Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
In a ruined, nameless city of the future, a woman named Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names “Borne” entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear. Mord once prowled the corridors of the biotech organization known as the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly and broke free. At first, Borne looks like nothing at all—just a green lump that might be a Company discard. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick, not to render Borne down to raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.
Wick is a special kind of supplier, selling tiny creatures that release powerful memories of other people’s happier times or just produce beautiful visions that provide escape from the barren, craterous landscapes of the city. Against his better judgment, Wick respects her decision. Rachel, meanwhile, knows he has kept secrets from her. What is he hiding? Why won’t he tell her about what happened when he worked for the Company?
Trigger & Content Warnings:
- Human experimentation
- Gaslighting & memory manipulation
- War themes