Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Beacons - stories for our not so distant future
Edited by Gregory Normington this is a collection of short stories about possible futures, focussing, unsurprisingly on worlds changed and challenged by climate change. Contributors include Joanne Harris, Janice Galloway and A L Kennedy and there is a good variety in the stories, though I did find the overall mood to be depressing, despite Normington's claim in his introduction that this wouldn't be the case.
The stories cover topics including floating housing, life on other planets and the weather. Most of them are written in conventional short story format, though a few break free of this. One is The Possession of Lachlan Lubanach by Nick Hates which is in the form of a comic strip, What is Left to See? by James Miller, which is written largely in the form of online chat, full of hashtags etc. The other is my favourite piece The Great Consumer by Adam Marek which is in the form of a script featuring various well known travellers between dimensions in conversation. So we have the Doctor from Doctor Who, Ted from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Marty from Back to the Future, Neo from the Matrix and Randall who I'm guessing is from Randall and Hopkirk deceased though I'm not convinced on this. The dialogue is very entertaining, specially if you know the character (and may be less so if you don't know the characters), I particularly liked this exchange:
TED: Most excellent time machine, dude.
DOCTOR: Thanks, I like yours too. Very .....compact. Is it bigger on the inside?
TED: Unfortunately not. It can be most impractical for transporting personages of historical significance.
Can these time travellers prevent runaway climate change?
This is a thought provoking collection of stories for contemplating our possible responses to climate change. All author royalties from the publication go to Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.
Beacons edited by Gregory Normington published by One World Publications (2013).