Episode 612-With Ray Nayler

On February 6, 2024, in Podcast, by Patrick Hester

The Tusks of Extinction by Ray NaylerThis week, Patrick and Tracy welcome Ray Nayler, author of The Tusks of Extinction.

About The Tusks of Extinction: Moscow has resurrected the mammoth. But someone must teach them how to be mammoths, or they are doomed to die out again.

Dr. Damira Khismatullina, an expert in elephant behavior, was brutally murdered trying to defend the world’s last elephants from the brutal ivory trade. Now, her digitized consciousness has been downloaded into the mind of a mammoth.

As the herd’s new matriarch, can Damira help fend off poachers long enough for the species to take hold? Or will her own ghosts, and Moscow’s real reason for bringing the mammoth back, doom them to a new extinction?

About Ray Nayler: Ray Nayler is the author of the critically acclaimed, Locus Award winning novel The Mountain in the Sea, published in the US by MCDxFSG and in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The Washington Post called Mountain “(a) poignant, mind-expanding debut” and Slate called it “(a) wondrous novel.” David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, said: “I loved this novel’s brain and heart, its hidden traps, sheer propulsion, ingenious world-building and the purity of its commitment to luminous ideas.” Positively reviewed in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Publisher’s Weekly (starred review) and many others, The Mountain in the Sea was a best book of the year at The Times as well as Amazon and Slate. The Mountain in the Sea was a finalist for the Nebula Award and for the LA Times Book Awards’ Ray Bradbury Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction.

Ray’s second book, the novella The Tusks of Extinction was published in January 2024 by Tordotcom. The Washington Post has called it “both breathtaking and heartbreaking” and Publishers Weekly said Tusks is “impassioned and impressive . . . an uncompromising climate fiction that strikes like a spear to the gut.”

Ray has published work in many genres, from mainstream “literary” fiction to comics. His short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen, Crimewave, Hardboiled, Cemetery Dance, Deathrealm, Queen’s Quarterly, and the Berkeley Fiction Review, among other journals. His opinion pieces have appeared in New Scientist and at LitHub. He is a widely published poet, with work in the Atlanta Review, the Beloit Poetry Journal, Weave, Juked, Able Muse, Sentence, and many more.

Ray currently lives in Washington, DC with his wife Anna, their daughter Lydia, and two rescued cats – one Tajik, one American. ?Ray is represented by Seth Fishman at the Gernert Company.

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© 2024 Patrick Hester

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