearly everything else Vandermeer has created in Dead Astronauts, they are allegories, figments, fables for a dissolving world where narrative and language are as subject to corruption as modified flesh . . . Dead Astronauts moves in shutterclicks, shifting points of view and moments in time. The experience of reading it is a compulsively absorbing confusion. Straightforward answers are not forthcoming. The reader assembles what remains of the history of Vandermeer's world by gestalt, layering snatches of imagery one on top of another. Yet the book is profoundly emotional. Each character voice is compelling, brutal, rooted in emotional experience."—Arkady Martine, NPR

"For any adventurous fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and/or horror, this book offers not only a rewarding read but, like, a thing to possess."—Robin Sloan, author of Sourdough

"VanderMeer is a master of literary science fiction, and this may be his best book yet."Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Read an Excerpt



So they ran threaded through the breaches, found the seams. So they ran with a memory of the City without buildings. So they navigated two worlds: the new and the old. When the ancient...

About the author

Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is the "weird Thoreau" according to The New Yorker. He is the author of Borne and The Southern Reach Trilogy, the first volume of which, Annihilation, won the Nebula Award and the Shirley Jackson Award and was adapted into a movie by Alex Garland. He speaks and writes frequently about issues relating to climate change. VanderMeer lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife, Ann VanderMeer, and their cats, plants, and bird feeders.

Ditte Valente

Jeff VanderMeer

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