Whatever happened to British protest?

For a nation that brought the world Chartism, the Suffragettes, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and so many other grassroots social movements, Britain rarely celebrates its long, great tradition of people power.

In this timely and evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the anti-Iraq War demo of 2003. Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses – who also contribute afterwords – these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles, offering a streetlevel perspective on the noble art of resistance.

In the age of fake news and post-truth politics this book fights fiction with (well researched, historically accurate) fiction.

Protests include the Peasants Revolt, Poll Tax Riots, Anti-Iraq War Demo and many more...

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About the author

 Sandra Alland is an Edinburgh-based Scottish-Canadian writer, interdisciplinary artist, small press publisher, performer, filmmaker and curator. Martyn Bedford is a British author. He writes novels for adults and teenagers and teaches creative writing. KateClanchy works as a teacher, journalist and freelance writer. David Constantine worked for thirty years as a university teacher of German language and literature. Frank Cottrell-Boyce is known for his children's fiction and for his collaborations with film director Michael Winterbottom. Kit de Waal's debut novel, My Name is Leon, is a Times and international bestseller, and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and the Desmond Elliott Prize. Stuart Evers's first book, Ten Stories About Smoking, was published by Picador in 2011 and won The London Book Award. Sara Maitland is a British writer and feminist. An accomplished novelist, she is also known for her short stories. Joanna Quinn is studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Francesca Rhydderch's debut novel, The Rice Paper Diaries, was longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award and won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize 2014. Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor and winner of the inaugural Jhalak Prize. Matthew Holness was the creator and star of two Channel 4 comedy shows - Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Man to Man With Dean Learner. Juliet Jacques is a writer, journalist and critic based in London and her book Trans: A Memoir was runner-up in Polari LGBT Literary Salon s First Book Award for 2016. Maggie Gee Maggie Gee is the author of 14 books including The White Family, My Cleaner and My Driver and she is a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Liverpool-born author Alexei Sayle is a comedian (with numerous TV appearances to his credit, including The Young Ones and Comic Strip in the 80s), novelist and a short story writer. Holly Pester is a poet, writer and researcher. Courttia Newland is the author of seven books. His latest, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013. Laura Hird is a Scottish novelist and short story writer. Martyn Bedford is the award-winning author of five novels for adults and two for young adults and he is currently a senior lecturer in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University. Michelle Green is a British-Canadian writer and spoken word artist. Her debut short story collection, Jebel Marra (Comma Press, 2015) was nominated for a number of national and international awards, and she is now working on her second collection, an audio and digital short story map of Hayling Island. Andy Hedgecock is a freelance writer, researcher and trainer. Andy was co-editor (fiction) of Interzone, Britain s longest-running British sf magazine, from 2006 to 2016.

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Additional Information

Comma Press
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Published on
Jun 22, 2017
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Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Literary Collections / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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 Computers are changing. Soon the silicon chip will seem like a clunky antique amid the bounty of more exotic processes on offer. Robots are changing too; material evolution and swarm intelligence are creating a new generation of devices that will diverge and disperse into a balanced ecosystem of humans and ‘robjects’ (robotic objects). Somewhere in between, we humans will have to change also… in the way we interact with technology, the roles we adopt in an increasingly ‘intelligent’ environment, and how we interface with each other.

The driving motors behind many of these changes will be artificial life (A-Life) and unconventional computing. How exactly they will impact on our world is still an open question. But in the spirit of collective intelligence, this anthology brings together 38 scientists and authors, working in pairs, to imagine what life (and A-Life) will look like in the year 2070. Every kind of technology is imagined: from lie-detection glasses to military swarmbots, brain-interfacing implants to synthetically ‘grown’ skyscrapers, revolution-inciting computer games to synthetically engineered haute cuisine. All artificial life is here.

Featuring scientific contributions from: Martyn Amos, J. Mark Bishop, Seth Bullock, Stephen Dunne, James Dyke, Christian Jantzen, Francesco Mondada, James D. O'Shea, Andrew Philippides, Lenka Pitonakova, Steen Rasmussen, Thomas S. Ray, Micah Rosenkind, James Snowdon, Susan Stepney, Germán Terrazas, Andrew Vardy and Alan Winfield.

Supported by TRUCE (Training and Research in Unconventional Computation in Europe).

Sara Maitland's compelling human stories give voice to Chris Gollon's powerful contemporary sequence of Stations of the Cross (painted from life and reproduced in the book in high-res colour images): a unique and potent collaboration.
The Stations were commissioned for St John on Bethnal Green, a visually prominent London Anglican church designed by Sir John Soane, the neo-classical architect who also created the Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. The church stands on the boundary between Hackney and Tower Hamlets and is therefore in one of the more deprived and multi-cultural areas of the UK. In 2001 the congregation made the extraordinary decision to commission a site-specific Stations of the Cross, the traditional 14 pictures of the last day of Jesus' human life, used from the Middle Ages onwards for meditation and prayer (and established in their usual form by St Francis of Assisi, who is also credited with introducing the better-known Christmas crib scene - the two come out of the same spiritual tradition). Perhaps unexpectedly, they chose a contemporary artist not best known for his religious works: Chris Gollon (see www.chrisgollon.com). The Rector described the reasoning: "The church of St John on Bethnal Green has had a long-standing involvement with people on the fringes of our society, the sort of people who often figure in Chris' paintings. His work contains many religious allusions and forms, which do not suggest conformity but challenge. These are the themes we wish to explore in this series of the Stations of the Cross and it is vital to have an artist who is not "safe" but perceptive and unsettling in interpreting the traditions. Chris has our confidence on all these counts."

It was a risky commission for everyone involved because at the time there was no money to pay Gollon, and the stations have been paid for one by one by an odd variety of sponsors, including the parishioners themselves, public art bodies and various private donors. By Easter 2008 the whole series was completed; the sequence was first used on Good Friday when the pictures gained considerable media attention. The commission for the Stations has taken 8 years to fulfil and they have been widely featured in national broadsheets, arts press and all denominations of religious arts press. The paintings are now reflected in a sequence of stories: first-person narratives by a well-known author who has been closely involved with the project.
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