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Beckett, Bernard

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1967-    ) New Zealand teacher, economist and author for Young Adult readers in whose sf novel, Genesis (2006), is set in a highly ambivalent Utopia called the Republic, founded by a businessman named Plato after World War Three in the Islands of Aotearoa, the name now given to New Zealand. The allegorical implications of the tale, though explicit (the protagonist's name is Anaxaminder, and references and icons from the time of the original Plato proliferate), do not overwhelm the telling. The narrative is constructed as an interview in 2075, during which young Anaxaminder attempts to gain admission to college through her exposition of the life of Adam Forde, a frontier guard who, years after the Republic's founding, may have initiated a second great twenty-first century war, isolating the Republic, and who is subsequently imprisoned with an AI that resembles an orang-utan (see Apes as Human). Unusually for any novel whose expository elements are so foregrounded (the AI is also talkative), the tale is vivid. [JC]

Bernard Beckett

born Featherston, New Zealand: 13 October 1967


  • Deep Fried (Dunedin, New Zealand: Longacre Press, 2005) with Clare Knighton [pb/]
  • Genesis (Dunedin, New Zealand: Longacre Press, 2006) [pb/]


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