The Workers’ Paradise, edited by Russell B. Farr and Nick Evans and published by Ticonderoga Publications, is one of the most exciting anthologies I’ve been in for a while. Though the editors’ description of it may suggest that it is somewhat parochial in nature:
In this anthology, Australia’s finest speculative writers imagine what the future holds for the Australian worker
I would argue in fact that, like all good fiction, the stories transcend any regional or localised focus, and make comment on issues of universal concern, addressing the nature of work and political/employment relations in a speculative context. My own story, “Pseudomelia of the Masses”, is one that means a lot to me, being inspired by a close, long-term friend, David Young, who died unexpectedly as I began to write it. He is in some of the details, but he is also in much of the emotional drive that lies behind the characters and their relationship. In a way, the story is about his death.
The Workers’ Paradise is also a remarkably good-looking book when seen in the flesh:
“Ajudication” — Simon Brown
“The Working Dead of Heehaw’s Australia” — Jenny Schwartz
“Right to Work” — Cat Sparks
“Winning Ways” — D.W. Walker
“Night with the Stars Askew” — Rjurik Davidson
“Farmers John Pass Go” — Bill Congreve
“Magda’s Career Choice” — Rowena Cory Daniells
“MTP” — George Ivanoff
“His Lipstick Minx” — Kaaron Warren
“Seahoney” — Anna Tambour
“Black and Bitter” — Nathan Burrage
“Flystrike” — David J. Kane
“Rapturama” — Matthew Chrulew & Roland Boer
“After The Choice” — Robin Hillard
“Milk Across the Nation” — Ashley Arnold
“Pseudomelia of the Masses” — Robert Hood
“Arianne’s Event” — Susan Wardle
“Networking for Dummies” — Dirk Flinthart
It’s a terrific line-up and what I’ve read of the book so far is excellent. While overtly political, the stories resonate with humanity, emotion and good old-fashioned drama, running the gauntlet from light-hearted humour to dark seriousness.
Check it out now — and order yourself a copy — here.