The International Covers of The Southern Reach Trilogy

Jeff VanderMeer

Ever since FSG Originals came out with the now-classic Southern Reach covers, there has been what seems like an ongoing competition to create amazing original art and design for other editions, from the somber grace of the original UK hardcovers to, well, the neon color of the UK paperbacks, which riffed off of FSG’s gutsy X hardcover design. An incredible amount of creativity has gone into these other editions. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the Turkish, South Korean, and Spanish covers (Pablo Delcan!) are right up there. Not to mention the lovely Hungarian cut-out covers and a Ukrainian Brutalist Rubik’s Cube with a tiny cute bunny clinging to one of its levels.
As someone who loves good book art and design, I feel blessed by all of this wonderful creativity—and very thankful. Not to mention how interesting the different “takes” are in terms of what they mean as an entry point for the reader. Across these covers, Area X becomes all things—surrealist or science fiction, absurdist or horrific, fantastical or just plain cheeky. With over thirty-five foreign-language editions and more new covers yet to be created, I can’t wait for what comes next. In the meantime, FSG has been kind enough to put together a gallery of almost all of them.

—Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor, and the author of the national bestseller Borne and the Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and multiple year’s-best anthologies. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.