Venomous Lumpsucker (Hardcover)

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A dark and witty story of environmental collapse and runaway capitalism from the Booker-listed author of The Teleportation Accident.

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?
Virtuosic and profound, witty and despairing, Venomous Lumpsucker is Ned Beauman at his very best.

About the Author

Ned Beauman, who was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013, is the author of Boxer, Beetle (shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and winner of the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction); The Teleportation Accident (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and winner of the Somerset Maugham Award); Glow; and Madness Is Better than Defeat. Beauman has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the London Review of Books, Esquire, and various other publications. He lives in London.

Praise For…

Praise for Venomous Lumpsucker

“A madcap adventure story set in a dystopian world ravaged by climate change.” 

“Beauman’s acerbic outlook breezes through what could otherwise be a portentous plot; think Smilla’s Sense of Snow as percolated through an Andy Borowitz filter, a mid-apocalyptic comic thriller ideally suited for a post-pandemic audience.”
BookPage, Starred Review

“Beauman is a deft plotter, and his characters are well drawn, with Halyard’s panicked self-interest and Resaint’s icy resolve striking comedic sparks as the pair desperately endeavor to preserve an unlovable marine species . . . The book’s real strength is its ability to evocatively raise profound questions about humanity’s relationship with and responsibility to animals and the larger environment in the course of its often (darkly) comic action. The worldbuilding is dazzling . . . It’s funny—and chilling and terribly sad—because it’s true.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“An ambitious techno-thriller set in a dystopian near future in which evil corporations vie for profits drawn from the digital storage of extinct species . . . the author lays out a blisteringly scathing indictment of capitalism and climate change, and by the end, the implications about the future of AI boggle the mind. Beauman has an impressive intellectual bandwidth.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Ned Beauman

“A premise as wonderfully outlandish as any we’ve seen in a long while . . . oddball and rambunctious . . . funny, raw and stylish.”
The New York Times
“Amusing and rampageous.”
“A singular novel—singularly clever, singularly audacious, singularly strange—from a singular, and almost recklessly gifted, young writer. This is not fiction for everyone. But for those who stick with it, it’s a wild and wonderful ride.”

“Wildly inventive . . . This fizzy novel is a great time machine all its own . . . Every generation gets the hipster satire it deserves. But this one's for every generation.”
Entertainment Weekly

Gobsmackingly clever.”
Vanity Fair

The New Yorker
“Endlessly witty and furiously inventive . . . Consolidates the 27-year-old Beauman’s stature as a formidably accomplished writer . . . Beauman flaunts an almost indecently pleasurable way with words . . . Dazzling entertainment.”
The Washington Post

Product Details
ISBN: 9781641294126
ISBN-10: 1641294124
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: July 12th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English