Dead Astronauts

Dead Astronauts

Illustration By Kathleen Neeley

Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Kathleen Neeley.

This signed, limited edition will reproduce the unique design elements of the trade hardcover essential to the telling of the story, and also be printed in two colors throughout to make those details further stand out. In addition to the dust jacket, the book will also feature a number of linocut illustrations by Kathleen Neeley tipped in. We're upgrading the paper to 80# Finch from our usual stock.

About the Book:

“There shall come three humans across the burning sands…”

Grayson, Moss, and Chen are astronauts turned rebels, navigating version upon version of a nameless City created by the villainous, all-powerful Company, familiar to readers as part of the Borne universe. The City is overrun with the results of the Company’s ill-considered experiments. This is a world where a blue fox is an echo across space and time, prophetic. Where a fight in which the duck may or may not be on your side. A leviathan waits, as do other versions of yourself, and a mysterious former comrade known as Charlie X. This is not just one world, but many...and can these worlds be saved? 

With Dead Astronauts, Jeff VanderMeer continues to expand and explore the mind-bending world of Borne at the top of his game. Demons, madmen, monsters, and endless twisted wonders await readers brave enough to take this miraculous dark journey. 

Our edition includes an exclusive bonus section that was trimmed and altered for inclusion in the novel. This is the only chance to see the section as originally written.

Lettered: 52 signed specially bound copies, housed in a custom traycase

Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies, printed in two colors throughout 

From Booklist (Starred Review):

“The varied points of view and stylistic shifts of the narrative allow the reader to experience reality through the eyes of different characters, human and otherwise, and the struggle of different forms of life trying to survive unites the vignettes that form the bulk of the novel. Highly recommended for those interested in sf invested in ecological concerns and speculative fiction that plays with narrative form.”

From Locus:

“Those expecting a novel with a similar feel and structure to Borne and The Strange Bird may initially find Dead Astronauts confounding. If they persevere—and I highly recommend they do—they will become immersed in a world that has the bones of those previous books but is so much more. Dead Astronauts is a story of hatred and revenge, of redemption and love, of environmental disaster and rebirth. It is unabashedly experimental, threaded with a lyricism and poetry—especially when it comes to describing the natural world—that is achingly beautiful, and, most pleasing of all is a work of fiction that harks back to the New Wave, igniting a beacon for other genre writers to follow.”

From NPR:

“Jeff Vandermeer’s latest novel, Dead Astronauts, is a kaleidoscopic and fractured mosaic: In a long-changed, post-climate-apocalypse world, a trio of saboteurs—or escapees—or simply survivors—attempt over and over again to dismantle the work of the Company, an entity which may have once been a biotech corporation but now churns out broken and altered-beyond-recognition monstrosities in an endless stream. The three—who are the closest the reader gets to protagonists in the first half of the book—are only nominally human, and only nominally astronauts. Like nearly everything else Vandermeer has created in Dead Astronauts, they are allegories, figments, fables for a dissolving world where narrative and language are as subject to corruption as modified flesh.”

An excerpt from the Introduction to the Bonus Section

This [section] required cutting a fair amount of material for two reasons. Pacing in the novel is critical given the formal experimentation. Throughout the entire novel, the final draft became shorter than the first draft to make sure that the no words were wasted but also to ensure readers would be engaged and not lost in the narrative. Also, with the story threaded between other sections, less information needed to be conveyed because the other sections took up the slack.

That said, I was always a little sad that Behemoth’s story could not be told in its entirety in one go and sad I had to cut a fair amount that made explicit a give-and-take between Moss and Behemoth. So I’m happy that this Subterranean Press limited edition gives you the unexpurgated version of Behemoth, one of my favorite characters in Dead Astronauts.



Kathleen Neeley
Jeff VanderMeer
United States
Out of Print