Besides sharing a similar surname with yours truly, Jeff VanderMeer is a terrific writer. His City of Saints and Madmen was an earlier collection of brilliant, world-building fantasy, and the Southern Reach saw blockbuster success in the literary world, the first book finding big-screen movie adaptation by Alex Garland with 2018’s Annihilation.
Now VanderMeer’s work is back in the cinematic sphere of things, this time for a series. His 2017 novel Borne and subsequent works, including the just-released Dead Astronauts, create a post-apocalyptic canvas unlike anything else I’ve experienced, and AMC Studios seems to have felt the same.
Announced today that the network has acquired the rights to VanderMeer’s Borne novels for a potential series. AMC vice president Ben Davis praised VanderMeer’s books as depicting a “vivid postapocalyptic world with enormous opportunity for a visual medium like television.” VanderMeer also spoke positively on the partnership, citing “productive, energizing, and creative conversations with the wonderful folks involved.”
Borne focuses on Rachel, a survivor in a city overrun by biotechnological curiosities and monstrosities (including a building-sized, levitating grizzly bear; you should read Borne) in a world where society’s gone and collapsed. It seems to always do that! The apocalypse is far from anything else in popular fiction, with Rachel coming into contact with the titular Borne, an engineered organism of tremendous power and intelligence, yet the temperament of a child.
Davis’ excitement over bringing VanderMeer’s world to a visual medium isn’t unwarranted, with the prose lending itself to lush and truly bizarre imagery that would be stunning if properly realized. Here’s hoping the series pans out.
Dead Astronauts is available where books are sold, starting today.