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James Bradley (2) (1967–)

Forfatter af The Resurrectionist

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16+ Works 1,055 Members 43 Reviews

Om forfatteren

James Bradley was born on May 15, 1967 in Adelaide, South Australia. He is a graduate of the University of Adelaide. His novels include Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist, and Clade. He is the author of a book of poetry entitled Paper Nautilus. He edited two books, Blur: Stories by Young vis mere Australian Writers and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. He also writes as a critic and won the 2012 Pascall Prize for Criticism and was named Australian Critic of the Year. His other awards include The Age Fiction Book of the Year and the Kathleen Mitchell Award. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre


Værker af James Bradley

The Resurrectionist (2006) 466 eksemplarer
Clade (2015) 211 eksemplarer
Wrack (1997) 150 eksemplarer
The Silent Invasion (2017) 63 eksemplarer
The Deep Field (1999) 57 eksemplarer
Ghost Species (2020) 40 eksemplarer
The Penguin Book of the Ocean (2010) — Redaktør; Bidragyder — 20 eksemplarer
The Buried Ark (2018) 16 eksemplarer
Blur: Stories by young Australian writers (1996) — Redaktør; Bidragyder — 9 eksemplarer
Beauty's sister (2012) 8 eksemplarer
Paper Nautilus (2013) 3 eksemplarer

Associated Works

The Penguin Century of Australian Stories (2000) — Bidragyder — 74 eksemplarer
Fearsome Magics (2014) — Bidragyder — 49 eksemplarer
Tomorrow's Parties: Life in the Anthropocene (Twelve Tomorrows) (2022) — Bidragyder — 26 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Stories 2003 (2003) — Bidragyder — 22 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Essays 2009 (2009) — Bidragyder — 21 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Stories 2016 (2016) — Bidragyder — 17 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Stories 2012 (2012) — Bidragyder — 15 eksemplarer
The best Australian stories 2001 (2001) — Bidragyder — 14 eksemplarer
Penguin Australian Summer Stories (1999) — Bidragyder — 14 eksemplarer
The Best Australian Stories 2013 (2013) — Bidragyder — 13 eksemplarer
The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2014 (2015) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer
Dreaming in the Dark (2016) — Bidragyder — 10 eksemplarer

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Reading this book in 2020, just five years after it was published feels uncanny. Climate fiction has that advantage that it talks about the possible future without much speculation. This is the case with Clade. We have been warned about what's coming, we have seen some of it happening, if we survive long enough, we will see more of it and it will get more extreme.

Clade reminded me of the British TV show Years and Years, which covers the close future of a family in all the strange familiarity of the current events mixed with some black swan type disasters nobody could have predicted. As we move along the timeline, things get more removed from the familiar, but the human connections are the thread that keeps everything together.

The structure of the novel was interesting. There are different characters narrating from their often limited perspectives. As the title of the novel suggests, all these characters are in some way connected to a character (predictably) called Adam. These are all done in the form of vignettes which range from deeply emotional to journalistic.

Adam is a research scientist aware that the climate change is going to transform the planet. He and his wife are going through a series of IVF treatments.The psychological portrayal of how their inability to conceive may be related to the reluctance to bring a child into this world was probably the strongest point of the novel for me. Adam learns of his wife's pregnancy while stationed in Antarctica where a large rupture in the ice sheet foreshadows the gravity of things to come.

I really enjoyed the first part of the novel, it was done really well and the story just flowed, clearly supported by Bradley's narrative craft. I found the the last one third a little lacking, as the characters had a limited perspective and were introduced abruptly so there was little emotional connection that would carry the reader through. Otherwise, this would have been a 5 star read for me.

But, overall, there is a gentle sense of optimism that never feels forced and a wonderful element of surprise towards the end. This is clearly a keeper and one of the best novels in this genre I've read.
… (mere)
ZeljanaMaricFerli | 6 andre anmeldelser | Mar 4, 2024 |
I don't even know where to start, honestly. I was tempted to just review this with a 'yeah, nah.' Instead:

* Early on there are rolling summer power outages. In one instance the power goes off at midnight, and in the morning the character says 'all the food will be spoiled.' This is literally not true, and terrible research, which isn't promising for a novel based on research. How did the editor not catch this? As someone who has lived through rolling power outages, our first google search was 'how long does food last in a closed fridge during a power outage?' Hot tip, 80% of their food wasn't spoiled. The characters then repeatedly throw out their food after every outage and buy it new again. The privilege is insane.

* Cremains are not fine dust that feel as though they are barely heavier than air. A cursory google search confirms they are like coarse sand, and heavier than you think. This could have been a symbolic choice, but in a book of badly researched knowledge (sans climate change), it just feels like...bad research.

* Mystical 'mysterious' ex-doctor Bangladeshi beekeeper only exists to give one character hope.

* The amount of privilege depicted is genuinely incredible.

* Every woman character is detached, aloof or cut off from her emotions or only feels rage or dislike generally, and seems to be damned by her children (or lack thereof). The same can be said for Ellie, Summer and Maddie. Less so Lijuan. Whenever a man becomes detached or aloof, it's always implied or described to be the woman's fault, even though one man responds by literally *going to Antarctica* and yet...still...blaming his wife...for their distance. The latent misogyny embedded in the text is so present it's inescapable. Women are only really hopeful in momentary bursts. Men are usually the ones carrying the 'true emotions.' Whether it's Noah, or Adam, or Tom. Young girls seem to be allowed to have 'real emotions' too. For a while. But then everyone will wonder whether the girl will hurt herself because of them.

* The only overtly queer character in the novel is an underage teenager who pressures another teenage character to make out in front of a camera set up and then shames her when she doesn't, oh and also gives her drugs. Not...ideal representation at the best of times. Nothing else to balance this out.

* The ending is rushed. Suddenly there are aliens? But wait, 15 pages later the book is over! And everyone is staring up at the Shimmer, and there's hope, for no reason! None of the characters introduced in the last section are remotely believable, engaging or likeable. They have a poor excuse at futuristic names except for Izzie. They're not compelling, and what they have to add to the story contributes nothing.

Anyway, I could go on, but basically this felt like extremely easy to read garbage. I feel like I can kind of tell what this book was trying to do, but with no interesting characters to really hook into, and the author's willingness to slowly kill off most of his cast because of the dull plodding of time, there was no real reason to hook into future characters either (I don't always mind this technique, it's been done to great effect by authors like Anne Marie MacDonald, Jeffrey Eugenides and Arundhati Roy). The majority of storylines are never resolved, and are left open-ended in a way that feels lazy rather than creative or well thought out.
… (mere)
PiaRavenari | 6 andre anmeldelser | Aug 4, 2023 |
More like 3.5, but I did enjoy it.
Kateinoz | 2 andre anmeldelser | Feb 14, 2023 |
James Bradley OAM is a novelist, essayist, anthologist and critic. I was prompted to buy his most recent novel Ghost Species after hearing him speak at the 2020 Melbourne Writers Festival, the one that pivoted online during Lockdown. He spoke with Irish author Caoilinn Hughes (The Wild Laughter, see my review) on the topic of Crisis Literature, and their divergent views were interesting. Hughes, writing about the GFC in Ireland, thought that time was needed in order to take a long view of events. Bradley, whose preoccupation with climate change features in Ghost Species as well as his other novels said that it’s not possible to reflect on the past in the same way because things are changing all the time.

So Ghost Species is a novel 'of the moment' which also anticipates a dystopian future. I think I read it too soon after Sally Abbott's debut novel Closing Down, (see my review) because I found myself comparing the two and finding the former more accomplished. I had also read Donna Mazza's Fauna (see my review) which also explored the complications of bio-engineering when a commercial company, Lifeblood(R), offers incentives for women craving motherhood to join an experimental IVF genetics program using non-human DNA. With the final elements of Ghost Species reminding me of the apocalyptic violence of Cormac McCarthy's The Road (which I read ages ago before I started blogging, see a synopsis here), I didn't feel that I was reading original ideas.

It might just have been my timing. Readers whose reviews I follow at Goodreads think highly of this novel.

Ghost Species starts out with an Elon-Musk type of character called Davis Hucken setting up a secluded lab in Tassie. His ambition is to reverse extinction in the hope that restoring the ecosystem with thylacines, mammoths and aurochs can reverse climate change. He hires scientists Kate and Jay to assist with another project, which is to breed a Neanderthal in the hope that it might be possible to learn something from them.

Bradley doesn't dwell on the technicalities of the project, and it all seems credible enough — except for the people involved. Jay is keen from the outset while Kate is dubious. Distrusting Davis's charm, Kate asks why:
'Because we can. Because it gives us the chance to undo the wrong that was done when they were wiped out. But also because we need them; the world needs them. Look at the Earth, at what our carelessness has done to it. We can't let that happen again. We need to be tested by other minds, other perspectives. We need to learn from other eyes to see the world. Think what we could learn from them, from their minds. Imagine speaking to another species!'

Kate shakes her head in disbelief. 'Without an evolutionary context, a community, they wouldn't be another species, they'd be an exhibit, an experiment. All we'd see when we looked into their eyes would be a reflection of our own hubris.'

Davis gives her an oddly blank look. 'Perhaps at first. But you know as well as I do that the nature of life is to adapt, to change.'

'Even if you could reassemble the genetic material, you would require human surrogates,' says Jay. 'As well as human eggs. And I can't begin to imagine how you'd get ethical clearance. Human cloning is banned in almost every country in the world.' (p.26)

So, credibility problem No 1: why would career scientists put their entire future employment at risk by getting involved in a project that is bypassing all the usual ethical research and IVF protocols for an outcome so flimsy, i.e. that they might learn something from a Neanderthal.

Credibility problem No 2 is the surrogate, again bypassing all the protocols and caricatured as having no feelings and taking no interest whatsoever in the baby she is carrying. She vanishes out of the story as if she were no more than an incubator. (I kept expecting her to come back and demand to see the child.)

My rest of my review contains minor spoilers, so visit with caution at https://anzlitlovers.com/2022/10/08/ghost-species-by-james-bradley/
… (mere)
anzlitlovers | Oct 8, 2022 |



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