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Venomous Lumpsucker av Ned Beauman
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Venomous Lumpsucker (utgåvan 2022)

av Ned Beauman (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
20613134,373 (3.93)9
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) The near future. Tens of thousands of species are going extinct every year. And a whole industry has sprung up around their extinctions, to help us preserve the remnants, or perhaps just assuage our guilt. For instance, the biobanks: secure archives of DNA samples, from which lost organisms might someday be resurrected . . . But then, one day, it's all gone. A mysterious cyber-attack hits every biobank simultaneously, wiping out the last traces of the perished species. Now we're never getting them back. Karin Resaint and Mark Halyard are concerned with one species in particular: the venomous lumpsucker, a small, ugly bottom-feeder that happens to be the most intelligent fish on the planet. Resaint is an animal cognition scientist consumed with existential grief over what humans have done to nature. Halyard is an exec from the extinction industry, complicit in the mining operation that destroyed the lumpsucker's last-known habitat. Across the dystopian landscapes of the 2030s-a nature reserve full of toxic waste; a floating city on the ocean; the hinterlands of a totalitarian state-Resaint and Halyard hunt for a surviving lumpsucker. And the further they go, the deeper they're drawn into the mystery of the attack on the biobanks. Who was really behind it? And why would anyone do such a thing?… (mer)
Medlem:BooksNotBombs
Titel:Venomous Lumpsucker
Författare:Ned Beauman (Författare)
Info:Soho Press (2022), 336 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Venomous Lumpsucker av Ned Beauman

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Visa 1-5 av 13 (nästa | visa alla)
"He's a very clever writer" — my wife.

Set about 20 years from now, when corporations and governments trade "extinction credits" to offset the species they wipe out (one credit for a regular species, 13 for an "intelligent" one), the post-Brexit UK has become a kind of insular North Korea, and out of sheer embarrassment "everyone agreed to just stop referring to America some time in the late 2020's", this is a razorly satire whose humor is 50% between the lines. I'm not quite sure it sticks the landing, which involves a deus ex machina A.I. entity that sounds like it was conceived by Douglas Adams, but this is one of the funniest, cleverest, not to mention best-titled, books I've read in ages and I'm glad it won the Clarke. ( )
  yarb | Jul 19, 2024 |
Read: Venomous Lumpsucker, Ned Beauman

This won the Arthur C Clarke Award last year, and throughout much of the award’s history that would be reason enough to read the book. But the shortlists in recent years have been… variable. Some of the judges’ choices have been absolutely baffling. The Last Astronaut? Sea of Rust? Never mind. Venomous Lumpsucker sounded quite good - although having now read it, the marketing around the book didn’t sell it very well. It’s set later this century, when nations and corporations trade “extinction credits” much as nations and corporations now trade carbon credits. Now, it’s to offset climate change (it’s not working); in the novel, thousands of species are being made extinct as corporations mine further afield for necessary elements and ores. The title refers to a fish which lives in the Baltic. It’s a cleaner fish, and cleaner fish are supposed to be the most intelligent types of fish. The Venomous Lumpsucker is even more intelligent than other species. It is also endangered. An Indian corporation is mining the Baltic sea-floor, and has hired Resaint to assess the intelligence of the lumpsuckers, as that affects how many extinction credits they will have to pay for destroying their habitat and wiping them out. Unfortunately, Halyard, an executive with the firm, saw a way to make a quick buck, and sold the credits on the open market, expecting their value to drop so he could short them. The opposite happens: hackers wipe out all the digitised DNA of already-extinct species, which drives the price of credits sky-high. And then it turns out the company has already accidentally wiped out the lumpsuckers. The novel is Resaint and Halyard chasing about the Baltic, trying to find a living colony of lumpsuckers, and being given a ride awakening into how the “extinction industry” works. Meanwhile, the UK has turned into a western North Korea, an isolated island nation ruled by a kleptocracy, but a powerful billionaire has bought up Cornwall and Devon and is seeding it with extinct species for his own reasons… The targets of Beauman’s satire are pretty clear: not just the corporations putting profits above climate change, but also Brexit and Elon Musk. The novel is surprisingly funny, and the near-future stuff is inventive. Not everything works - the billionaire’s motives donät add up, and the super AI reads more like a deus ex machina than actual near-future technology. But a good winner of the Clarke Award, nonetheless. ( )
  iansales | Jun 18, 2024 |
In a not-too-distant future, a worldwide commission has created a sort of cap-and-trade system to ostensibly slow down the extinction of species while allowing human development projects to proceed. As a market-based system, an industry has developed around extinction credits that often operates to game the system. Karin Resaint is a biologist trained in animal cognition—species deemed intelligent are worth more credits in the market system. Mark Haylard is a manager in the extinction industry. They come together when Resaint is about to report the venomous lumpsucker, a cleaner fish, as intelligent and a company that Haylard is representing just inadvertently destroyed what may be their only remaining breeding grounds. From there Resaint and Haylard are bound in an escapade to find another population of the venomous lumpsucker—Resaint because she cares about the species, Haylard because of investments he’s made. Over the course of their encounters with quirky characters and futuristic reserves, detention camps, and an artificial island of sorts, the value of species and the meaning of individual species’ extinction, as well as the definition of extinction itself, are brought to the fore. I am with Resaint: “And yet, despite all that, it was self-evident to Resaint that [a parasitoid wasp species] had some sort of inherent value. How could this brilliant, intricate, hilarious thing—the fluke result of an unrepeatable process, the legacy of some dizzying number of past individuals, all of them, in hindsight, striving unconsciously toward a single invention—not be valuable in itself.” This is a clever, entertaining story with some depth and complex characters. ( )
  EvaMSO | May 6, 2024 |
Pretty perfect from start to finish. Everything Beauman invents is plausible, from the political constructs, to the biology, to the tech, to the characters, and he makes great use of them all to tell a story that feels very real, very thoughtful, and so entertaining. Everything rings true. Humorous and horrifying at once, I hope nothing in it comes to pass, but I have a feeling it all very well might. ( )
  SusanBraxton | Feb 8, 2024 |
https://fromtheheartofeurope.eu/venomous-lumpsucker-by-ned-beauman/

A vicious yet funny satire on global politics and the environmental crisis, sort of Kim Stanley Robinson but with sæva indignatio added. It’s mostly set in a near-future Europe from which Britain is (mostly) absent; the role played by the Brits become slowly apparent along with much else that is hinted at in early chapters. Written with passion and confidence, and you’ll be thinking of it for ages. ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 28, 2023 |
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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) The near future. Tens of thousands of species are going extinct every year. And a whole industry has sprung up around their extinctions, to help us preserve the remnants, or perhaps just assuage our guilt. For instance, the biobanks: secure archives of DNA samples, from which lost organisms might someday be resurrected . . . But then, one day, it's all gone. A mysterious cyber-attack hits every biobank simultaneously, wiping out the last traces of the perished species. Now we're never getting them back. Karin Resaint and Mark Halyard are concerned with one species in particular: the venomous lumpsucker, a small, ugly bottom-feeder that happens to be the most intelligent fish on the planet. Resaint is an animal cognition scientist consumed with existential grief over what humans have done to nature. Halyard is an exec from the extinction industry, complicit in the mining operation that destroyed the lumpsucker's last-known habitat. Across the dystopian landscapes of the 2030s-a nature reserve full of toxic waste; a floating city on the ocean; the hinterlands of a totalitarian state-Resaint and Halyard hunt for a surviving lumpsucker. And the further they go, the deeper they're drawn into the mystery of the attack on the biobanks. Who was really behind it? And why would anyone do such a thing?

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