>> Monday, January 25, 2010
Genesis by Bernard Beckett
Genre: Science Fiction / Post Apocalyptic / Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: 2006
Challenges: Support Your Local Library #4
The Short Version:
A post-apocalyptic story that combines philosophy with an interesting dystopian tale and just begs to be discussed with other readers
Why I Read It:
I happened upon a Twitter conversation about this book that sounded so intriguing that I started looking. Within about 10 minutes I’d requested it from the library. Thank you BethFishReads and Galleysmith.
After the Last War and a devastating plague, the remnants of civilization secluded themselves on an island refuge. They surrounded themselves with a sea fence and ruthlessly destroyed any potentially plague infected refugees or interlopers. Many years later society continues in this isolated environment. Anaximander is taking her examination to be admitted to the prestigious Academy. Her area of expertise is Adam Forde. He was a rebellious soldier who changed the course of this society’s history..
I’ve purposely been minimalist in this plot summary because there are twists that I don’t want to spoil. Even if you begin to have suspicions partway through (as I did) I believe that it’s unlikely you’ll figure them all out.
This book packs a lot in its short 150 pages. As Anax answers the questions of the examiners, the history of her world is gradually revealed. There are surprises even to Anax herself. For me, it brought back flashbacks to my college philosophy classes, but in the best way possible. It brought back memories of some of the best discussions I ever had about the nature of consciousness, knowledge, humanity and being. It’s a book that just begs to be discussed with others who have read it.
It was a quick read that is still percolating in my brain many days after I have finished it. I had to read something light to follow this up, because I’m still processing this one. As I said above, I had some suspicions about the plot twists, but I didn’t anticipate all of them and there were still surprises at the end. I got it from the library, but I plan to buy a copy. This is one I’d like to revisit.