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Annihilation is a 2014 novel by Jeff VanderMeer. It is the first in a series of three books called the Southern Reach Trilogy. The book describes a team of four (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) who set out into an area known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization. They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma.