Martin MacInnes

Författare till In Ascension

5 verk 377 medlemmar 10 recensioner

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Inkluderar namnet: Martin MacInnes

Verk av Martin MacInnes

In Ascension (2023) 231 exemplar
Infinite Ground (2016) 114 exemplar
Gathering Evidence (2020) 30 exemplar
Overgave (2023) 1 exemplar
Ascensión (AdN) (2023) 1 exemplar


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an interesting and well written novel that to me does not really work, because it is caught between its imaginative near-future set-up about a space flight and bioengineering immortality and the very different inward-looking focus of a contemporary family psychological novel. so it moves awkwardly between the momentum of an sf story and the more static inner issues of a psychological novel, and that complicates and ultimately compromises both impulses. at the same time both the author's attention to detail and the rhythms of his prose herald a gifted writer, but i'm not certain that this approach could ever work; perhaps he tried it as an experiment.… (mer)
macha | 6 andra recensioner | Apr 3, 2024 |
So then, surrealist meta-fiction, we meet again. MacInnes’ award winning 2016 debut novel splits into two parts, somewhat different on the surface, but consistent in essence. Part one takes place in the corporate and sociological, part two in an ecological fever dream.

Looking for an ostensibly missing man, an unnamed inspector in an unnamed South American urban center (seems like Brazil) learns about the corporation at which he worked, where actors are hired to impersonate workers to inspire the real workers to work harder. Which doesn’t have a name, having undergone so many mergers and divisions with fake employees and real employees and fake offices and real offices that who can say what, in essence, it actually is anymore.

If his workplace’s reality is uncertain, well, he may have had an even bigger problem. A microbiologist working with the inspector claims, on the basis of organic matter left on the man’s keyboard, from which can be deduced bacterial colonization and resultant effects on his psychology, that the man himself became uncertain of his own reality before he disappeared:
Two disappearances: internal and social. He stopped believing he was real and then nobody could see him. Inspector, I have another appointment. I really should go. But you will keep me updated on the investigation? I would like to find out where he’s gone.

Yes, where has that which is the most real about us gone to? We know very well it’s not kept on our surface. We’re not going to find it at our workplace, hah! Other people don’t see it. Perhaps we don’t know where it is ourselves. Maybe we’re never going to find it doing what we’re doing. Out on a walk, the inspector sees a large crowd gathered around something they’re all pushing to see. He tries to fight his way to the middle to find out what’s going on:

He had to stop now, because - and he knew this was impossible, but it appeared to be true - he had passed over on to the other side, gone, that is, past the centre, which he hadn’t even noticed, hadn’t seen a thing, and now he was actually moving against people that were facing him, coming, as he was now, somehow out from the centre…

He walked away and took a taxi. Before entering he looked back and nothing appeared to have changed, the same excited jostling and commotion was ongoing, and he was none the wiser. What’s going on over there? The driver asked him. Oh that, he said. That’s nothing, nothing important really, and he gave the driver his address.

The inspector decides the missing man may have disappeared into the massive tropical forest region, and this brings us to part two. He first joins up with a tour group operating out of a remote outpost connected to the corporation. The tour promises to bring Western tourists into “first contact” with an indigenous tribe… which turns out to be local actors. More play on “reality” and disappearance going on here.

Later, he wakes one day to find everyone else at the outpost has, what else, seemingly disappeared. Coffee cups still warm. The forest quickly grows over the outpost in the following days, and the inspector begins a trek through the forest in which he loses his sense of self and at one point seems to undergo something of the course of human evolution. But who has actually disappeared: everyone else, or the inspector?
… (mer)
lelandleslie | 2 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |
I love this book.

As an extremely picky reader with a lot of jaded feelings towards fiction, I seldom find works with characters and concepts that speak to me but I genuinely felt changed after reading In Ascension. I found MacInnes's writing to be exceptional and never tone deaf, corny, or obnoxious. I wholeheartedly cared for the characters in this book and was fully committed to understanding whatever it was that I could about the main character, Leigh, and their family. I was gutted by the book's resolution and having to part ways.

Despite being branded as science fiction, I would argue that this book is so much more. It is an incredibly slow burn with major emphasis on the main character's internal relationship with themself as well as their external relationships with family and the people they meet along the way.
My biggest gripe about this book was simply that I am not someone with a very science-y brain, nor do I care much about topics in science, especially biology. With much of this book being filled with conversation about science related topics, it was easy to find myself zoning out or bored. I do not feel like this is necessarily a flaw, but I do think it is something that will deter certain readers. This is not an action packed book filled with super entertaining adventures or crazy events that will keep you on your toes, but it is an incredibly thought provoking and moving piece of writing that I would genuinely encourage the right reader to consume.

I'll be thinking about this one for a very long time.
… (mer)
brookeklebe | 6 andra recensioner | Feb 6, 2024 |
I had high hopes for this novel primarily because it was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Yet, I found it to be a disappointingly complex sci-fi story that just didn’t seem to fit smoothly with a family drama or a story about a woman’s scientific ambitions. Notwithstanding his efforts to tackle big questions about the interconnectedness of humans the natural world and the universe, MacInnes’ ideas remained obscure. His settings in oceans, deserts, space, and the industrial city of Rotterdam were indeed evocative. His protagonist, however, was more nebulous. Clearly, Leigh was highly motivated by her science, yet her familial relationships, especially with her abusive father, don’t seem to be well explored or fit well with the overarching theme of the novel.… (mer)
ozzer | 6 andra recensioner | Feb 6, 2024 |



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