The Art of Being Human: A Speculative Fiction Anthology

In which FableCroft Publishing presents its first anthology in six years, ‘celebrating the connections and creativity that make us human’.

Image: Bru-n0 @ Pixabay

In which I have a story, my first in two years. One of 24 from writers from here and overseas.

The invitation to submit a story for The Art of Being Human came during a period of Covid-induced turmoil – restrictions and lockdowns, broken supply chains, working from home. Deaths.

At a time when live entertainment and the arts were among those sectors especially suffering, they were also elevated: online performances and gatherings became a lifeline, as well perhaps as a reminder that, like the natural world around us, these pursuits were too easily taken for granted. As were their practitioners.

And so ‘Exposure’ came to light, a combination of some of my favourite subjects as I tried to find a way to address the anthology theme: the place of art in our society, what it means to me, and what it can offer in a time of cataclysm, whether it be the short-term upheaval of a pandemic or the ongoing catastrophe that is climate change. I find it hard these days to write anything that isn’t touched by climate change – it is, as we are finding as a society and as a species, ubiquitous.

The story developed from a mental image of a Polaroid camera in a box in a dusty, warehouse-like room. You can read the result for yourself, with the Kickstarter now available – this is the only place to go if you’d like a print copy, and digital copies are also available.

As Tim Winton recently told the ABC,

I don’t think art needs an excuse to exist. We need beauty in our lives so we don’t go mad.

Hopefully, ‘Exposure’ has captured some of that sentiment.

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