When I’m on holiday I read fiction, usually things unrelated to massive global crises of one sort or another. But sometimes even the fiction ends up covering that ground, and Resurrection Trust certainly does.
Last year I linked to the Green Stories competition, run by the University of Southampton. They wanted short stories that put a positive spin on sustainable living, stories that grounded green lifestyles in a relateable context. I thought it was a nice idea, I’m a fan of the short story form anyway, and have been looking forward to reading the results.
You never know quite what you’re going to get out of a writing competition, but the standard here is high. Every story earns its place, and it’s an entertaining and diverse collection, with science fiction, romance, humour and crime narratives all featuring. Another risk is that if you’re asking for positive stories, you might end up with something a bit twee, so I was pleased to find plenty of grit here too.
Among my favourites were Tim Byrne’s ‘The internet of adorable things’, where people are rebuked by talking appliances. I liked the maritime tale of ‘Come help me’ by Nancy Lord, full of possibilities for activism, science and love. I laughed at Alice Little’s story about a couple accidentally setting up a Buddhist shrine in their village, and the observational humour of Kimberley Christensen’s ‘Attracting songbirds’, about burying a dead cat on a housing estate with no trees. There’s something for everyone. There’s even a tongue in cheek crime story about an assassin who has found their niche providing sustainable murders.
Overall, I found Resurrection Trust imaginative and hopeful. Pick up a copy for a burned out activist you know, and give it to them to read on their holidays.
The Green Stories Competition is running again, by the way. This time they are inviting plays, novels and scripts too.