IN ASCENSION (2023)

Leigh grew up in Rotterdam, drawn to the waterfront as a refuge from her unhappy home life and volatile father. Enchanted by the marine world of her childhood, she excels in postgraduate research on ancient algae. When an unfathomable vent appears in the mid-Atlantic floor, Leigh joins the investigating team; what she finds there will change her life forever. 

 Around the same time, a trio of engineers, unknown to each other, make a seismic breakthrough in rocket propulsion, announcing an almost limitless era of space exploration. Billions of dollars is poured into projects, and Leigh’s classified research on the ocean vent sees her recruited to develop an experimental food source for off-world travel. From her base in the Mojave desert, she’s drawn further into the space agency’s work, where she learns of a series of anomalies suggesting a beacon sent from the far side of the solar system. In responding to this beacon, Leigh embarks on a journey that will take her across the breadth of the cosmos and the fullness of a single human life.

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GATHERING EVIDENCE (2020)

With extinction imminent, researchers visit an exclusive national park to observe one of the last troops of bonobo chimpanzees. Amid unusual behaviour and unexplained deaths, Shel Murray suspects her team is being hunted. Back at home, Shel’s partner is attacked touring their new property. Amnesiac and quarantined, John is visited by an inscrutable doctor, tending to the still fresh wounds. As his memory returns, John questions not only the assault, but the renewed marks on his body, and the black fungus now growing on the walls.

A sudden event changes everything. Shel is interrogated over the expedition in the park; John throws himself into work, developing new software. Together, with a greater understanding of how much they have to lose, they face a grave threat, something that promises to devour everything.

The best experimentalist now working — Simon Ings ― The Times

Remarkably prescient. MacInnes illustrates earth on the verge of extinction with stunning creativity and verve. ― Book Riot

MacInnes’s intriguing second novel deserves to cement his reputation as a bold and curious writer ― New Statesman

MacInnes has created a strangely prescient vision that fuses risks of ecological catastrophe, technological dependence, and social isolation. ― Sydney Morning Herald

MacInnes’s prose contains the novel’s ratcheting urgency with an empiricist’s precision. This is chaos in a specimen jar. ― TLS

Compelling, full of intriguing ideas, and yet retains an emotional sincerity and sensitivity… In terms of genre, MacInnes is gloriously promiscuous… covers everything from science-fiction to horror to dystopia, and manages to breeze through all this and more… It is written in a beautifully understated style – when you are dealing with big concepts, it’s probably best to steer clear of too much flash prose – and will indubitably linger in my mind for a long time to come. — Stuart Kelly ― Scotsman

MacInnes’s writing is rigorous in its abstraction, yet there is a beauty to it, a quiet compassion. For all his gathering of evidence, he offers scant conclusions and in this he is like every one of us, sharing our fear for the future even as he charts its progress in meticulous detail. This novel confirms MacInnes as a writer of serious ambition and an uncanny degree of talent. ― Guardian

Gathering Evidence makes a conspiracy theorist of the reader, sending them scavenging across the pages for clues and cyphers, for overlaps between strands which should be separate, for integrations and disintegrations. Gathering Evidence sits comfortably alongside peers such as Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World as a superbly current novel of 21st century pattern recognition, portraying a world where digital advancement and environmental devastation might be the same thing. ― The List

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INFINITE GROUND (2016)

Carlos has disappeared. A retired inspector takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, even sinister. As the inspector relives and retraces the missing man’s footsteps, the trail leads him away from the city sprawl and deep into the country’s rainforest interior, where he encounters both horror and wonder.

Astonishing ― Herald, Books of 2016

Jaw-droppingThe Times

Sublimely tricksy ― Irish Times, Books of 2016

Weird, wonderful, totally indefinable — Justine Jordan ― Guardian, Books of 2016

A startlingly original mind… Fantastically ambitious ― Scottish Review of Books, Books of 2016

Stunning… I doubt you’ve read anything quite like it — Jeff VanderMeer, author of The Southern Reach trilogy

Alive with ideas and cock-eyed intelligence, brimming with passages of genuine brilliance… Infinite Ground does that magical thing that only the very best novels do: it makes you see the world afresh — Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of His Bloody Project

Electrifying… Strange, terrifying, riveting, and written with scintillating intelligence — Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others

A novel of intelligence, grace, cunning and warped imagination… A bravura performance — Stuart Evers, author of Your Father Sends His Love

Labyrinthine, beautifully written and teeming with ideas… Frighteningly good — Lee Rourke, author of Vulgar Things