Ectopia sounded rich and edgy from its cover blurb alone, promising themes of gender, medicine and identity – topics I loved to see explored in speculative fiction. The book lived up to my expectations, with just a few minor caveats. Ectopia is a terrific novel with excellent characterisation, world-building, narration and dialogue. It’s also thematically strong, exploring the connections between binary concepts, including male versus female, gay versus straight, and soulful versus soulless. The result is a story of great depth, raising questions about who we are and how we define ourselves… By far the best thing about the book is its narration. As with A Clockwork Orange and 1984, the world is built by language, meaning there is little cumbersome exposition or other authorial intrusions. Steven is a brilliant narrator with a thrilling tale to tell. His language sculpts this reality in a striking, penetrating way, often combining beautiful observations with cutting colloquial realism.” Barbara Melville, Interzone
Ectopia ‘has its precursors, but in novels narrated in their own particular argo by outside elements such as Huck, Holden, and Alex…. It is in limning his created world that Martin Goodman begins to articulate deeper narrative levels, for Ectopia is not simply an exercise in speculative fiction or an extended demonstration of skaz. Its primary purpose is political: that is, the author intends his novel to also function as a kind of discussion document, as a fictional fleshing-out of contemporary issues and uncertainties, be they on social control, sexual identity, subculture behaviour, or the nature of the self. The plot is infused with elements of myth, of gender, of catastrophe, and with the construction of narrative itself… It stands within a tradition that seeks to examine the nature of the present by constructing a fantastical but palpable other world that reflects some of the aspects of our own lives back on us.’ Christopher Burns – The Warwick Review
Ectopia: A modern teenage dystopia set in London. For sixteen years the Earth has baked and no girls have been born. Karen’s the last girl and Steven’s her gay twin. Dad turns their home into a fortress as women take the chance to rule the world. Their eyes are on Steven. Perhaps, with a little medical interference, he could be the saviour of the world.
Discussing dystopian fiction with Martin Goodman on Night Waves, Henry Gee called Ectopia ‘marvellous’ … and tweeted: ‘Universes better than Rush Anagram & a lot more fun. Clockwork Orange x Charlie Higson x Wasp Factory‘
Of Martin Goodman’s earlier work: ‘Heralds a new dawn for British writing’ – Liverpool Daily Post
‘Goodman’s novel soars’ – The Times
ECTOPIA was awarded a PhD from the University of Lancaster.