Metonymy in Motion

HOMMAGE A GUY, Bruno Neiva: Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2017

Bruno Neiva’s most recent text work, HOMMAGE A GUY, is a book encapsulating images of the homonymous art installation created by Neiva as an homage to Guy Debord. The book, and the installation, become a poetic meditation on Debord’s words, layered in fragments which in turn compose a kind of open (w)hole. Arranged within the pages of the book, each piece’s title comprises precisely all the words it contains as a textual whole; while the combined titles occupy the verso page of every spread as though a single poem.  In a kind of metonymic abyss, there is no clear distinction between what constitutes the part and what the whole in Neiva’s project – with the relationships between poem and title, page and book, book and installation, source text and generated text in a constantly reflexive flux.

The reading here is open to interpretation – and much more so because of the language. Neiva presents Debord’s words in their original French without concession to the potentially monolinguistic English-speaking reader, intensifying the opportunity for one to experience alienation as a result of this challenging encounter. This is a work which, in homage to Debord, resists and defies ‘passive identification with the spectacle’ demanding instead ‘genuine activity’ in an attempt to (re?)-construct meaning (or a semblance of meaning) from its pages.

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Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle (1967) ‘is a polemical and prescient indictment of our image-saturated consumer culture. The book examines the “Spectacle,” Debord’s term for the everyday manifestation of capitalist-driven phenomena; advertising, television, film, and celebrity’. Debord explores the reduction of lived experience into commodified images which become increasingly consumed and substituted for the reality of life. He famously states, ‘The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images’ (4). Neiva works hard to resist the commodifiable and consumable image in these text works. Each page details fragments of text: words without anchor or context, written, painted, printed, stencilled onto surfaces formed from bits of everyday detritus. A strip of gaffer tape, a torn envelope, an empty plastic bag, discarded bottle tops, each stuck onto a dark grey background/wall as installed at the Torrente Ballester Centre in Ferrol, Spain for the 24th Máximo Ramos International Award for Graphic Arts, 2016. The images could hardly be less commodifiable, and yet they do suggest something about our relationship with the consumable – and its perpetual obverse, waste.

Neiva’s HOMMAGE enters into a relationship with its subject/object – Debord – both aesthetically and technically. Paradoxically, however, in the creation of this book from the original installation, the lived experience of visiting the installation at the gallery – in order to be made accessible to a wider audience after the exhibition has closed – must necessarily be reduced to a series of images representing the work itself. Yet these images don’t just represent, they also comprise the work in its new form as a book.  What remains, then, is resistance to the passive identification and consumption that defines ‘the spectacle’, demanding instead an active effort from the reader that perhaps, in some ways, might mark a return to a lived experience of the work.

Click here to order a copy of Bruno Neiva’s HOMMAGE A GUY from Knives Forks and Spoons Press

About the Publisher:

Knives Forks and Spoons Press is a prolific publisher of avant-garde poetry by internationally acclaimed poets and emerging young writers. ‘KFS is a forum for an extraordinary range of diversity and risk-taking artistic experiment.’

Review by Sally-Shakti Willow

Sally-Shakti Willow researches and writes utopian poetics at the University of Westminster.  She is Research Assistant for the Contemporary Small Press.

Skimming over Black Glass and Counting Lies

The Red Beach Hut by Lynn Michell: Inspired Quill, Release date – October 2017

‘Ready?’ Always the same word. The same starting gun. He liked that.

Are we ever truly ready for what life throws at us and can we outrun fate? As Abbott, a gay man who works with troubled boys, runs to the refuge of a red beach hut during a time of fear, persecution and the threat of his life being torn down, he meets an unlikely friend, Neville, a young boy aged eight. Lynn Michell writes a beautifully innocent and endearing tale twisted by the tainted gaze of society’s perverse darkness, as two lost souls find hope in their unlikely companionship amidst their separate turmoil. As the odd yet surprisingly complementary pairing draw the attention of others’ gazes, which eventually places them under suspicion, Michell subtly tackles prejudice by treading the thin line between what is and is not appropriate. Abbott continuously questions how his actions may be read and misconstrued by those watching, yet both Abbott and Neville provide each other with the quiet trust, understanding and constancy they are each searching for in a time of need.

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The novel’s structure eloquently intertwines memories and inner dialogue throughout, weaving Abbott’s childhood memories of days on the beach with his aunt and the terrible mistake that led to him running from his current life. The Hut becomes a refuge and a safe place to revisit these memories – a place of innocence and happiness. Meeting Neville helps Abbott, in many ways, to recapture this time and see the world through a child’s eyes once more; allowing him to share the heartfelt, excited, compassionate, and honest perception of Neville. Michell develops the characters with an undercurrent of stillness running through their fibres; capturing the mind of Neville with such authenticity and attention to detail, which is no small feat. She interlaces his inquisitive nature with a quirky need to count everything in an attempt to appease an anxiety for order, rules and consistency. The literal, black and white mind of a child tests the grayscale of an adult’s mind, as Michell captures deep and poignant moments when tackling the truths and lessons people learn as they grow up.

Neville has a fascination and desire to understand words, to understand language and his place within it. Abbott meets this desire through the knowledge he’s gained whilst working with troubled boys, providing Neville with an adult figure who will actually be honest with him and treat him as an equal – recognising that he needs consistency and someone to take the time to know him. 

‘But we can say now it’s day and now it’s night…’

‘Only afterwards. There’s light and dark but there’s grey in between. Twilight. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t sure. It’s OK sometimes not to know. To be uncertain.’

‘I like certain.’

‘I know you do.’

‘What about me and you? Are we certain?’ He liked the word.

Whilst Neville teaches Abbott to be true to himself and find the honesty in what is spoken, Abbott provides Neville with the safety and security to be ok with the uncertainty of life; to be ok with not knowing. Michell presents the reader with the delicate and fragile moments in which one reveals oneself to another and hopes that that vulnerability will be met with compassion. Abbott gives Neville the confidence to speak and the trust in someone being there to listen. He is given the chance to share his voice and his thoughts, a truly powerful gift to give another, which Abbott, knowing the danger of being made to feel voiceless against discrimination, knows all too well.

In The Red Beach Hut language is not always vocal: Lynn Michell’s writing evokes the subtle languages of touch, of music, of being on the sea, and of being still. There are other ways, and sometimes more powerful ways, to communicate than with words.

 

Before they set off, the boy bounded up the steps and slipped his small hand into the man’s big one. Abbott let it rest there. The gesture spoke of trust and Abbott offered his acceptance. How could he betray it?

They give each other companionship, yet through this pairing Michell similarly tests the boundaries of intimacy, as Neville desperately wishes Abbott was a father-figure and Abbott must navigate the conflict of the intensity of emotions within a child’s mind. There is a tenderness to Neville – the deep and absorbing love of a child who’s found a friend with whom to learn how not to be so alone. The internal world of a child is a lonely place, a confusing place of learning the rules of life, and Abbott offers a helping hand of guidance.

One goes on and on, running on the same treadmill, never considering an alternative until forced to stop, he thought.

In each other’s company, Abbott and Neville find a moment to pause, reflect and just be, there is an easiness in which they can both stop running – Neville stops counting all the time, and Abbott stops running from himself. Out of rhythm with society, they find solace in the sea’s rhythm, the subtle shifts in the water’s moods and the constant gravitational pull they feel to be there on the seashore looking out and imagining what could be. As Neville says, “I can wish”, and perhaps wishing is all we ever can do.

The Red Beach Hut by Lynn Michell

About the publisher:

Inspired Quill is a not-for-profit publishing house which is dedicated to quality publications and providing a people-oriented platform for writers to develop their skills in writing, marketing and self-editing. They value a collaborative approach with their authors throughout the process from submission to launch, endeavouring to produce unique and powerful pieces of work.

Review by Isabelle Coy-Dibley

Isabelle Coy-Dibley is a PhD student at the University of Westminster, where her research predominantly considers inscriptions of the female body within women’s experimental writing.

Pseudotooth – Review

Pseudotooth – Review

Pseudotooth, Verity Holloway: Unsung Stories, 2017

Verity Holloway’s debut novel from Unsung Stories is a richly developed story entwining multiple layers and perspectives weaving in and out of consciousness as the plot traverses dream, fantasy and reality.  Following the experiences of seventeen-year-old Aisling Selkirk, whose blackouts and pseudo-seizures cause bewilderingly altered states of consciousness, the reader is plunged into the intensity and confusion of a protagonist who is never quite sure where she is.  The skill of the novel is in maintaining that disorientation throughout the plot, never quite drawing clear boundaries between dream and reality, while creating a compelling narrative that propels the reader forward with momentum.  It achieves this very successfully most of the time, although it took me a few chapters to fully immerse myself in the book after a potentially slow opening.

Aisling, whose experiences are figured alongside the mystical visions and poetry of William Blake, is drawn further and further into a world that defies the linear logic of temporality and geography on an adventure to understand not only her condition but her desires.  Comparing this new world with the familiar world of reality, would she choose to go back even if she could?  This question is left hanging, and the novel is far stronger for its refusal to accommodate a satisfying resolution.

“None of this is real, is it? … I think I’ve worked it all out now.  And I don’t mind that it’s not real.  I’m happy here.”

“Because you’re happy, it can’t be real?”

The question of the reality of one place or another is likewise never resolved, with the general suggestion that each can be as real as the other.  On one level, the book could be an exploration of the effects on consciousness of various forms of writing – poetry, journal writing, fiction – words and worlds are tangled and layered in a perplexing swirl of locations, identities and possibilities, and the ways that words are used to conjure those worlds underlines the close proximity of alternative states of consciousness to what we generally experience as normality.

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The novel is incredibly well researched with threads including William Blake, contemporary mental health issues, Russian history and speculative fiction.  Characters and plotlines are well developed and complex – which is necessary for this kind of fiction and something I felt that Unsung Stories were yet to develop in some of the earlier books I reviewed.  The complexity of this novel, its intertwining plotlines and well-developed characters made it a substantial read while leaving enough questions unanswered to spark a desire to flick back through it in search of missed connections.  Both ‘pseudo’ – something that is not genuine or not fully what is seems to be – and the eponymous ‘tooth’ feature as integral to plot and character throughout the novel, but the title is perhaps never fully resolved within its pages, only suggestions are made which the reader must actively attempt to demystify.

At its heart, the novel poses questions about the viability and desirability of any potential utopia – exploring the conflict between the desire for purity and the desire for acceptance.  The novel frequently raises the problematic complexity of any so-called utopia based on an idea of purity which leads to differentiation, isolation, segregation, exclusion, expulsion or eugenics.  This is an historically important question which bears repeated asking, and a question which seems to have more and more vital contemporary urgency with every passing day at the moment.  It does, however, lead to a very occasional heavy-handed morality in the writing, although this is always consistent with character or plot and never overly intrusive.

The book is a remarkable achievement for young writer Verity Holloway and a quality addition to the Unsung catalogue.

Click here to buy Pseudotooth directly from Unsung Stories

About the Publisher:

Unsung Stories publish literary and ambitious speculative fiction. This means science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird, and the fuzzy bits between these genres.

Review by Sally-Shakti Willow

Sally-Shakti Willow researches and writes utopian poetics at the University of Westminster.  She is Research Assistant for the Contemporary Small Press.

 

Second to None

Second to None

This Is Not Your Final Form: Poems About Birmingham, edited by Richard O’Brien and Emma Wright. The Emma Press, 2017.

Join Emma Wright at Reading & Being Read: Birmingham, Ikon Gallery, 27th June 6-9pm.

‘This is not a city.

This is a cloudburst of culture –

and we are not citizens,

we are soaked to the bone.’

(More canals than Venice! By Kibriya Mehrban)

The UK’s second city has a genuinely inclusive, refreshingly unpretentious, truly exceptional creative scene. This Is Not Your Final Form is the much-anticipated anthology of entries to the inaugural Verve Festival of Poetry and Spoken Word competition, which took place earlier this year.

From the industrial revolution to intimate family histories, public and private stories combine in this new book of poems celebrating Birmingham. As a Brummie based in London, I was very excited to read it. An ambitious project, it attempts to capture the humour and humanity of this dynamic and open-minded ‘city of a thousand tongues.’ (Beorma by Gregory Leadbetter)

This Is Not Your Final Form

Heather Freckleton’s In the Bullring: After image of my Parents took me straight back to shopping for dress-making fabric in the Rag Market with my Mom when I was little. We would have ‘greasy newspapers full of chips’ as a treat, possibly to stop me moaning. Shaun Hands made me laugh out loud with his references to Daysaver bus tickets and the old Brutalist architecture in Birmingham: An Odyssey in 21 Images. His witty blend of admiration, nostalgia and disgust flawlessly contrasts the modern with the old images of the city.

‘As long as kids are throwing shopping trolleys into rivers/

There’ll always be a Birmingham.’

Washday by Bernadette Lynch captures the unpredictability of working class wartime life. In this vibrant snapshot of the past, a mundane afternoon is made extraordinary by the dramatic return of a soldier. It is a beautifully understated study of how challenging times fostered the resilience of local people who carried on through adversity.

‘Our Dawn scrubbed her knuckles raw on the washboard, cleansing Europe of Hitler.’

In the melancholy prose poem The Second Law of Thermodynamics by Susannah Dickey, Birmingham’s Electric Cinema, the oldest working cinema in the UK, forms the backdrop to an unsuccessful date. With a nod to its seedier past, the narrator attempts to make a connection amidst the chaos of the city whilst struggling with insecurity.

‘I wish I could stop trying to justify myself. The city urges me not to, in its greenery,

its concrete, its clustered formations like constellations.’

Memories of family life growing up in modern Birmingham are intricately woven into Reza Arabpour’s ingenious Another Day in a Brummie Life. Local and international communities combine, emphasizing the city’s multicultural heart. It subtly focuses on the human face of the city as well as the hidden beauty behind the concrete façades.

‘I picked up a gab’s worth

of Baba’s Mama’s tongue –

the Persian version –

in Handsworth above my Amoo’s shop

among the varieties of life making roots

from distant time zones.’

The incredibly catchy Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm Tree? by Helen Rehman is based on a real-life local murder case. During the second world war, a woman’s body was found hidden inside a tree in the woods. The mystery has never been solved and the poem artfully incorporates the various local conspiracy theories surrounding the story. This rhythmic plain spoken lyrical poem reads like a sinister children’s playground chant and stayed with me for days.

‘Birmingham has bloomed since 1943,

from the Bullring to John Lewis to the Library –

we have theatres, universities, a symphony,

but we still can’t name the woman in the wych elm tree.’

This Is Not Your Final Form is a compact, accessible read befitting multiple revisits in order to uncover the poems’ many layers. It made me laugh, cry, and wonder why I’ve never wondered what the Floozie in the Jacuzzi dreams about at night. The poets have channelled the city’s depths and looked (for the most part) beyond the obvious clichés. Talented voices of many different backgrounds and poetic styles are featured, reflecting the diversity which to me is one of the city’s greatest strengths. The city’s distinctive self-deprecating humour and outlook fill the pages of this funny, bleak, uplifting, tragic, original, gritty and inspirational love letter to Birmingham.

‘An open sky/

The streets I was raised around/

I walk among them/

Feel this world before me’

(Birmingham: An Odyssey in 21 Images by Shaun Hands)

Emma Wright, founder of The Emma Press and co-editor of This Is Not Your Final Form will be speaking at Reading & Being Read: Birmingham at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, Tuesday 27th June 6-9pm.  For more information and tickets click here.

About the Publisher:

The Emma Press is an award-winning independent publisher based in Birmingham. Founded by Emma Wright in 2012, it is ‘dedicated to producing beautiful, thought-provoking books’ and aims to make poetry more accessible. The Emma Press is keen to discover new writers and holds regular themed poetry competitions.

Click here to find This Is Not Your Final Form on The Emma Press website.

Review by Becky Danks:

Becky Danks is an avid reader, creative writer, dog lover, occasional poet, and book reviewer. Among other things! Her poem was shortlisted for the Verve Festival poetry competition 2017. Read her magazine feature on the Verve Festival here. Twitter: @BeckyD123. Website: www.beckydanks.com

 

 

Seduction and Betrayal in Pre-War China

Seduction and Betrayal in Pre-War China

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle by Karen Kao: Linen Press, 2017

‘The rain has stopped and the street gleams like the barrel of a rifle.’

Shanghai, 1937. During the opulent days before the Second World War, 18-year-old Anyi travels to the city determined to make her fortune. Raped and left for dead on the journey, this is the story of her battle for survival in a culture where all a woman has is her fragile reputation.

As an intelligent young lady from wealthy parents, Anyi has always been frustrated by polite society’s stifling attitudes towards women. Deeply traumatised by the vicious attack, she is taken in by her aunt and uncle who, despite their initial kindness, rush to arrange her marriage before what they consider to be her shameful secret is revealed.

‘No-one must know. It never happened, you see, because you are a good girl from a good family. Something like that doesn’t happen to people like us’.

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Referred to from the beginning as ‘the broken girl’, Anyi defiantly reinvents herself as a glamorous siren able to wrap men around her little finger. Captivatingly beautiful, she inspires lust and jealousy in equal measure. Against the odds, she becomes a successful dancer earning enough money to live independently. In the dazzling world of the dancehalls, she is worshipped by diplomats and playboys alike as she embraces her new lavish and amoral celebrity lifestyle.

‘We, the dancing girls, are the gazelles who draw the predators out of the high grass. The whores are the dead meat to be flung to the lions.’

But in secret she is plagued by visions of the soldiers who violated her and at night their ghosts line her bedroom wall. In a desperate attempt to block out the memories, she seeks release by allowing paying men to abuse her. At times a painful read featuring unflinching references to physical and emotional cruelty, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is a sensitive portrayal of the devastating impact one incident can have on a woman’s life.

‘Why didn’t they just leave me to the dogs?’

It is also a brutally honest account of the seedier side of Shanghai as the flashbulbs of the paparazzi thinly veil the opium-addled, oppressive courtesan culture flourishing beneath the surface. Anyi’s most powerful customer, the charming Japanese diplomat Mr Tanikazi, finds her eagerness to satisfy his particular taste for violence irresistible. Political tensions mount in the buildup to the Japanese invasion as the world teeters on the edge of war. Secret desires overflow into real life as people’s public and private faces are threatened with exposure.

‘The city amazed and disgusted him. Perversion was available on any street corner of Shanghai’.

The story is narrated by multiple characters and everyone from family members to the downtrodden servants is given a voice. The human need for intimacy and understanding is apparent on every page and the reader is offered a vivid picture of events from different points of view. Progressive attitudes collide with old customs in a world tentatively embracing modernity yet still steeped in tradition. Gripping and complex, this challenging read provides an intensely detailed, often harrowing but ultimately sympathetic insight into a lost culture.

Click here to order Karen Kao’s The Dancing Girl and The Turtle direct from Linen Press.

About the Publisher

Linen Press is an independent publishing house founded by Lynn Michell and run ‘by women, for women’ that aims to promote talented female writers producing unique work in a range of genres about relatable issues that matter to women today. Michell explains: ‘I want to read beautifully crafted writing that speaks to women. I want to fall into a novel and not emerge until its ending’.

Review by Becky Danks

Becky Danks is an avid reader, creative writer, dog lover, book reviewer, and occasional poet. She was recently shortlisted for the Verve Poetry Prize 2017. Follow her on Twitter @BeckyD123 or visit her website www.beckydanks.com.

What’s a Word?

What’s a Word?

Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams: Influx Press, 2017

‘what’s a sentence, really, if not time spent alone – ’

Eley Williams’ debut short story collection delights in the deliciousness of words – their taste on the tongue, their vertiginous proliferation of meaning, their resonant archaic hum.  Attrib. artfully weaves narrative textuality with metanarrative construction processes – the writer’s process of discovering and attributing layers of meaning to interesting and unusual words, or even mundane ones, becomes part of the narrative texture of these stories.  The reader is taken on a kaleidoscopic journey through language as these uncanny stories and bizarre situations shine a colourful spotlight onto a refracted mirror of contemporary life.

The title story, Attrib., focuses on the work of a Foley artist providing incidental sound details for an audio guide to accompany a major new display of the life and work of Michelangelo.  Following her through her ideas for sound effects to accompany the Creation of Eve, which include the use of a ‘day-old, tooth-stripped #34 Char Siu takeaway rib’, we are prompted to consider the word ‘rib’ as it sits within the larger body of ‘attribute’.  Then we might consider the proliferations of meaning depending on whether we take ‘attribute’ to be a verb or a noun – is Eve to be ‘ascribed to’ Adam, or he to her?  Or should we consider Adam to be the ‘cause’ of Eve?  Each of these meanings is suggested within Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary definition of ‘To Attribute’ as the book’s epigraph.  But what if we take attribute as a noun: a quality, feature or inherent part?  Does this make Eve a quality or feature of Adam?  Williams also casually drops a reference to ‘tributary’ – with all its constituent parts that bind it to the words ‘attribute’ and ‘rib’ – so we might question whether Eve is to be seen as a ‘tributary’ of Adam, either a minor part to Adam’s major, or the one who pays him tribute.  Consistent within this narrative is the repeated noun/verb ‘BAFFLES’, suggestive of the narrator’s response to the unequal treatment of Adam and Eve by the gallery commissioners, Michelangelo, God…

Attrib.

The stories in this collection draw inspiration from a wide range of characters and situations that are both singularly unique and intimately recognisable.  The catalogue and spotter’s guide to Rosette Manufacture, the synaesthete looking for a date or the rat trained to detect landmines would seem absurd but for Williams’ deeply human insight into her characters’ worlds into which she draws us through the weft and warp of her words.  The narrator of Smote begins, ‘To kiss you should not involve such fear of imprecision’ and continues to detail the nervous uncertainty around the giving of a kiss in a public place in front of Bridget Riley’s Movement in Squares – an image which perhaps informs the bold and striking cover design of the book – cascading into a breathless six-page stream without a single full stop.  The final denoument of this story contains the arresting phrases ‘and you stark me / and I am strobe-hearted’.

‘and you stark me / and I am strobe-hearted’

These are stories that are so repeatedly re-readable – for their humour, their humanity and their sheer revelry in the textual matter of the language from which they are made: the physical, pleasurable, palpable, enigmatic and unguent words and all they carry with them.  Eley Williams’ Attrib. is a book that I recommend to writers, readers, and anyone with a love of words and an affectionate soft-spot for the humans that are bound up with them.

Click here to buy Eley Williams’ Attrib. and other stories directly from Influx Press.

About the Publisher

Influx Press is an independent publisher committed to publishing innovative and challenging fiction, poetry and non-fiction from across the UK and beyond.

Review by Sally-Shakti Willow

Sally-Shakti Willow, research assistant for the Contemporary Small Press, is a doctoral researcher in utopian poetics and experimental writing at the University of Westminster where she also teaches on the ‘Other Worlds’ module.   The Unfinished Dream, an experimental collection of words and images by Sally-Shakti Willow and Joe Evans was published by Sad Press in October 2016.  @willowwriting

2084: Science Fiction Anthology from Unsung Stories

2084: Science Fiction Anthology from Unsung Stories

Unsung Stories launch Kickstarter for new dystopian short story anthology: 2084 

New stories from Christopher Priest, David Hutchinson, Lavie Tidhar, James Smythe, Jeff Noon, Anne Charnock and more.

As the events of 2017 reveal an ever more complex relationship between people and their governments, classic dystopian literature is proving its relevance once again. But as readers turn to classics, like Nineteen Eighty-Four, writers are also looking to our future, and what may lie there.

Unsung Stories have gathered eleven leading science fiction writers who have looked ahead to 2084, as Orwell did in 1948, for a new anthology – writers such as David Hutchinson, Christopher Priest, Lavie Tidhar, James Smythe, Jeff Noon and Anne Charnock, who are already famous for their visions of the near future.

Speaking about the anthology, George Sandison, Managing Editor at Unsung Stories, said, “We knew when we first started work on the anthology that the idea was timely, but the start of 2017 has really hammered home how important writing like this is.

“Dystopian fiction gives us a space in which to explore today’s fears, and the nightmares of society. For many people the events of the last eighteen months have brought those dark futures much closer, so it’s inevitable that we turn to literature to help us understand why.

“The ideas at work in 2084 range from the familiar to the fantastic, but all are bound by a current and relevant sense of what we could lose, what’s at stake. As with Orwell’s work, decades from now, we will be looking back to our stories, to better understand today.”

2084 will be published by Unsung Stories in July 2017 and features leading writers, including Christopher Priest, David Hutchinson, Lavie Tidhar, James Smythe, Anne Charnock and Jeff Noon.

In 1948 Orwell saw a world in flux, at risk of losing liberty so recently won. In response he wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, a prophetic book. Now, in 2017,the themes are still with us.

This anthology of new short stories draws together leading science fiction writers – famous for their visions of our near future – and asks them to look into our future, to the year 2084.

Put humanity on trial as the oceans rise. Slip over borders in a Balkanised Europe. Tread the bizarre streets of cities ruled by memes. See the world through the eyes of drones. Say goodbye to your body as humanity merges with technology.

Warnings or prophesies? The path to Paradise or destruction? Will we be proud of what we have achieved, in 2084?

Our future unfolds before us.

Click here to find out more and support 2084.

Full list of contributors:

Desirina Boskovich

Anne Charnock (Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind and A Calculated Life)

Ian Hocking (Deja Vu)

Dave Hutchinson (The Fractured Europe Sequence)

Cassandra Khaw (Hammers on Bone)

Oliver Langmead (Dark Star and Metronome)

Jeff Noon (Vurt, Automated Alice, Pollen and more)

Christopher Priest (The Prestige, The Dream Archipelago, The Gradual and many more)

James Smythe (The Australia Trilogy, The Echo, The Explorer and more)

Lavie Tidhar (A Man Lies Dreaming, Osama and Central Station)

Aliya Whiteley (The Beauty and The Arrival Of Missives)

About the Publisher:

Unsung Stories publish literary and ambitious speculative fiction that defies expectation. Publishing stories from the varied worlds of genre fiction – science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and all the areas in-between.