Almond Press publish a variety of short stories, so I thought I’d take a look at some classical short stories that everyone should read.
I grew up watching Star Trek, The Original Series. I would stay up until midnight to watch it in the darkness of my bedroom when everyone else was asleep. In many ways it greatly influenced my writing, demonstrating to me the power of science fiction. One of the things I found fascinating was their interpretation of the future of medicine. Medical care was done by rectangular gadgets that made buzzing noises or beeped and had readouts (which we couldn’t see), but revealed to Dr. McCoy exactly what was happening in the body of the patient. Cures came in the form of hypos that shot medicine through the skin without the need of a piercing needle. There were rare instances of surgery, and that was just as clean, antiseptic and invisible. There was no blood, and extraordinary things could occur, such as reattaching Spock’s brain. Years later, when I was writing a dystopian science fiction play, I revisited these forms of “hands off” and “antiseptic” medical procedures and took them to, what I felt, were their logical conclusions. In my play, medicine of the future would be dominated by technology, to the extent that medics (individuals who functioned as a hospital, ambulance and doctor all in one) had no authority to touch a patient. The machines were the only allowable, legal contact. This technologically miraculous medicine would be available only to the upper classes. With the rise of advanced technology came with it a rise in cost: these nearly-guaranteed cures would be expensive and not affordable to everyone. Those who lived “Uptown” were the rich and could afford medical technology. Those “Downtown” had to resort to traditional medicine. And what was traditional? Surgery with scalpels and circular saws, injections, psychotherapy, meditation, herbs, teas, and mercury and arsenic to cure syphilis. It… read more →
Destruction of the world as we know it. There’s just something about it, isn’t there? It shouldn’t be so satisfying to read and yet it is. Almost like picking a scab off a half-healed wound. It has inspired countless books and short stories of every type, from children’s books to adult fiction and everything in between. My own personal journey with dystopian fiction began in my final year at school when I was required to write an essay on a topic of my choice. Somehow I managed to gravitate towards the topic of dystopic fiction through Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Margaret Attwood’s Oryx and Crake. I followed the Oryx and Crake series, and incidentally, had the opportunity to attend the Edinburgh Book Festival in 2013 where Attwood launched the last of the series, Maddaddam. More recently there has been a boom in the number of dystopian fiction novels produced, particularly in the Young Adult section of publishing. This is perhaps thanks to the success of the Hunger Games book series and film tie-ins. Oddly enough, research done at the start of this year shows that those purchasing Young Adult styled novels are actually more likely to be over the age of 20, with 79% of the market being over the age of 18. Is this due to a lack of adult dystopic fiction? Perhaps it is. Yet the genre has been around for so long that it is impossible not to find something worth reading. Perhaps they just want to read something new and shiny. Perhaps the films are just what make it appealing and therefore are more widely marketed and so people know what to look for? Whatever it may be, it’s safe to say that the genre is on the rise. But it is strange that… read more →
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new short story collection, Broken Worlds. In a future of bleakness and roboticism, a totalitarian government enforces upon the people a lifestyle that lulls them into a state of obedience. Your career and social status are predestined and you cannot alter it – this is a reality that walks a fine line between evoking sensations of fear and inducing a sense of futility. Broken Worlds takes a peep into an all too possible future. Narration and style change from story to story, but the core of this volume is human emotion. Coloured by their cultures and backgrounds, the storytellers featured in this volume take the idea of a society at extremes and weave a variety of outcomes. We invite you to read and hope you enjoy this collection. link=”http://www.amazon.com/After-Fall-Apocalypse-Collection-ebook/dp/B00FBOU8Z2″ size=” large” target=”_blank” icon=”book” color=”black” lightbox=”false”]Amazon[/button]
The world of literature is currently experiencing a wonderful resurgence of dystopian fiction. Many classic novels are set against futuristic new world orders, such as 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale and A Wrinkle in Time, but given our current awareness of developing technologies, social media and government investigation, writers are finding themselves with endless new scope for gripping dystopian fiction that could one day become our reality. Many feel we are getting closer and closer to a world not dissimilar to that of 1984. The media is filled with tales of surveillance and spies – a total lack of privacy, and crossed with the instability of politics, the economy and society in general, our future is living up to be a bit of a scary place. Where will it go? The possibility of that is perfect for writers, and those with social awareness and a vivid imagination are coming up absolutely gripping novels that engage the reader and leave them dwelling on the future for days afterwards. Two of the most obvious examples of modern dystopian fiction would be the Hunger Games and the Divergent trilogies. Both have been adapted into films and are set in the remains of what used to be North America. Divergent sees its society divided into five factions, depending on the personality type of each individual. It is organised and overly structured, terrifying and bound to implode. Dystopian novels usually see some sort of uprising from rebellious protagonists who don’t want to be controlled. The plots play highly on fear, a lack of freedom and the forbidding of unique thought. It is in human nature to fight back against the controlling acts of others, and this makes for some fantastic fiction! I’m not sure about others, but for me, dystopia is like the big red button… read more →