Review Blog

Jul 06 2009

Genesis by Bernard Beckett

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Quercus Publishing Plc, 2009. ISBN 978-1847247230
(Age 13+) A remarkable science fiction story of life in the future, Genesis will have more thoughtful readers talking and thinking about the implications of the story long after it has been read. Anax, a young woman with potential, has been groomed by a tutor, Pericles to sit the exams for The Academy. She has long studied the life of Adam Forde, a revolutionary long dead, and has prepared herself for the examination by learning many of his tracts, and developing holograms which show aspects of his life, particularly his debates with an android, Art.
The exam is a six hour discussion where Anax is expected to tell the three examiners all she knows, what she thinks and field unexpected questions. Throughout her presentation, it becomes clear that society has undergone a radical change, and that the present population lives on an island, surrounded by a sea wall, built to keep out other people, and a defense system which allows no breaches of the rules. While she speaks about this regime, the reader will call into question some of the recent changes within our society, the increasing xenophobia of many nations, the military buildup of some and the increasing suspicion of governments. I found the story brim full of ideas which could be pursued within a classroom, not least of which calls into question what it means to be human.
Fran Knight

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