Beacons: Stories for Our Not So Distant Future

Gregory Norminton, Editor
Edited by Gregory Norminton. Oneworld (PWG, dist.), $14.95, (256p) ISBN 978-1-85168-969-9
Reviewed on: 08/19/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
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This collection features short stories about climate change penned by a variety of Great Britain's writers specifically for this book and to raise money for the Stop Climate Change Chaos Coalition. The best pieces are the ones that play not only with the prescribed subject, but also with form, like Marek's "The Great Consumer," an amusing one act play where time travelers attempt to go back in time to assassinate the inventor of mass consumerism, and Miller's wonderful "What Is Left to See," that uses a futuristic "dayblog" filled with hash tags, acronyms and commentators to envision the destroyed city of Miami. Some of the work bogs down with the assigned theme, where character and plot become more dictated to, rather than the reverse, and inform the reader from within. Two other exceptional stories are Howitt's "The Weatherman" where an ex-radical must choose between pursuing his past anti-government agenda or selling out to the regime in order to save his family, and McCann's "Holiday in Iceland," set in the near future, follows a family choosing to modify its ecological footprint by altering their summer vacation: A simple act that serves as a great beacon of light in attempt to rescue their own planet. (Aug.)
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