Category Archives: Ecofiction

Review: Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman

In the near-future world of Venomous Lumpsucker, everything has continued to get worse, to the point where a corporation can make a species extinct as long as they pay enough extinction credits. The unintended consequences of this setup are many, all of them absurd and horrifying, which somehow makes this world feel especially plausible.

A biologist is trying to find, and potentially save, the last venomous lumpsuckers in the world. These are small but clever fish, possibly the most intelligent fish species out there. She’s joined by a variety of odd characters, all of them embroiled in the madness the world has become.

The ideas and writing of this book are incredible, and I found myself repeatedly shaking my head at the latest development, which was usually both insane and totally believable. However, the characters were so extreme that I had a hard time identifying with any of them, which made me less interested in the story. Towards the end, I found I was reading it just to finish the book, as opposed to being curious what would happen next.

Recommendation: Read it if you’re in the mood for a literary near-future environmental dystopian adventure.