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Ray Nayler

Author of The Mountain in the Sea

32+ Works 917 Members 46 Reviews

Works by Ray Nayler

Associated Works

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2016 Edition (2016) — Contributor — 59 copies
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 5 (2020) — Contributor — 54 copies
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 6 (2021) — Contributor — 43 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2018 Edition (2018) — Contributor — 35 copies
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2020 Edition (2020) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 7 (2023) — Contributor — 20 copies Short Fiction: Summer 2023 (2010) — Contributor — 19 copies


Common Knowledge



Moscow has resurrected the mammoth. But someone must teach them how to be mammoths or they are doomed to die out again. Dr. Damira, an expert in elephant behavior, was brutally murdered trying to defend the world's last elephants from the ivory trade. Now, her digitalized consciousness has been downloaded into the mind of a mammoth.
taurus27 | 5 other reviews | May 20, 2024 |
I choose it from some "book of the month" choices in a SFF GR group.

I was worried that my instinct to protect myself from witnessing the suffering of animals would be too much but I made it through. The author did not abuse his power to inflict great suffering onto the reader so I am grateful for that.

The story opens and had me "back and forth-ing" the pages a bit to see if I misread something. The first section we have Damira with a "trunk" and the very next section Damira is "shifting a rifle from one shoulder to the other". I hadn't misread, so my only choice was to continue on and hope the meaning became clear.

I felt the author masterfully weaved a couple different timelines and many characters, keeping us just a bit confused as more and more became clear. By the end, a handful of major characters became prominent and the ideas of the book were well revealed.

I believe the author is attempting to raise awareness to the fact that poaching is happening even if many of us don't know about it. We can dismiss so many things because they are not happening to us or around us. He is reminding us that humans are actively causing the extinction of elephants.

What happens when the only ones left are the ones that have only known captivity? What happens when animals that used to help maintain things like undergrowth, permafrost, food chain, etc... disappear? If we make a test tube elephant and stick him in the safari, would they know how to elephant?

As authors do, Ray Nayler wrote an interesting SF story examining this.
3.5* rounded up for GR.

I think the author spent too much time with the "boy". Too much time on his memories and how he organized them. Maps too or I should say his concept of maps. Perhaps he wanted to touch on some ideas and needed someone to share them through but I don't see how they helped with his role in the story.

Also I don't understand why the animal brought back was the woolly mammoth. If Damira was an elephant expert and the author was trying to raise awareness of poaching of elephants then why was the story about Woolly Mammoths. .
… (more)
Corinne2020 | 5 other reviews | May 5, 2024 |
Set decades into the future, this is a dystopian(ish) view of humans with advanced AI technology trying to understand emergent consciousness in different organisms. One is a culture developing in octopi, the other is a highly advanced android.

Overall, I enjoyed the book which includes a lot of exploration of the idea of consciousness as well as a couple twists I didn't see coming.
ohheybrian | 37 other reviews | Apr 11, 2024 |



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Leah Cypess Contributor
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James Maxey Contributor
Tom Purdom Contributor
Sandra McDonald Contributor
M. Bennardo Contributor
Nick Mamatas Contributor
Nick Wolven Contributor
William Ledbetter Contributor
Frank Ward Contributor
John Alfred Taylor Contributor
Christopher Rowe Contributor
Prashanth Srivatsa Contributor
Arie Coleman Contributor
Marguerite Sheffer Contributor
Will McIntosh Contributor
Kevin J. Anderson Contributor
Marta Randall Contributor
Steve Rasnic Tem Contributor
Larry Wasserman Contributor
Robert R. Chase Contributor
Ian Creasey Contributor
James Gunn Contributor
Mary Anne Mohanraj Contributor
Alexander Bachilo Contributor
KA Teryna Contributor
Robert Reed Contributor
T. J. Berry Contributor
David Moles Contributor
Brad Aiken Contributor
Jack Skillingstead Contributor
Sheila Finch Contributor
John Richard Trtek Contributor
Sam Schreiber Contributor
Gregory Feeley Contributor
Misha Lenau Contributor
David Gerrold Contributor
Dr. Bunny McFadden Contributor
Alexander Jablokov Contributor
faith Merino Contributor
Ashok Banker Contributor
Lavie Tidhar Contributor
Ian Baaske Contributor
Suzanne Palmer Contributor
Will Renfro Illustrator
Caniglia Cover artist
Mike Bohatch Illustrator
Chad Savage Illustrator
Abby Kagan Designer
Thomas Colligan Cover designer
Eunice Wong Narrator


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