Episode 173: Interview with Scottish author Martin MacInnes on contemporary literature and the climate crisis

In-depth, frank, and fascinating exploration of contemporary literature’s response to current environmental crises, with Scottish writer Martin MacInnes, author of the recently published novel, In Ascension. Martin believes literature is profoundly implicated in the crises, and that it has a responsibility to challenge certain assumptions regarding the human and the non-human; he shares his interest in exploring how the novel might do this. He suggests literature should not be limited to traditional forms and structures but should explore new ways of storytelling, for example by using non-linear narratives or multiple perspectives to explore environmental themes, creating compelling stories that challenge readers’ assumptions and encourages them to think critically about their relationship with the living world.

Martin MacInnes is a writer of experimental and science fiction novels. He won the Somerset Maugham Award for his debut novel, Infinite Ground (2016. His second novel, Gathering Evidence, was published in 2020 and earned him a place on the Guardian/British Council’s list of ten writers shaping the UK’s future. His latest novel, In Ascension, which came out recently, is a exploration of some of the deep philosophical questions of our time, delving into the secrets of the ocean and the cosmos, and our relationship with the living world.