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Genesisby Bernard Beckett
"Science fiction has developed a reputation as a pulp haven for love-starved nerds fixated on starships, laser battles, and exotic she-aliens in need of rescue. A pleasant exception to this stereotype is Genesis, a novella that dares to explore the nature of free will and human consciousness without relying on galactic empires to tell the story." Bob Hussey, Rain Taxi (read the entire Rain Taxi review)
Synopses & Reviews
A stunning debut novel that's as rich in ideas as it is in suspense, destined to become a modern classic of post-apocalyptic literature
Anax thinks she knows history. Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, shell be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history shes been taught isnt the whole story. And the Academy isnt what she believes it to be. In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anaxs examination leads us into a future where we are confronted with unresolved questions raised by science and philosophy. Centuries old, these questions have gained new urgency in the face of rapidly developing technology. What is consciousness? What makes us human? If artificial intelligence were developed to a high enough capability, what special status could humanity still claim? Outstanding and original, Becketts dramatic narrative comes to a shocking conclusion.
"Anax, the dedicated student historian at the center of Beckett's brutal dystopian novel, lives far in the future — the distant past events of the 21st century are taught in classrooms. The world of that era, we learn, was ravaged by plague and decay, the legacy of the Last War. Only the island Republic, situated near the bottom of the globe, remained stable and ordered, but at the cost of personal freedom. Anax, hoping her scholarly achievements will gain her entrance to the Academy, which rules her society, has extensively studied Adam Forde, a brilliant and rebellious citizen of the Republic who fought for human dignity in the midst of a regimented, sterile society. To join the Academy's ranks, Anax undergoes a test before three examiners, and as the examination progresses, it becomes clear that her interpretations of Adam's life defy conventional thought and there may be more to Adam — and the Academy — than she had imagined. Though the trappings of Beckett's dystopian society feel perhaps too Brave New World, the rigorous narrative and crushing final twist bring a welcome freshness to a familiar setup." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set on a remote island in a post-apocalyptic, plague-ridden world, this bold and ingenious thriller questions what it means to be human as philosophical questions collide with technology.
About the Author
BERNARD BECKETT, born in 1967, is a high school teacher based in Wellington, New Zealand, where he teaches drama, mathematics, and English. Genesis was written while he was on a Royal Society genetics research fellowship investigating DNA mutations. The book has already received international acclaim, including two literary prizes in Becketts native New Zealand. Rights to Genesis have been sold in twenty-one countries.
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