Giveaway: Birdbrain by Johanna Sinisalo (Int.)

As part of our Locus Challenge, we are hosting a giveaway for six copies of Birdbrain by Johanna Sinisalo to six lucky readers, thanks to the generosity of Peter Owen Books. Birdbrain by Johanna Sinisalo is on the Locus recommended reading list as one of the best science fiction novels of the year 2010. Here’s the book blurb:

From the author of the critically acclaimed Troll, the new novel from Johanna Sinisalo is full of her trademark style, surreal invention, and savage humor

Set in Australasia, this is the story of a young Finnish couple who have embarked on the hiking trip of a lifetime, with Heart of Darkness as their only reading matter. Conrad’s dark odyssey turns out to be a prescient choice as their trip turns into a tortuous thriller, with belongings disappearing, and they soon find themselves at the mercy of untamed nature, seemingly directed by the local kakapo—a highly intellegent parrot threatened with extinction. This is a skillful portrait of the unquenchable desire of Westerners for the pure and the primitive, revealing the dark side of the explorer’s desire—the insatiable need to control, to invade, and leave one’s mark on the landscape. But what happens when nature starts to fight back?

Here’s praise for Birdbrain:

“A sense of lurking horror that will leave you troubled for weeks.” Sam Jordison

“To finish this startlingly good book is to get a glimpse of things.” John Clute, Strange Horizons

“Fans of Sinisalo’s Tiptree Award–winning debut, Troll: A Love Story, may be surprised that overtly speculative elements make few appearances, but the lavish descriptions of panoramas and the experience of pushing beyond all endurance make for a lyrical and occasionally sinister odyssey second only to making one’s own foray into the wilderness.” Publishers Weekly

Birdbrain is very obviously and forcefully an environmentalist novel; but it is also simply a brilliant piece of writing about the environment… That the corruption of humanity may have produce a corruption in the ecology of this land, even a counteracting one, is a deeply felt tragedy – one that springs from a bleak and partial view of humanity, but one that provides a rich seam for this elegant, severe novel to mine.” Niall Harrison, Torque Control (

To enter in the giveaway, you must:

  • Pledge to participate in our Locus challenge (you must comment on that post)
  • Make a good faith effort to read this book by April 1, 2011 if you win
  • Enter here

Best of luck, and happy reading! This giveaway ends March 9, 2011 at midnight Pacific time.

About Benni Amato

Benni was born in a theater playing Star Wars, and has loved science fiction and fantasy ever since. She did go through a non-fiction phase, but now that her 50-70-hour/week job keeps her plenty occupied with non-fiction, she escapes when she can into the world of fantasy. Though clinically cleared of ADHD, Benni requires constant engagement, whether through good pacing, character development, or world-building. And while she would like to believe that she has more discerning taste than a child, she considers herself otherwise a good measure of whether a book will hold a child’s attention and do well if the movie rights are sold.

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  1. …okay, I’ll need to read this book simply because I have to read anything that includes a kakapo. Those things are spooky.

  2. …okay, I’ll need to read this book simply because I have to read anything that includes a kakapo. Those things are spooky.

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