Author(s): Bernard Beckett
I remember the machine by his bed. It made a sound like sighing. Numbers twitched, unable to settle. A jagged line sawed across the screen. At least it was something to look at. Something that wasn’t him. They’d brushed his hair, as if he were already dead. A song came into my head, I couldn’t chase it away. ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’. I pretended to smile, pretended to be brave. ‘Twin brother in a coma,’ I mouthed, ‘I know it’s serious.’ He would have laughed. He would have been better than me at this.
Rene’s twin brother Theo lies unconscious in hospital after a freak accident left him with massively disrupted brain function. There is hope though. An experimental procedure—risky, scientifically exciting and ethically questionable—could allow him to gain a new life. But what life, and at what cost?
Only Rene can give the required consent. And now he must face that difficult decision.
But first there is the question of Rene’s capacity to make that decision. And this is where the real story begins.
'Stunning and beguiling...This is superb fiction-thoughtful, clear, well-written and engrossing.' Sunday Star Times on August
'An intense, intelligent novel.' Listener on August
Bernard Beckett is a multi-award winning author of books and plays for young adults and one of New Zealand's most outstanding writers. In 2006 Bernard was awarded a fellowship for a project examining DNA mutations. This new direction in his life led to the publication of the sophisticated sci-fi novel Genesis, which has since been published in over twenty countries and was the winner of the 2010 Prix Sorcieres. He lives near Wellington with his wife and twin sons.