The Strange Bird sees Jeff VanderMeer return to the world that spawned Borne, crafting a novella from the point of view of a piece of Company biotech. The story follows its eponymous bird, who escapes from the laboratory in which she was built. Once in the outside world, she cannot connect with other wildlife and struggles to know which humans she can trust in a landscape destroyed by technology and the people that created it.
In a future ravaged by biotechnology, Rachel scavenges to survive, even raking the fur of the giant bear, Mord, that wreaks havoc in her ruined city. It’s amongst Mord’s stinking pelt that she discovers Borne, a small sea-anenome-like creature that soon grows to be much more than he seems.