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  • Published: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781761346323
  • Imprint: Penguin Random House Australia Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Narrator: Natasha Beaumont
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $34.99

Only the Astronauts

The transformative new collection from the award-winning author of Only the Animals




A transformative new collection from the award-winning author of Only the Animals.

Adrift in outer space, a motley crew of human-made objects tell their tales, making real history sweeter and stranger.


Starman, a lovelorn mannequin orbiting the Sun in his cherry-red car, pines for his creator. The first sculpture ever taken to the Moon is possessed by the spirit of Neil Armstrong. The International Space Station, awaiting deorbit and burial in a spacecraft cemetery beneath the ocean, farewells its last astronauts. A team of tamponauts sets off on a perilous mission to Mars inspired by the courage of their predecessors. The Voyager 1 space probe – carrying its precious Golden Record – is captured by Oortians near the edge of the solar system and drawn into their baroque, glimmering rituals.

By turns joyous and mournful, these object-astronauts are not high priests of the universe but something a little . . . weirder. From their inverted perspectives, they observe humans both intimately and from a great distance, bearing witness to a civilisation unable to live up to its own ideals. And yet each still finds in our planet – in their humans – something worthy of love.

PRAISE FOR CERIDWEN DOVEY’S ONLY THE ANIMALS
'Mesmerizing and exhilarating. A major mind announcing itself.' Anna Funder
'Transmitted to us with a light touch and no trace of sentimentality.' J.M. Coetzee
'Wholly extraordinary.' Michelle de Kretser
'A fable-like surface, and a whole churning world beneath.' The Guardian
'A form of lyrical anthropology.' Canberra Times
'Anarchic brilliance.' The Age

  • Published: 7 May 2024
  • ISBN: 9781761346323
  • Imprint: Penguin Random House Australia Audio
  • Format: Audio Download
  • Narrator: Natasha Beaumont
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $34.99

About the author

Ceridwen Dovey

Ceridwen Dovey is a writer based in Sydney. She’s the author of several acclaimed works of fiction (Blood Kin, Only the Animals, In the Garden of the Fugitives, Life After Truth, Once More With Feeling) and non-fiction (On J.M. Coetzee: Writers on Writers and Inner Worlds Outer Spaces: The Working Lives of Others). Her non-fiction essays have been published by newyorker.com, the Smithsonian Magazine, WIRED, Vogue, the Monthly and Alexander, among many others. She’s the recipient of an Australian Museum Eureka Award, and the 2020 & 2021 UNSW Press Bragg Prize for science writing. Her latest book is Mothertongues, a work of literary fiction co-authored with Eliza Bell, and including original songs by Australian songwriter Keppie Coutts.

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