We’re very excited about our new anthology of short stories, Same Same but Different. ‘The Best Short Stories to come out of lockdown’ THE BOOKSELLER
A playful, sensuous, unpredictable anthology by masters of the genre celebrating love, loss and solitude with a fine touch of darkness and a ghost or two…
I have a passion for short stories. They’ve a way of dropping you right into the middle of something and letting you go, almost as if they’re trying to find out if you can swim. And then, just when you feel you’re there and everything seems to be coming together, making some kind of sense – it’s all over, like at the end of a play. There’s a touch of the theatre about a really fine short story: it’s shouting out, performing, saying look at me.
When I invited contributions to this anthology, I hadn’t decided on a particular style or type, instead the aim was variety and writing that was trying to do something to the reader, more than just offer surprise though that is, of course, a vital ingredient. I wanted a collection with strong, daring voices and landscapes; all obliquely celebrating something, whether love, friendship or that wicked and dark humour that often informs sudden flashes of understanding. Many of the stories in this anthology, If I Had Only One Story to Tell, by Felicity Marsh, Wow by A. L. Kennedy, Left-handed Jumpers by Peter Blair, Same Same but Different, by Stephen Thompson move between tragedy and comedy with a poignant fluency and energy, while others explore the worlds of their characters and their different responses. Some are looking round with anger and a touch of irony, while others are taken by surprise as if they’d suddenly been struck by what is really going on around or inside themselves and had sucked fresh energy from that insight. And sometimes, like in Voyage by Rod Heikell, you are simply left guessing, wondering what’s going on. I thought that the title of one of the stories, Same Same but Different by Stephen Thompson summed up this variety. I was taken by surprise and I hope you are too.
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