A child is inspired into action by watching their hero. A mother is forced to choose between goats and cattle when the water runs out. From seas to wildfire, Nothing Is As It Was brings together short stories and flash fiction on the theme of environmental damage.
I love the range of stories this anthology offers. New and upcoming authors. Flash fiction and short story. Voices from around the world. Given the global nature of environmental crisis, it is good to have as wide a range of voices as possible.
Issues explored range from overfished seas to flooding, wildfire to plastic pollution. One message which recurred across the anthology was there is only a finite amount of time in which we can make a difference, and that time is running out. The anthology doesn’t take an upbeat approach to environmentalism. Instead, it asks people to imagine different possible scenarios. By showing possible futures it invites the reader to change the present.
One of my favourite stories was Mirror Image by Anna Orridge. Mirror Image is about the point of no return and has a really interesting structure. It is split into two sections, offering two possible realities. In the first section, a soft-play centre has been repurposed to grow plants. In the second section we follow the same family to the same soft-play area, but this time they are looting for any remaining food. The world is decimated. The familiarity of a day at a play-centre will give this story particular resonance with many readers.
Another favourite was The Goodluck Camera by Kimberley Christensen. A Westerner claims her archeology will bring good luck to an area of poverty. It explores Western attitudes towards third-world countries, and I loved the idea of a camera which could take pictures of what is buried beneath the soil.
Cli-Fi is not a genre I have read widely, but I would be interested to explore it further. There are some strong voices working in this area, and the message of this anthology got under my skin.
Thanks to Anne Cater for organising the blog tour, and for my ebook of Nothing Is As It Was. Opinions my own. Check out the other stops on the blog tour: