11 episodes

A new podcast from UK based independent publisher Comma Press, specialising in the short story and literature in translation.

Series Two: Futures, brings listeners 6 discussions around future-set fiction, including sci-fi, speculative fiction and future-looking literary fiction. This series takes in a number of recent and bestselling Comma titles, with episodes featuring authors, translators, editors and academics in conversation about the influence of genre, and how science-fiction and writing about the future can and has changed and expanded horizons for readers and writers.

Series One: Protest, brings listeners 6 discussions around stories featured in the Comma anthology 'Protest: Stories of Resistance'. This collection brought authors together with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses to re-imagine key moments of British protest.

The Comma Press Podcast Comma Press

    • Arts

A new podcast from UK based independent publisher Comma Press, specialising in the short story and literature in translation.

Series Two: Futures, brings listeners 6 discussions around future-set fiction, including sci-fi, speculative fiction and future-looking literary fiction. This series takes in a number of recent and bestselling Comma titles, with episodes featuring authors, translators, editors and academics in conversation about the influence of genre, and how science-fiction and writing about the future can and has changed and expanded horizons for readers and writers.

Series One: Protest, brings listeners 6 discussions around stories featured in the Comma anthology 'Protest: Stories of Resistance'. This collection brought authors together with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses to re-imagine key moments of British protest.

    2.5 M. John Harrison and landscape in British SFF writing

    2.5 M. John Harrison and landscape in British SFF writing

    The fifth episode of Series 2 of the Comma Press Podcast, which this series is on the theme of FUTURES.

    In this episode, host and Comma Press Publisher Ra Page is in conversation with acclaimed author M. John Harrison, writer and filmmaker Adam Scovell and writers and critics Andy Hedgecock and Jennifer Hodgson.

    Recorded remotely via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our four guests discussed the influence of the British landscape on not only M. John's work, in relation to his latest collection of selected stories (Settling the World) but also the wider British SFF canon, from H. G Wells to Susanna Clarke. As well as how British SFF writing has been adapted for the screen, endings and closure in modern fiction and much more...

    Sponsored by STORGY. Supported by Arts Council England.

    Show notes:
    Settling the World by M. John Harrison
    Climbers by M John Harrison
    J G Ballard
    Ann Quin
    Phenomenology
    Psychogeography
    Hauntology (Jacques Derrida)
    ‘The Door In The Wall’ (H. G. Wells)
    ‘The Stains’ (Robert Aickman)
    ‘English eerie’ Essay by Robert Macfarlane https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/10/eeriness-english-countryside-robert-macfarlane
    ‘A View from a Hill’ (M. R. James)
    ‘The Signalman’ (Charles Dickens)
    Holloway by Robert Macfarlane
    ‘Candyman’ (Clive Barker)
    ‘The Birds’ (Daphne du Maurier)
    The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce
    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

    Further watching:
    Ben Wheatley's A Field in England (trailer): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRRvzjkzu2U
    Michael Reeves' Witchfinder General
    The Wicker Man
    Holloway (short film): https://celluloidwickerman.com/2015/07/06/short-film-holloway-robert-macfarlane/

    • 1 hr
    2.4 Europa28 with Sophie Hughes, Janne Teller & Kapka Kassabova

    2.4 Europa28 with Sophie Hughes, Janne Teller & Kapka Kassabova

    The fourth episode of Series 2 of the Comma Press Podcast, which this series is on the theme of FUTURES.

    In this episode, guest host and co-editor of the Europa28 anthology, Sophie Hughes, is in conversation with contributors Kapka Kassabova and Janne Teller about Comma's recent anthology, Europa28: Writing by Women on the Future of Europe, a Hay Festival Project.

    Recorded remotely via Zoom due to the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, our three guest discussed writing about Europe amidst an ongoing refugee crisis, a global pandemic and in a nationalistic, post-Brexit world - what can we learn and take forward. They also discussed the impact and dangers of technological innovation, and what the world would be like without social media and 'bad news' culture.

    Show notes:
    Border by Kapka Kassabova
    War by Janne Teller
    Hay Festival Wales
    Thomas Piketty

    Sponsored by STORGY. Supported by Arts Council England.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    2.3 Palestine + 100 with Rawan Yaghi, Lindsey Moore, Barbara Dick & Basma Ghalayini

    2.3 Palestine + 100 with Rawan Yaghi, Lindsey Moore, Barbara Dick & Basma Ghalayini

    The third episode of Series 2 of the Comma Press Podcast, which this series is on the theme of FUTURES.

    In this episode, Comma Publisher Ra Page is in conversation with contributors and academics about Comma's best-selling anthology, Palestine + 100: Stories from a century after the Nakba, the first ever collection of science fiction from Palestine. Guest in this episode are Palestinian author and journalist Rawan Yaghi, editor of the anthology and translator Basma Ghalayini, Barbara Dick who holds a doctorate from Durham University on Modern Arabic Science Fiction and Lancaster University's Lindsey Moore, who specialises in post-1948 literature of the Arab world within postcolonial studies.

    Show notes:
    1. 47SOUL – Gamar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yECo9LBojZo
    2. The Second War of the Dog by Ibrahim Nasrallah https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/25/ibrahim-nasrallah-wins-arabic-fiction-prize-novel-dystopian-extremists-second-war-of-the-dog
    3. The Secret Lift of Saeed the Pessoptimist by Emile Habibi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Life_of_Saeed:_The_Pessoptimist
    4. Rhetorics of Belonging by Dr Anna Bernard https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vjk1v
    5. Larissa Sansour (Space Exodus) http://www.larissasansour.com/exodus.html
    6. The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190612-the-book-of-disappearance/
    7. Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi https://oneworld-publications.com/frankenstein-in-baghdad.html
    8. Mustafa Mahmoud https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustafa_Mahmoud
    9. Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/utopia-by-ahmed-khaled-towfik-6132395.html
    10. Gaza Writes Back https://justworldbooks.com/books-by-title/gaza-writes-back/
    11. The Book of Gaza (Comma Press) https://commapress.co.uk/books/the-book-of-gaza/
    12. The Lord Arrived from the Spinach Field by Sabri Moussa
    13. The 99 comic book series by Naif Al-Mutawa
    14. Arablit.org

    Sponsored by STORGY. Supported by Arts Council England and Manchester Metropolitan University's Digital Labs.

    • 1 hr 28 min
    2.2 Iraq + 100 with Anoud, Sinead Murphy & Annie Webster

    2.2 Iraq + 100 with Anoud, Sinead Murphy & Annie Webster

    The second episode of Series 2 of the Comma Press Podcast, which this series is on the theme of FUTURES.

    In this episode, Comma Publisher Ra Page is in conversation with contributors and academics about Comma's best-selling anthology, Iraq + 100: Stories from a century after the invasion, the first ever collection of science fiction from Iraq, edited by the award-winning author Hassan Blasim. Guest in this episode are Iraqi author Anoud (pseudonym), Sinead Murphy, who holds a PhD in contemporary Arab science fiction in English translation, and Annie Webster, a Wolfson PhD candidate at SOAS working on post-2003 Iraqi literature.

    Show notes:
    1. Iraq +100
    2. Hassan Blasim – The Iraqi Christ
    3. Kahramana
    4. Banthology
    5. South Park
    6. 1001 Nights
    7. The Palestinian Novel by Bashir Abu-Manneh
    8. BBC Two’s Civilisations – S1E1 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05xxsmp
    9. H. G. Wells – The Shape of Things to Come
    10. “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.” – George Orwell
    11. Ahmed Khaled Towfik – Utopia
    12. Palestine +100
    13. An interview with Saleem Haddad (Palestine +100) on OpenDemocracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/north-africa-west-asia/reimagining-palestine-future-interview-saleem-haddad/
    14. Sinan Antoon – The Book of Collateral Damage
    15. Hassan Blasim – The Corpse Exhibition (Penguin North America) https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/313242/the-corpse-exhibition-by-hassan-blasim/9780143123262

    Sorry for some quiet audio in parts!
    Sponsored by STORGY. Supported by Arts Council England and Manchester Metropolitan University's Digital Labs.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    2.1 The History of the Future with Adam Roberts, Amanda Rees & Amy Chambers

    2.1 The History of the Future with Adam Roberts, Amanda Rees & Amy Chambers

    The first episode of Series 2 of the Comma Press Podcast introduces the theme of this new series - FUTURES.

    In this opening episode, Comma Publisher Ra Page is in conversation with esteemed sci-fi writer Adam Roberts, the University of York's Amanda Rees who is currently researching the history of the future, and MMU's own Amy Chambers, who specialises in film and visual culture.

    Show notes:
    1. Iraq +100
    2. The John Wyndham Archive https://libguides.liverpool.ac.uk/library/sca/wyndham
    3. The Stanley Kubrick Archive https://www.arts.ac.uk/students/library-services/special-collections-and-archives/archives-and-special-collections-centre/the-stanley-kubrick-archive
    4. Star Trek (the original series)
    5. Dr Lisa Garforth https://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/staff/profile/lisagarforth.html#background
    6. Star Trek: Discovery
    7. Doctor Who
    8. Joan Haran’s ‘Imaginactivism’ https://adanewmedia.org/2017/10/issue12-haran/
    9. Fredric Jameson
    10. Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
    11. Logan (2017)
    12. The Twilight Zone
    13. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
    14. The Fractured Europe Series by Dave Hutchinson
    15. Men in Black (1997)
    16. Starship Troopers (1997)
    17. Jules Verne
    18. H. G. Wells
    19. Patrick Moore sparks UNESCO debate
    20. Unsettling Scientific Stories http://unsettlingscientificstories.co.uk
    21. Black Panther (2018)
    22. Captain Marvel (2019)
    23. The Big Bang Theory
    24. Mae Jemison

    Sponsored by STORGY. Supported by Arts Council England and Manchester Metropolitan University's Digital Labs.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    1.6 The New Cross Fire & Brixton Riots with Jacob Ross and Stephen Reicher

    1.6 The New Cross Fire & Brixton Riots with Jacob Ross and Stephen Reicher

    Hosted by Ra Page of Comma Press, a Manchester-based independent publisher specialising in the short story.

    Jacob Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and creative writing tutor. His crime fiction novel, The Bone Readers won the inaugural Jhalak Prize in 2017. His latest book is Tell No-One About This, a collection of stories written over a span of forty years, and more than a dozen new ones. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Olive Cook, Scott Moncrieff and Tom-Gallon Literary Awards. Jacob is Associate Fiction Editor at Peepal Tree Press, and the editor of Closure, Contemporary Black British short stories. Jacob is the author of 'Bed 45', a short story inspired by the New Cross Fire and following unrest included in the Protest: Stories of resistance anthology.

    Stephen Reicher is a professor of psychology at the University of St Andrews, a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and an academician of the social sciences. Broadly his research interests include the issues of group behaviour and the individual-social relationship. He is currently working on a Leverhulme funded project (jointly with Nick Hopkins of Lancaster University) looking at the impact of devolution on Scottish identity and social action in Scotland.

    Published in 2017, Protest: Stories of Resistance assembled twenty authors to re-imagine key moments of British protest from the last eight centuries. Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eye-witnesses - who also contribute afterwords - these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles.

    P.S. Sorry about some sound quality issues in the first 10 mins and one of the guests having a cold!

    1. Protest: Stories of Resistance https://commapress.co.uk/books/protest-stories-of-resistance-1
    2. New Cross Fire http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/18/newsid_2530000/2530333.stm
    3. Linton Kwesi Johnson
    4. 'Bed 45' single story eBook https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bed-45-story-Brixton-Singles-ebook/dp/B079LQ14JC/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=bed+45&qid=1563268987&s=digital-text&sr=1-4
    5. Black People’s Day of Action https://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/britain/fight-racism/4337-ao200516
    6. Brixton Riot 1981 - https://home.bt.com/news/on-this-day/april-11-1981-brixton-riots-leave-more-than-300-people-injured-11363974876698
    7. Swamp 81 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4854556.stm
    8. Kettling - confinement by police of a group of demonstrators or protesters in a small area, as a method of crowd control.
    9. Nottingham Riots (1976) http://home.bt.com/news/on-this-day/august-30-1976-racial-tensions-run-high-as-notting-hill-carnival-ends-in-riots-11364000534127
    10. Mark Duggan and the Tottenham Riots (2011) https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/aug/07/tottenham-riots-peaceful-protest
    11. The Scarman Report http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/bbc_parliament/3631579.stm
    12. Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson report https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/22/macpherson-report-what-was-it-and-what-impact-did-it-have
    13. Brixton 1981 & Tottenham 2011 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/09/tottenham-2011-brixton-1981
    14. Food poverty in modern Britain https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/21/britain-hunger-food-poverty
    15. C. L. R. James
    16. St Paul’s Riots (1980) https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/st-pauls-riots-37-years-17634

    • 1 hr 10 min

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