Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In the beginning... there was an original and thought-provoking novel

I heard New Zealand author Bernard Beckett being interviewed on ABC National radio about his novel, Genesis, and knew I had to read it.  I have always loved good, speculative "what if" science fiction that forces us to explore who we are in a universal sense of the word.  And this sounded like an excellent example.

I was not disappointed.  The nearest comparison I can make is John Wyndham or Ursula le Guin.  I don't want to write what it is about because I could not do justice to the story, nor do I wish to give away any of the twists and turns.  This blurb is as good an introduction as any.

Genesis is a thriller that asks the big questions: What is it to be human? What makes a soul?

I am not surprised that the novel won the Young Adult Category in the 2007 NZ Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults. In 2008 it deservedly made publishing history when the UK publisher Quercus Books offered the largest advance ever put forward for a young adult novel in New Zealand. I am delighted that the novel, also published in Australia, is to be released in the UK as two separate editions: adult and young adult, and is also to be published in the US, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Canada, and Finland. 

It deserves a wide audience.

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