Genesis [NOOK Book]

Overview

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, she’ll 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 she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And the Academy isn’t what she believes it to ...

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Genesis

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Overview

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, she’ll 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 she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be. In this brilliant novel of dazzling ingenuity, Anax’s 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, Beckett’s dramatic narrative comes to a shocking conclusion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

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. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Set in 2075, this brief novel concerns an isolated island society created as a refuge from an otherwise devastated planet. Founded on the model of Plato's Republic, it stresses security and order over freedom. A young woman named Anax is about to take her entrance examination to the elite Academy, the island's governing institution. Her exam centers on the story of Adam Forde, a soldier who rescued a young girl from an approaching raft (outsiders are to be shot on sight as potential carriers of the plague) in a rare example of freedom of choice. Offering a riskily original interpretation of his trial and sentence (he must work with an advanced robot named Art in order to enhance its intellectual development), she will discover that Adam's story and the Academy itself are far different from what she imagined. Framed as something of a 21st-century Platonic dialog with an sf twist, this deeply philosophical if somewhat didactic novel is ultimately successful in conveying its message about the potential consequences of the interaction of humanity, technology, and the environment. [See Prepub Alert, LJ12/08.]
—Lawrence Rungren

Kirkus Reviews
Dystopian vision of a future Earth almost wholly engulfed by environmental catastrophe. New Zealand author Beckett's slim first novel is a curious mix of science fiction, Platonic dialogue and An Inconvenient Truth. The story is framed around the four-hour oral examination of Anaximander (aka Anax), a female student who hopes to enter the Academy, home to the elite of what is now a rigidly stratified society. By the 2050s, we learn early on, the planet was overwhelmed by war, terrorism and global dust storms, prompting an entrepreneur named Plato to create an island haven in the Southern Hemisphere protected by a Great Sea Fence. Interlopers attempting to enter were killed on sight for fear of an invading plague, and Anax's exam focuses on a case of a crack in the system. Adam Forde was a soldier who in 2075 spotted a girl in a boat approaching the barrier and held his fire. Beckett relates this back story in question-and-answer format, with Anax responding to her three examiners. He avoids the danger of an overly talky narrative, however, by incorporating movielike holograms into Anax's examination, which work to illustrate key moments in Forde's life. This enables the author to add some descriptive passages to ease the rigors of the novel's more philosophical second half, focusing on the interactions between the imprisoned Forde and Art, a robot empowered with high-end artificial-intelligence technology. Art is so empowered, in fact, that he's a little smug about it-he routinely argues for his superiority over mortal, emotional humans. The book is clearly making a statement about the consequences of environmental neglect. Indeed, Beckett is stronger with philosophical fare than withplotting-the book's final twist is old hat. But he's earned the right to deploy a pulp-sci-fi cliche or two-his conception of a broken world and the role technology plays in it is convincing. A cannily constructed portrait of a global worst-case scenario.
From the Publisher
More successfully than any other novel I've read recently, Bernard Beckett's Genesis epitomises the investigative ideal of science fiction. By any standards it's a short novel and at 150 pages is perhaps more truly a novella, but in a genre given to overinflated, ponderous tomes screaming out for an editor wielding a samurai sword, there's a refreshing efficiency to Becketts writing. Nothing is superfluous, nothing wasted.

Genesis is Beckett's eighth novel and was inspired, we're told, while the author was studying DNA at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Evolution on a Royal Society Fellowship. Previously published in New Zealand in 2006, it won the 2007 Esther Glen Award and the Young Adult Fiction Category at the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards, and went on to ignite a bidding war in 22 countries. The novel is due to get a global release this month, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and in the UK at least will be published as two separate editions: adult and young adult.

The themes in Beckett's novel encourage comparison with the work of SF's most successful fictionalising philosopher, Philip K. Dick. Both authors are interested in what it is to be human but their focus is very different. Dick asks what it is to be authentically human and tended to push an ethical agenda; Beckett's concern is the nature of consciousness and that takes him beyond the human to questions of artificial intelligence. And from this perspective ethics are little more than an affectation of human ego. It's interesting and a little disturbing that Adam Forde, the character in Beckett's novel who best epitomises what Dick would classify as authentically human, is not the end-point of Beckett's philosophical investigation but the flawed and misguided genesis of the next stage of evolution.

Beckett crafts his story around an interview, or more accurately the academic examination of Anaximander, a young student of history who seeks to join The Academy, the highest authority in her society. Three examiners pose questions intended to draw out the implications of her thesis - and something more - and in defending her thesis she gives us the story of her world and presents the philosophical issues. It's a neat trick for giving us the back-story.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic society born from the ashes of The Republic. This was a short-lived social experiment that flowered briefly in the mid 21st Century in the southern islands of Aotearoa following a global conflict that looks to have destroyed the vast majority of humanity. The Republic was established by a wealthy entrepreneur called Plato (of course) who with foresight and incredible wealth bought in to the island economy in the decades before the war until his influence enabled him to move the nation toward a state of technology rich self-sufficiency. With little time to spare he convinced the locals to build a defense system that turned the islands into an impregnable fortress. When genetically manipulated plagues were released in 2052, The Republic was sealed off from the world and the integrity of its borders was maintained from threats without and within with extreme prejudice.

Emerging as it did in a period of fear, Plato's Republic was easily imposed on a people simply grateful to be alive. Its motto was "Forward towards the past and it was founded on the principle that change equals decay. The result was a stratified and rigid society in which a person's social class was determined by a genomic reading, and individuality was suppressed in favour of subservience to the state. Where mankind had fallen in the past through embracing change uncritically, The Republic would attempt to control everything, including the ideas in people's heads, in a bid to keep decay at bay.

Pure fascism.

Anaximander's historical subject is Adam Forde, a long-dead child of The Republic who was key to the collapse of the first Republic and the rise of the society in which she lives. He was a rebel of the leading Philosopher class who fell from grace through an innate anti-social (rebellious) nature; demoted to the Soldier class he murdered a colleague in order to save a female refugee, risking the lives of all as she could have been a plague carrier. The motivation behind his decision is complex and by P.K. Dick's judgement authentically human: empathy for the unknown girl compels him to rebel against his conditioning. But while this would be the end game for Dick, Adam Forde is just a piece on the playing board in Beckett's investigation into the nature of consciousness and from this perspective the game is far from over. The game is evolution, the dice have been rolled and at stake is humanity's continued existence.

This is intelligent and thought-provoking SF at its best.

Genesis is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and will be available in April - SFF Media

SFF Media
More successfully than any other novel I've read recently, Bernard Beckett's Genesis epitomises the investigative ideal of science fiction. By any standards it's a short novel and at 150 pages is perhaps more truly a novella, but in a genre given to overinflated, ponderous tomes screaming out for an editor wielding a samurai sword, there's a refreshing efficiency to Becketts writing. Nothing is superfluous, nothing wasted.

Genesis is Beckett's eighth novel and was inspired, we're told, while the author was studying DNA at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Evolution on a Royal Society Fellowship. Previously published in New Zealand in 2006, it won the 2007 Esther Glen Award and the Young Adult Fiction Category at the 2007 New Zealand Post Book Awards, and went on to ignite a bidding war in 22 countries. The novel is due to get a global release this month, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and in the UK at least will be published as two separate editions: adult and young adult.

The themes in Beckett's novel encourage comparison with the work of SF's most successful fictionalising philosopher, Philip K. Dick. Both authors are interested in what it is to be human but their focus is very different. Dick asks what it is to be authentically human and tended to push an ethical agenda; Beckett's concern is the nature of consciousness and that takes him beyond the human to questions of artificial intelligence. And from this perspective ethics are little more than an affectation of human ego. It's interesting and a little disturbing that Adam Forde, the character in Beckett's novel who best epitomises what Dick would classify as authentically human, is not the end-point of Beckett's philosophical investigation but the flawed and misguided genesis of the next stage of evolution.

Beckett crafts his story around an interview, or more accurately the academic examination of Anaximander, a young student of history who seeks to join The Academy, the highest authority in her society. Three examiners pose questions intended to draw out the implications of her thesis - and something more - and in defending her thesis she gives us the story of her world and presents the philosophical issues. It's a neat trick for giving us the back-story.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic society born from the ashes of The Republic. This was a short-lived social experiment that flowered briefly in the mid 21st Century in the southern islands of Aotearoa following a global conflict that looks to have destroyed the vast majority of humanity. The Republic was established by a wealthy entrepreneur called Plato (of course) who with foresight and incredible wealth bought in to the island economy in the decades before the war until his influence enabled him to move the nation toward a state of technology rich self-sufficiency. With little time to spare he convinced the locals to build a defense system that turned the islands into an impregnable fortress. When genetically manipulated plagues were released in 2052, The Republic was sealed off from the world and the integrity of its borders was maintained from threats without and within with extreme prejudice.

Emerging as it did in a period of fear, Plato's Republic was easily imposed on a people simply grateful to be alive. Its motto was "Forward towards the past and it was founded on the principle that change equals decay. The result was a stratified and rigid society in which a person's social class was determined by a genomic reading, and individuality was suppressed in favour of subservience to the state. Where mankind had fallen in the past through embracing change uncritically, The Republic would attempt to control everything, including the ideas in people's heads, in a bid to keep decay at bay.

Pure fascism.

Anaximander's historical subject is Adam Forde, a long-dead child of The Republic who was key to the collapse of the first Republic and the rise of the society in which she lives. He was a rebel of the leading Philosopher class who fell from grace through an innate anti-social (rebellious) nature; demoted to the Soldier class he murdered a colleague in order to save a female refugee, risking the lives of all as she could have been a plague carrier. The motivation behind his decision is complex and by P.K. Dick's judgement authentically human: empathy for the unknown girl compels him to rebel against his conditioning. But while this would be the end game for Dick, Adam Forde is just a piece on the playing board in Beckett's investigation into the nature of consciousness and from this perspective the game is far from over. The game is evolution, the dice have been rolled and at stake is humanity's continued existence.

This is intelligent and thought-provoking SF at its best.

Genesis is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and will be available in April

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547394381
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 453,555
  • File size: 559 KB

Meet the Author

BERNARD BECKETT is one of New Zealand's most outstanding writers and has won many awards in the course of his career. Genesis was written while he was on a Royal Society genetics research fellowship investigating DNA mutations.
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Read an Excerpt

Anax moved down the long corridor. The only sound was the gentle hiss of the air filter overhead. The lights were down low, as demanded by the new regulations. She remembered brighter days, but never spoke of them. It was one of the Great Mistakes, thinking of brightness as a quality of the past.

Anax reached the end of the corridor and turned left. She checked the time. They would be watching her approach, or so it was rumoured. The door slid open, quiet and smooth, like everything in The Academy zone.

‘Anaximander?’

Anax nodded.

The panel was made up of three Examiners, just as the regulations had promised. It was a great relief. Details of the examination were kept secret, and among the candidates rumours swirled. ‘Imagination is the bastard child of time and ignorance,’ her tutor Pericles liked to say, always adding ‘not that I have anything against bastards.’

Anax loved her tutor. She would not let him down. The door closed behind her.

The Examiners sat behind a high desk, the top a dark slab of polished timber.

‘Make yourself comfortable.’ The Examiner in the middle spoke. He was the largest of the three, as tall and broad as any Anax had ever seen. By comparison the other two looked old and weak, but she felt their eyes upon her, keen and sharp. Today she would assume nothing. The space before them was clear. Anax knew the interview was being recorded.

EXAMINER: Four hours have been allotted for your examination. You may seek clarification, should you have trouble understanding any of our questions, but the need to do this will be taken into consideration when the final judgment is made. Do you understand this?

ANAXIMANDER: Yes.

EXAMINER: Is there anything you would like to ask, before we begin?

ANAXIMANDER: I would like to ask you what the answers are.

EXAMINER: I’m sorry. I don’t quite understand…

ANAXIMANDER: I was joking.

EXAMINER: Oh. I see.

A bad idea. Not so much as a flicker of acknowledgment from any of them. Anax wondered whether she should apologise, but the gap closed quickly over.

EXAMINER: Anaximander, your time begins now. Four hours on your chosen subject. The life and times of Adam Forde, 2058–2077. Adam Forde was born seven years into the age of Plato’s Republic. Can you please explain to us the political circumstances that led to The Republic’s formation?

Was this a trick? Anax’s topic clearly stated her area of expertise covered the years of Adam’s life only. The proposal had been accepted by the committee without amendment. She knew a little of the political background of course, everybody did, but it was not her area of expertise. All she could offer was a classroom recitation, familiar to every student. This was no way to start. Should she challenge it? Were they expecting her to challenge it? She looked to their faces for clues, but they sat impassive as stone, offering her nothing.

EXAMINER: Anaximander, did you understand the question?

ANAXIMANDER: Of course I did. I’m sorry. I’m just… it doesn’t matter…

Anax tried to clear her mind of worries. Four hours. Plenty of time to show how much she knew.

ANAXIMANDER: The story begins at the end of the third decade of the new millennium. As with any age, there was no shortage of doomsayers. Early attempts at genetic engineering had frightened large sectors of the community. The international economy was still oil-based, and the growing consensus was that a catastrophic shortage loomed.

What was then known as the Middle East remained a politically troubled region, and the United States — I will use the designations of the time for consistency — was seen by many to have embroiled itself in a war it could not win, with a culture it did not understand. While it promoted its interests as those of democracy, the definition was narrow and idiosyncratic, and made for a poor export.

Fundamentalism was on the rise on both sides of this divide, and the first clear incidents of Western Terrorism in Saudi Arabia in 2032 were seen by many as the spark for a fire that would never be doused. Europe was accused of having lost its moral compass and the independence riots of 2047 were seen as further evidence of secular decay. China’s rise to international prominence, and what it called ‘active diplomacy’, led many to fear that another global conflict was on the horizon. Economic expansion threatened the global environment. Biodiversity shrank at unprecedented rates, and the last opponents of the Accelerated Climate Change Model were converted to the cause by the dust storms of 2041. In short, the world faced many challenges, and by the end of the fifth decade of the current century, public discourse was dominated by a mood of threat and pessimism.

It is, of course, easy to be wise with the benefit of hindsight, but from our vantage point it is now clear that the only thing the population had to fear was fear itself. The true danger humanity faced during this period was the shrinking of its own spirit.

EXAMINER: Define spirit.

The Examiner’s voice was carefully modulated, the sort of effect that could be achieved with the cheapest of filters. Only it wasn’t technology Anax heard; it was control, pure and simple.

Every pause, every flickering of uncertainty: the Examiners observed them all. This, surely, was how they decided. Anax felt suddenly slow and unimpressive. She could still hear Pericles’ last words. ‘They want to see how you will respond to the challenge. Don’t hesitate. Talk your way towards understanding. Trust the words.’ And back then it had sounded so simple. Now her face tautened and she had to think her way to the words, searching for them in the way one searches for a friend in a crowd, panic never more than a moment away.

ANAXIMANDER: By spirit I mean to say something about the prevailing mood of the time. Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear, and superstition. By the year 2050, when the conflict began, the world had fallen upon fearful, superstitious times….

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Memorable Reading.

    An unexpected read with a philosophical twist, I liked Genesis because the plot twists and story in story kept the premise fresh. This kept the tale unusual and until the totally surprising ending, a brisk and enthralling book. Good Science Fiction. Great fun!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Awesome

    It's good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2013

    This is an interesting story that takes turns you don't see comi

    This is an interesting story that takes turns you don't see coming. When I first began reading, I realized that the book is basically a three-hour examination of the character Anax regarding the history of the society and of a particular hero of the past. As I began, I became a little apprehensive as how interesting can a story be where the entire thing is one character sitting in a room talking about history for hours? But as the story unfolds, we learn that the history of this world is indeed very interesting and everything is not as it seems. Near the end of the book, the story really takes a dive that you didn't see coming. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't see the end coming and it turned out to be nothing like what I thought it would be. The character of Anax has little character development (after all, she is stuck in a room for 3 hours talking to examiners), but the world itself has a lot of development and the characters of the past are the ones who are developing and growing. In all, this was a short read but a good one and I found it to be a great way to kill a few afternoons.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Excellent

    Really surprised by this story. Loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I really loved this book. It's a mix of dystopia and philosophy

    I really loved this book. It's a mix of dystopia and philosophy that got my mind working but still entertained. At only 86 pages (on my Nook) it was a very quick but powerful read. The twist was surprising and the ending was abrupt but appropriately so. Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    A

    This is a really pointless book...I wouldn't recomend it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Unthinkable

    This book changed my view on how i see life itself and the meaning of it. And to be careful because curiousity killed the cat but i dont think satisfaction brought it back this time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    Been there done that

    Sounds just like the giver re-vamped

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Great read

    Jarring book done through great skill

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

    one of the best

    this story is short, but packs a powerful punch! i couldnt put it down and was left wanting more. a must read for anyone interested in artificial intelligence, evolution, biology, conscience thought, and what it means to be human.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Read This Book

    It's extremely difficult to review this book without giving away the most surprising elements of the story. But as a lover of dystopian settings I'll say that this one was pretty awesome. It's one hundred percent worth your time to read.

    It's a pretty short story that is quickly read. Having said that, however quick a reader can get through is of no real consequence though as it is as profound and thought-provoking a book as many of the classics. I'm going to get a bit cliche here and say that when all is said and done Genesis is the very definition of a page-turner.

    Beckett paints the picture of a stunning locale - futuristic in tone but simplistic in reality. Moreover, he generates innovative and enthralling characters in Anax, Adam and Art. Each obviously has their own individual characteristics but are all also bound together by their love of thought. Their story, told primarily in flashbacks, is a stunning portrait of how one event can be the catalyst to shaping an individual's opinions on humanity, religion and government.

    Subtle hints throughout the story foreshadow the end (which I will not spoil here) but, surprisingly, did not give it all away. It wasn't until I went back and re-read certain points that I noticed small references, a word here and there, that reinforced the ultimate resolution to the story. Beckett was quite masterful in that way.

    In case you didn't already get the idea, I absolutely recommend that anyone read this book. Even if you aren't a sci-fi fan (it's really not overwhelming in the fantasy elements) I believe you'll find it enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    This book is very offbeat. You expect it to be something different after reading the synopsis than what it really is...However, I found it to be better and much deeper than expected. While it seems like a simple science fiction novel, it is extremely deep. Every page can be analyzed. It is filled with life philosophy comparable to "Tuesdays With Morrie." It is a much more serious tone however. There are thrills to be had throughout the book due to the suspense. You will often ask "what is going on?" which is why you will push forth to the end. THe end is the best part. It's shocking and puts the whole story into perspective. You will be left wanting to discuss this book for weeks with friends.

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  • Posted August 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karin Librarian for TeensReadToo.com

    Anax wants to become a member of The Academy. In order to be admitted, she must endure a four-hour interview in front of a three member panel. Anax has been working with a tutor in order to prepare herself.

    It is through this interview that the reader learns the history of the world after a devastating plague killed most of the people on the planet. Safe behind the Great Sea Fence, her people keep their island safe by shooting any plane or boat that comes within sight.

    The society is based on rigid rules: men and women living separately, parentage being kept from children, and at one year of age children are tested to determine what class they will be placed in based on their genomic reading (Laborers, Soldiers, Technicians, or Philosophers).

    History is not what it seems.

    Anax learns more about her world during the interview than she did during all her days of preparation. She realizes The Academy isn't what it appears to be, but is it too late to change her current path?

    GENESIS is a fast-paced story. It is interesting to read about the post-apocalyptic world Anax lives in. Bernard Beckett does a great job of building the story without revealing too much too soon. The ending will leave you stunned.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Call me Ishmael

    I am finding it a little hard to summarize Genesis without totally spoiling everything - or making it completely complicated and boring. I don't know what I had been expected, but the story that I got was beyond intriguing and different from the usual YA or science fiction book. I did not prepare myself for an intellectual discussion on man vs robots, conscious vs artificial thought, or a twisted ending that completely caught me off-guard.

    I'll describe Genesis like a slow roast - a little dry on the outside, but full of savory food for thought on the inside. Anax's examination served as a medium to delivering the story of Adam Forde and his role in the development of artificial intelligence. I wish there had been more focus on Anax's character, that we got to know her a little bit better beyond her academic ambitions.

    Other than that, this was truly an unexpected treat from fluffy romances and reading slumps. A short but excellent science fiction read! If you liked Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, then you will most likely enjoy Genesis.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Book Review - Genesis by Bernard Beckett

    Genesis
    Bernard Beckett
    Longacre Press
    January 2006
    ISBN-13: 978-1877361524
    150 pages

    Are sentient machines destined to displace humans as the next logical progression in the evolutionary chain?

    This dystopian, man vs. machine novel is a concise, fast-paced Science Fiction tale told through a series of academic interviews and reveals a very different world then ours in the aftermath of a calamitous plague. There are no spoilers here but I will tell you that the resounding revelation and surprise ending are well worth the price of the book. "Genesis" is a well-written, aptly titled parable that twists an odd philosophy around an intellectual suspense. This much too short piece was a pleasantly surprising and entertaining read.

    With components of "1984," "Lord of the Flies," and "On the Beach" this inventive mystery renders itself perfectly to any required reading curriculum and the story components lend themselves well to topical discussions of apocalyptic catastrophes, totalitarian governments, rebel resistances, and rigid political and social regimes. At the same time it is great reading for enjoyment, as well.

    4 out 5 stars

    The Alternative One
    Southeast, Wisconsin

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Impulse Buy

    I bought this on impulse literally just by it's cover. Best impulse purchase I've made so far. I finished it in one night, and loved the twists it took. I expected the ending slightly, but I was still surprised by it.

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  • Posted June 1, 2009

    Very original and gripping

    It is an unique story. Its stage is in a small conference room and there are lots of diagogue. Thought provoking and amazing ending. I would like to read more of this author's works.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This is an EPIC book: A must read for EVERYONE

    I read 'Brave New World' about 2 years ago, and I fell in love with the book. I managed to pick up an advanced copy of 'Genesis' from the college I currently attend, and just decided to read it. This is a great book, it starts off a bit slow, and I was a little confused. But by the time you reach the second chapter you are hooked. For two days I could not put this book down! This is a great and wonderful book, I thought I understood everything in the book until the very end, when the 'secret' is revealed. It blew my mind! The ending sent me reeling, I sat for about 2 minutes trying to grasp what had just happened. Great book, everyone must read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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