Tuesday 8 May 2012

Whispers Of A Dying Flame now on sale

' With the destruction of our world, we are given the opportunity to recreate it afresh, or build a world that never was but should have been, or a world beyond what we have ever previously imagined. Or instead, we can choose to forever shun the concept of society, with its inevitable corruptions. In an end of the world scenario, we are put to the test as unfettered individuals. Tested as the last representatives of what we were...or the emissaries of what we might become.'

In his introduction to Whispers Of A Dying Flame, Jeffrey Thomas sums up the appeal of the post-apocalyptic genre in these words. And the stories in the collection offer a variety of end-of-the-world scenarios as well as a variety of responses and consequences. There are many stories of personal courage in a world that has reverted to chaotic savagery, stories of individuals and their choices, of victories and failures, of menaces ranging from the human to the supernatural. Stories of dark magics and dark science, stories in which hope is lost or found, stories that hinge on decisive individual action and stories that are decided by vast forces beyond any one individual's control.

With an international (USA, UK, the Philippines, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, India) roster of writers and a variety of implied genres from heroic fantasy to magic realism, this is hopefully an anthology with enough variety of ideas and treatments to satisfy even the most jaded genre fan. It may even have a story that will connect with the benighted literary-fiction-only purist.

Here's an excerpt from my own contribution, a story called 'Apocalypso For One':

'It is a dark, dark night in the middle of the day. It is a dark, cold night and the streetlights are palpably overwhelmed and shamefaced in the face of the sheer darkness that rains from above.
It is a dark, snowy night, flakes of snow floating down to earth, illuminated briefly in the glow of the futile, discouraged lights.

It is dark and snowy here, in a place that has seen no snow since the last ice age; this cannot be the nuclear winter, not yet, not while the missiles are still flying through the air and in any cases their payloads are more esoteric, capable of triggering consequences that we can barely understand, let alone predict. This must be something else, something primal that has been triggered by this apocalyptic climate. This must be the Fimbulwinter.

In the Fimbulwinter a young man walks back home from his girlfriend’s house. He is dressed for the weather, but he is shivering. Tears trail down his cheeks, his eyes are red. He passes confused, frantic people, like moths hovering in the dispirited light given out by the dejected lights. They brush up against him, reaching out for contact, asking him to share their fears, their prayers, their tears, anything. He does not hear them, does not see them. His eyes are red, his thoughts are whirling. He is walking home, walking a long path down endless streets of enervated lamps casting their feeble glow on distraught mobs.'

Now doesn't that sound jolly? You know it  does. For more of this, and other things, hop on over here and stump up the measly 3.99 pounds it'll take to download the anthology.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Purchased. Looking good. Now I just need to borrow my sister's e-reader device again. I'm not yet ready to read books on my computer monitor, and I have yet to find a reader I've cared for sufficiently to buy.