I was pleased and flattered to come across a very nice mention of my short story, The Sayer of the Sooth, in a review of Beta-Life: Stories from an A-Life Future. The anthology, published by Comma Press, receives a detailed and thoughtful write-up by the renowned translator and journalist Anna Aslanyan in 3:AM Magazine, an online literary journal with the wonderful tagline: “Whatever it is, we’re against it.”
Thankfully they aren’t against my story, or the anthology – in which all the tales are set in 2070 and resulted from collaborations between writers and experts in artificial intelligence, who wrote afterwords to explain the science behind each piece of fiction. It includes stories by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Sean O’Brien, Toby Litt and Lucy Caldwell.
Here’s what the critic has to say about my contribution:
“Martyn Bedford deals with this problem [the mundanity of future miracles in an age of ubiquitous technology] elegantly in The Sayer of the Sooth, one of the best stories in the anthology. Its 21-year-old narrator is reading his great-grandfather’s sci-fi short story set in 2070, commenting on what the author got wrong. Here is his reaction to one cutting-edge gadget: ‘The glasses I mightve believed. But lie detection contact lenses with invisible miniaturised components? From a writer who cant even imagine the details of a 2070 bathroom.’ In his afterword James O’Shea describes the story as ‘lovingly grounded in the British Pessimism School of science fiction’ and reveals that, although he is not sure about the lenses either, a lie detector similar to Bedford’s was developed by a research group at Manchester Metropolitan University and patented in 2002.”