Borne

By Jeff VanderMeer
Read by Bahni Turpin

The Borne Series: Book 1

12.18 Hours 04/25/2017 unabridged
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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. 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.

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Summary

Summary

A Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2017

A Boston Globe Book of the Year

A Huffington Post Best Book of 2017

Washington Post Top 10 Book That We Loved

Finalist for the 2018 Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Award for Best Science Fiction Narration

Shortlisted for the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award

A Chicago Review of Books Pick of Best of the Year So Far

A 2017 Literary Hub Pick of Best Works of Fantasy/SF/Speculative Fiction 

A BookRiot Pick of 50 of the Best Thriller Audiobooks

Paste Magazine Pick of Best Books of 2017 (So Far)

A Wired Magazine Pick of 25 of Our All-Time Favorite Books

A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Incredible Books to Read This Spring

A 2017 Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year selection

One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017

Booklist Best Book of 2017 for SF/Fantasy

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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Creepy and fascinating.” Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A thorough marvel.” Colson Whitehead, National Book Award winner and #1 New York Times bestselling author
Borne is VanderMeer’s trans-species rumination on the theme of parenting.” New Yorker
“A story of loving self-sacrifice, hallucinatory beauty, and poisonous trust…[with] engrossing richness.” Washington Post
“VanderMeer’s apocalyptic vision, with its mix of absurdity, horror, and grace, can’t be mistaken for that of anyone else. Inventive, engrossing, and heartbreaking.” San Francisco Chronicle
“I you haven’t read his haunting Southern Reach trilogy, prepare yourself—this is Walden gone horribly wrong.” Esquire
“May be the most beautifully written, and believable, post-apocalyptic tale in recent memory…VanderMeer…outdoes himself in this visionary novel.” Los Angeles Times
"Borne…represents a high-water mark in an ascendant strand of science fiction, one that looks with a sharp eye toward a near future of ecological calamity, chaos, and monumental ethical battles.” Literary Hub
“Turpin’s memorable performance highlights the outstanding world building, lyrical prose, authentic characters, and richly layered story line. Turpin’s clear and thoughtful reading guides listeners through the book’s complexities, clarifying language and ideas and revealing its heartfelt center: What does it mean to be human?” Booklist (starred audio review)
“Narrator Bahni Turpin brings a haunting melancholy to VanderMeer’s enormous weird world, transforming what initially seems an outlandish dystopian tale into a deeply personal journey…Turpin…build[s] a palpable and audible bond between Rachel and Borne that makes this story gripping, unsettling, and thoroughly memorable.” AudioFile
“Reading like a dispatch from a world lodged somewhere between science fiction, myth, and a video game…Something more than just weird fiction: weird literature.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“VanderMeer marries bildungsroman, domestic drama, love story, and survival thriller into one compelling, intelligent story.” Booklist (starred review)
“Superb: a protagonist and a tale sure to please fans of smart, literate fantasy and science fiction.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“VanderMeer is at the top of his game here, offering readers lavish and smart world-building full of wondrous and creepy ideas.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. He has twice won the World Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for the Hugo Award, Philip K. Dick Award, International Horror Guild Award, British Fantasy Award, Bram Stoker Award, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the World Fantasy Award. His fiction has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and in multiple anthologies. His recent books have made the year’s best books lists of Publishers Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, and Amazon.com. He writes nonfiction for the Washington Post, New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Science Fiction
Runtime: 12.18
Audience: Adult
Language: English