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Genesis by Bernard Beckett


Bernard Beckett

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June 2010 Book of the Month.

Set in the future on an isolated island with its citizens divided into ‘sects’. To change position exams must be taken. We follow a young girl taking such an exam with her chosen subject a man who forged the beginning of their society. As she answers the examiners so she questions her beliefs and that of her upbringing. What emerges is a debate about philosophy and artificial intelligence, an extraordinarily thought-provoking work which was written as a children’s book and indeed long-listed for the 2009 Guardian Children’s Prize. The writing is simplistic, the themes are not.

Comparison: Unique but try Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World) or Ray Bradbury.

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Genesis by Bernard Beckett

The island Republic has emerged from a ruined world. Its citizens are safe but not free. Until a man named Adam Forde rescues a girl from the sea. Fourteen-year-old Anax thinks she knows her history. She'd better. She's sat facing three Examiners and her five-hour examination has just begun. The subject is close to her heart: Adam Forde, her long-dead hero. In a series of startling twists, Anax discovers new things about Adam and her people that question everything she holds sacred. But why is the Academy allowing her to open up the enigma at its heart? Bernard Beckett has written a strikingly original novel that weaves dazzling ideas into a truly moving story about a young girl on the brink of her future.


'Highly original, this remarkable thriller fuses intricate ideas with real emotion and suspense. It gripped me like a vice.'
Jonathan Stroud.

'a very different young adult novel ... that will make smart teenagers feel very respected'
Patrick Ness, Guardian.

'Extraordinarily original'

About the Author

Bernard Beckett

Bernard Beckett has a degree in Economics, and has taught in the Wellington region for several years. He has published nine novels, and has won many awards for his fiction.

In 2006 Bernard was awarded a New Zealand Science, Mathematics and Technology Teacher Fellowship where he worked on a project examining DNA mutations. This new direction led to the publication of Genesis in 2006, which won the Young Adult Category in the 2007 NZ Post Book Awards. In 2008 the book made publishing history when UK publisher Quercus Books offered the largest advance ever put forward for a young adult novel in New Zealand. The novel, also published in Australia, is to be released in the UK as two separate editions: adult and young adult, and is to be published – at this date – in over 20 countries.

Bernard’s fascination for science also led to Falling for Science: Asking the Big Questions (2007), his non-fiction exploration of the relationship between story-telling and science.

Bernard currently lives in Wellington with his wife, Clare Knighton (and co-author of Deep Fried.)

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Book Info

Publication date

27th May 2010


Bernard Beckett

More books by Bernard Beckett
Author 'Like for Like'

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Quercus Publishing Plc


208 pages


Horror - Fantasy - SF
NewGen - YA Fiction
Books of the Month
eBook Favourites



Publisher Profile

Quercus Publishing Plc is an imprint of Quercus

Quercus publisher
Starting out in a small office in Dorset Street, London, the company quickly expanded, producing best sellers with each of its first two titles, Universe and Speeches that Changed the World.

As well as winning awards for their books Quercus also won Small Publisher of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards and the PLUS New Company fo the Year in the Fast Growth Business Awards.

Publisher's Website