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In Ascension

Martin MacInnes


_In Ascension_ was longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize and winner of Blackwell’s Book of the Year and the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year (Scotland’s national book award). It is the story of a marine biologist who grew up in Rotterdam and then travels the world to study ancient organisms, in the end raising questions about our own beginnings. It goes from exploring the deepest depths of the oceans to the vastness of space. This extraordinary book combines typical science fiction elements like space travel with elements from other genres such as thriller and mystery and with an exploration of relationships both between people and between people and other species. It is written with a beautiful turn of phrase. As one reviewer wrote, ‘Nobody else writes like MacInnes, and this magnificent book is his best yet,’ while another wrote that ‘This is fiction which is both stellar and grounded; an exemplar of what the novel alone can still do.’ It is a complex book that can benefit from a second reading and should certainly lead to interesting discussions.


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