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Stories from the Far Side of Research
Edited by Ra Page
ISBN: 978 1 905583 40 9
Categories: 21st Century, American, Anthologies, British
Imprint: Comma Press
Published: October 2012
198 x 129 x 8 mm
Publisher: Comma Press
Toby Litt's Bio-Punk story 'Call it ''The Bug'' Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title' short-listed for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award
Jane Feaver, Sara Maitland, Annie Kirby, Simon Ings, Toby Litt, Adam Marek, Jane Rogers, Sean O'Brien, Justina Robson, K.J. Orr, Dilys Rose, Gregory Norminton, Simon van Booy & Sarah Schofield
Programmable memories, fatherless reproduction, nano-tech implants, amphibian-powered scar treatment, full body modification, brain-scanning lie-detectors, inter-species reproduction, self-determining synthetic ‘green goo’…
Which of these would you wager is pure science fiction, and which currently being developed in the lab? Such is the speed and excitement of today’s bio-medical research – sprinting from the starting gun that was the Human Genome Project – it’s sometimes hard to tell. In a unique collaboration, fourteen short story writers have been invited to explore the increasingly grey area between the fantastical and that which is already within our reach. Closely collaborating with scientists and ethicists working at the forefronts of their respective fields, each writer has been tasked with predicting some of the potential ‘ethical side-effects’ of this groundbreaking work. Not all progress, after all, is progressive. And dark forces are afoot that threaten to hi-jack what many declared would be ‘the century of biology’.
Supported by the Wellcome Trust. Dilys Rose's contribution was made possible as part of the European Short Story Network, with support from Creative Scotland and the European Cultural Foundation.
Awards won by Ra Page Winner, 2012 Financial Times Book of the Year
'An exhilarating read.'
The Short Review 'Fascinating reading.'
Financial Times Praise for Ra Page 'Read this book.'
Liz Lochhead 'An agreeably accomplished collection populated, as promised, by some intriguing characters.'
City Life 'Get with the zeitgeist and buy yourself a copy of Bracket.'
Leeds Guide 'Fills you with hope for the form.'
Time Out 'Short fiction is in good hands.'
The Independent 'If we need the uncanny -- and I suspect we do -- then we also need it updating... laudable.'
Book of the Week, The Independent 'A masterclass in understated creepiness... a deliciously macabre collection that the old Austrian might well have enjoyed.'
Book of the Week, Time Out 'Delightful and disturbing.'
The Independent on Sunday 'It's not too great a stretch to see Comma as the literary equivalent of Factory Records.'
The Herald 'An inspiring tribute to inquiring minds.'
The Guardian 'A very alive, illuminating and good-natured collection.'
The Observer 'The pairings work brilliantly, giving stereoscopic vision... ingenious... unfailingly interesting.'
The Independent 'Exquisite... delectable.'
New Scientist 'There is something about the defiance of language in this story.'
China Daily 'On balance, [the editors] perform a valuable service in making these rich, varied and rewarding stories known to a western audience, for all that the politics of cultural engagement remain fraught.'
'These stories tell us how the lives of these cities and citizens, or peasants-turned-citizens, are being tempered. The stories seem to say that one has to go through the fires of hell to reach some different stage of existence.'
The Independent 'Shi Cheng is a sort of mind map of both modern China, and also of what itâs like to be human.'
Asian Books Blog
'It might have been of interest to these pre-Mansfield masters to learn that there was a hidden country of prose out there; great short story writers, then and now, create countries of their own.'
Michael Caines writing about Morphologies in the TLS blog 'A worthy addition to the immense collection of criticism.'
The Guardian 'Works brilliantly... ingenious... unfailingly interesting.'
The Independent, Book of the Week
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