Short fiction – Blanc et Noir

beta-life Two new stories by Lucy Caldwell have been commissioned to appear in very different anthologies, both published in November 2014.

Beta Life

Beta Life: Stories from an A-Life Future (published by Comma Press) is a collection of speculative fiction imagining possible worlds in which artificial intelligence (A-Life), material evolution and swarm intelligence diverge and disperse into a balanced ecosystem of humans and robotic objects. These fictions focus on how humans will change in the way they interact with technology, the roles they adopt in an increasingly ‘intelligent’ environment, and how we interface with each other.. The anthology brings together 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

BelfastNoir1-509x800Belfast Noir

In Belfast Noir (published by Akashic as part of their the prestigious City Noir series), Lucy joins celebrated crime writers Lee Child and Brian McGilloway in a collection of dark, bleak, brooding stories celebrating her home city. The anthology carves out the neighbourhoods of Belfast with scalpel-like precision. Lucy’s story, “Poison” is set in Dundonald.

In their introduction, editors Adrian McKinty & Stuart Neville explain:

“Few European cities have had as disturbed and violent a history as Belfast over the last half-century. For much of that time the Troubles (1968–1998) dominated life in Ireland’s second-biggest population centre, and during the darkest days of the conflict—in the 1970s and 1980s—riots, bombings, and indiscriminate shootings were tragically commonplace. The British army patrolled the streets in armoured vehicles and civilians were searched for guns and explosives before they were allowed entry into the shopping district of the city centre . . . Belfast is still a city divided . . .

You can see Belfast’s bloodstains up close and personal. This is the city that gave the world its worst ever maritime disaster, and turned it into a tourist attraction; similarly, we are perversely proud of our thousands of murders, our wounds constantly on display. You want noir? How about a painting the size of a house, a portrait of a man known to have murdered at least a dozen human beings in cold blood? Or a similar house-sized gable painting of a zombie marching across a postapocalyptic wasteland with an AK-47 over the legend UVF: Prepared for Peace—Ready for War. As Lee Child has said, Belfast is still ‘the most noir place on earth.’”

“The choices made by editors McKinty and Neville celebrate lowlifes, convicts, hookers, private eyes, cops and reporters, and, above all, the gray city at the heart of each story.”
Kirkus Reviews