The Impossible Resurrection of Grief by Octavia Cade


A chilling novella about extinction, grief, and what we hold onto when the world falls apart. Winner of the 2022 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novella/Novelette.

“Cade’s strength shines in her beautiful descriptions … This thoughtful work is a reminder of humanity’s connection and responsibility to the natural world.”
Publishers Weekly (link)

“Uncanny, unsettling, brilliant, etcetera; as well as the thylacines there are jellyfish, robots, rock wrens, rats, and a new kind of psychological devastation that flourishes and evolves as everything else collapses. Called simply “Grief”, it is contagious, and hard to spot, and it feels like a creature that’s already here.”
— Catherine Woulfe, The Spinoff Book Report (link)

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About the Book

IN A DYING WORLD, GRIEF HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN… With the collapse of ecosystems and the extinction of species comes the Grief: an unstoppable melancholia that ends in suicide. When Ruby’s friend, mourning the loss of the Great Barrier Reef, succumbs to the Grief, the letters she leaves behind reveal the hidden world of the resurrected dead. The Tasmanian tiger, brought back from extinction in an isolated facility, is only the first… but rebirth is not always biological, and it comes with a price. As a scientist, Ruby resists the Grief by focusing her research on resilient jellyfish, but she can’t avoid choosing which side she’s on. How can she fight against the dead and the forces behind them when doing so risks her home, her life, and the entire biosphere?

The cover, by Canadian artist and designer Rachel Lobbenberg, features two thylacines (an extinct Australian marsupial also known as the Tasmanian tiger), a spray of Australian flora, and little New Zealand rock wrens flying about over a distressed velvet background.

About the Author

Octavia Cade is a New Zealand writer with a PhD in science communication. She attended Clarion West 2016, has won three Sir Julius Vogel awards for speculative fiction, and is a Bram Stoker nominee. She was the 2020 writer in residence at Massey University, where she wrote The Impossible Resurrection of Grief.

Learn More
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Additional information

Book Format


Page count

84 pp.


9781777091767 (trade), 9781777091774 (ebook)

Publication Date

May 20, 2021


science fiction, horror, climate fiction, novella


climate change, extinction, mental health, Australia, New Zealand

Cover Art and Design

Rachel Yu Lobbenberg


Winner of the 2022 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novella/Novelette; Utopia Award (Finalist)


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