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'''<p><b>In time for the holidays, a single-volume hardcover edition that brings together the three volumes of the Southern Reach Trilogy, which were originally published as paperback originals in February, May, and September 2014.</b><br><i></i><br><i>Annihilation </i>is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, <i>Authority </i>is the second, and <i>Acceptance</i> is the third.<br> Area X-a remote and lush terrain-has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.<br> This is the twelfth expedition.<br> Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.<br> They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers-they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding-but it's the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.<br> After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in <i>Annihilation</i>, the Southern Reach-the secret agency that monitors these expeditions-is in disarray. In <i>Authority</i>, John Rodriguez, aka Control, is the team's newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves-and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that.<br> It is winter in Area X in <i>Acceptance</i>. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown-navigating new terrain and new challenges-the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. The mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound-or terrifying.</p>'''