meticulous and painfully familiar – Pen Tynan’s (sort of) review of SmartYellow™

Artwork: Leosaysays
Artwork: Leosaysays

On her blog Axes’n’Yarn, Pen Tynan has just written a very thoughtful (and thought-provoking) article, which is partially a review of SmartYellow™ by JA Christy but also a commentary on the current welfare state in the UK. SmartYellow™ is set in contemporary Britain, although when we read it we hope that it is an alternative reality and not ours!

I am not going to try to précis Pen’s article, nor do I want to attempt to reduce it to merely a review of SmartYellow™ as it is so much more. I will say that Pen finished reading SmartYellow™ a month ago and says it is still haunting her. The description of life in a council estate, Pen says, is meticulous and painfully familiar. The science alluded to, that enables the inhabitants to be monitored and ultimately controlled, probably does not exist (says Pen) but that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine those who have control using more mundane methods for achieving the same goals.

Pen concludes by saying that the “real thing that left me shaken and melancholy from reading SmartYellow was a real, deep and darkly certain feeling not that this could happen, but that it already is happening.” She says that she desperately wants to recommend this book to people but with the warning that it might affect the reader (or as she puts it “it might leave you feeling like shit”). I’m going to interpret that as a positive recommendation!

You should read, and think about Pen’s article (click here to read it), whether or not you have read or might read SmartYellow™. Of course we hope you will read the book too.

 

Who are Elsewhen Press?

Elsewhen Press is an independent publisher of Speculative Fiction.  We are a sibling to Alnpete Press, a publisher of general fiction.  We were established in 2011 to concentrate on the themes and genres that most interested our editorial team.  We are adopting a digital-first publishing policy and are especially keen to discover and promote new UK authors of science fiction and fantasy fiction.  Our plans include novels, novellas, anthologies of short stories from invited contributors, as well as anthologies of short stories from open invitation.

Based in the South East of England we are an imprint of Alnpete Limited, a small privately owned company.