A life in which the gods are caged, a strange creature
is born from starlight, aliens invade the living room and
interplanetary detritus fills the Earth, while mankind endures
its own small, personal dilemmas, painful and comical by turns.
From Paris to Morocco to the English countryside, here are
sixteen stories where reality and fantasy collide, dispatches
from a world with only one clear certainty: that the life
to come will be far stranger, more perverse and perilous than
we could ever dream...
Life to Come is a collection of short stories by Tim Lees,
most of which have already been published in the magazine
The Third Alternative. This compilation has been published
by Elastic Press, which is a small independent publishing
house that specialise in collections by authors who have yet
to break into the mainstream. However, they are not a vanity
press publisher. Whilst they do not promise you any financial
gain (you get 50 per cent of the profits, if any) they do
not, as far as I can tell, ask for anything up front.
to the blurb on the back of the book Lees has had many vocations,
which for a writer is not a bad thing, as the extra range
of experiences can only inform his writing.
collection consists of sixteen short stories, most clearly
positioned in the Science Fiction genre. The quality of the
stories are, overall quite good, though with some reservations.
I personally found that the vocabulary used, whilst impressive
in its range, made some of the stories a little too dense
in places. On occasion it felt like Lees was using words and
structures just because he could and not to bring clarity
or atmosphere to the narrative.
influences are worn on his sleeve, from Kafka to Peake, through
more contemporary writers and this would not be so bad, after
all we are all influenced by someone, it's just a shame that
the concepts and imagery are so heavily handled.
the plus side, for a new writer a lot of the underlying ideas
behind the stories are original and compelling. Gods used
as power stations and creatures created from starlight are
the first concepts you will discover. The stories tend to
be small and personal rather than the space operas that one
would expect from the Star Wars generation.
I found the book heavy going but well worth the effort, I
think with a little more time, and a more relaxed writing
style, we will be hearing from Tim again.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
deal! Click on the logo of the desired store
below to purchase this item.
All prices correct at time of going to press.