by Jacqueline Ward writing as J.A. Christy
SmartYellow™ is the story of a young girl, Katrina Williams, who finds herself on the wrong side of social services. After becoming pregnant with only a slight notion of the father’s identity, she is disowned by her parents and goes to live on a social housing estate. Before long she is being bullied by a gang involved in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour. Seeking help from the authorities she is persuaded to return to the estate to work as part of Operation Schrödinger, alongside a surveillance specialist. But she soon realises that Operation Schrödinger is not what it seems.
Exploring themes of social inequity and scientific responsibility, J.A. Christy’s first speculative fiction novel leads her heroine Katrina to understand how probability, hope and empathy play a huge part in the flow of life and are absent in the stagnation of mere survival. As readers we also start to question how we would know if the power of the State to support and care for the weak had become corrupted into the oppression of all those who do not fit society’s norms.
SmartYellow™ offers a worryingly plausible and chilling glimpse into an alternate Britain. For the sake of order and for the benefit of more fortunate members of society, those seen as socially undesirable are marked with SmartYellow™, making it easier for them to be controlled and maintained in a state of fruitless inactivity. Writer, J.A. Christy, turns an understanding and honest eye not only onto the weak, who have failed to cope with life, but also onto those who ruthlessly exploit them for their own ends. At times tense and threatening, at times tender and insightful, SmartYellow™ is a rewarding and thought-provoking read.
SmartYellow™ has a front cover intended to suggest to a reader on seeing the book that it is coated in yellow powder, with the fingerprint suggesting that they might themselves become contaminated with the SmartYellow™ if they pick it up. But beyond that, we wanted to give any brave would-be reader a reward for actually picking up the book and turning it over… so, perhaps a bit radically, we asked artist Leosaysays to produce some relevant artwork for the back cover too. He did us proud with a fantastic rendition of the Hill Farm estate where most of the action takes place.
SmartYellow™ was published in a digital edition on 7th August 2015 and in paperback on 14th November 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-908168-78-8 eBook Typical price £2.99 / €3.49 / $3.99
ISBN: 978-1-908168-68-9 paperback 320pp List price £9.99 / €11.99 / $17.99
Prices online may vary. eBook price includes VAT (where applicable).
- meticulous and painfully familiar – Pen Tynan’s (sort of) review of SmartYellow™
- “fascinatingly engaging” – review of SmartYellow™ on Risingshadow
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