I’m over the moon today to be able to share with you a guest post as part of the blog tour for Nothing Is As It Was.
Firstly though, here’s a bit more about the book and the contributors.
A collection of short stories and flash fictions on the theme of climate change from established and emerging authors who all care about our planet.
A schoolboy inspired by a conservation hero to do his bit; a mother trying to save her family and her farm from drought; a world that doesn’t get dark anymore; and a city that lives in a tower slowly being taken over by the sea.
These stories and many more make up a poignant collection that is sometimes bleak, sometimes lighthearted, but always hopeful that we can make a change.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS: Contributors include:
• Cath Barton – winner of the New Welsh Writing Awards AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella 2017 https://cathbarton.com/about/
• Rose McGinty – author of Electric Soukhttps://www.retreatwest.co.uk/indie-debuts-electric-souk/
• Susmita Bhattacharya – author of The Normal State of Mind
• Weibo Grobler – twice shortlisted for his Flash Fiction and Poetry for the Fish Publishing Prize he has also had various stories published in Molotov Lit, National Flash Fiction Day, Reflex Fiction, Horror Scribes and more.
Published by Retreat West on 3 May 2018 – Amazon UK
Retreat West Books is an arm of Amanda’s creative writing business, Retreat West through which she runs fiction writing retreats, courses and competitions and provides editorial services.
Initially started to publish the anthologies of winning stories in the Retreat West competitions, Retreat West Books is now open for submissions for short story collections, novels and memoirs. Submission info can be found here
Surviving the Twenty-First Century
If the challenge of the Twenty-First Century is to survive it, what might the job of fiction be? Perhaps, hope. The threats are well-known – pandemics, food security, poverty, resource depletion, massive technological transformation, conflict, and, of course, climate change. In the face of these mortal challenges, we’re not behaving well. Some are in denial, and some plunged in passive despair. Many are gripped by good intentions and short-term tokenism. Our leaders just aren’t leading.
Maybe stories can help. That’s the prospect of the anthology Nothing Is As It Was, published by Retreat West on 22 April. Fiction can not only bring the challenge home at a human level, but also give us the tools to hope and to imagine a better future.
Almost everything we suppose we know is a story. Ever since the first humans gathered at night around fires, stories have been the tool of choice for recording and transmitting wisdom, for rehearsing possibilities. Stories tell us what goes with what, what is important and what is unimportant.
I’m an optimist, albeit with a dose of cynicism. So I do believe we’ll survive, but it will take a catastrophe to jerk us out of complacency. The future is exciting. I’d say there’s never been a more important time in human history to be young. If we survive, we’ll need to pass through the rapids of turbulent change, but we’ll come out to a world that’s unimaginably different and stupendously better.
I hope this anthology will contribute to navigating the journey with understanding and hope. My story, Bottleneck 2048, imagines a world thirty years from now, finally waking up to the need for adjustment, in the wake of several disasters. By this time, of course, the options are fewer, and the risks greater. But it wouldn’t be much of a story if there wasn’t hazard, would it?
BIO: Neil MacDonald has published short stories in Structo, Gold Dust, and other magazines, and articles about writing in Writers’ Forum. His story, Bottleneck 2048, appears in the anthology of climate fiction Nothing Is As It Was. His historical fantasy novel A Prize of Sovereigns was serialised by an online publisher, He won the 2017 Plot of Gold competition and was awarded a Cinnamon Press mentorship in 2018 for his novel The Tears of Boabdil. He is the creator and administrator of the Farnham Short Story Competition. Drawing on experiences working in international aid, he has also published six non-fiction books. Born in Scotland, he was raised in Jamaica, and has lived and worked in England, the US and South Africa. He now lives in a cottage in Surrey, England together with his wife and the obligatory cat and dog. His author blog is at https://neilmacdonaldauthor.wordpress.com/
FOLLOW THE TOUR