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Despite the first half of this year being fraught and the latter half uncertain, there are exciting things still to come from Comma Press in 2020. We thought we’d let you in on the new releases you can rely upon to keep your reading itches scratched during these strange times.

Settling the World: Selected Stories 1969-2019 by M John Harrison

August 2020

John Harrison book cover.jpg

At the end of August, we publish the latest collection of stories by much-lauded author M. John Harrison, whose stories traverse the spaces between genres – horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing. Settling the World is a volume of specially selected stories from 50 years of writing (1969-2019) and includes three brand new stories. Harrison is truly a writer in a league of his own and counts among his fans Robert Macfarlane, Iain Banks and the late, great Ursula K. Le Guin. This collection showcases his most interesting, eerie and exhilarating stories to date.

Including new story “Doe Lea” which you can read for free at Granta.

For fans of…

  • Endland by Tim Etchells
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Funny Weather by Olivia Laing
  • Underland by Robert Macfarlane

 

The BBC National Short Story Award 2020

Introduced by Jonathan Freedland

September 2020 

BBC NSSA20_AI COVER

The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story. Each year, Comma Press publishes the shortlist in a special anthology, to mark the announcement of the five shortlisted writers.

Radio 4 presenter, journalist and author Jonathan Freedland is chairing the judging panel for this year’s award. Freedland has been joined by a group of acclaimed writers and critics on the panel. Commonwealth Prize winner Lucy Caldwell who was shortlisted for both the 2012 and 2019 BBC Award; British Nigerian writer Irenosen Okojie, a Betty Trask winner and Jhalak Prize shortlistee; Edge Hill Prize shortlistee and Guardian short story columnist Chris Power; and returning judge, Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

For fans of…

  • The BBC National Short Story Award 2019
  • Love after Love by Ingrid Persaud
  • Attrib: and Other Stories by Eley Williams
  • Best British Short Stories (Salt Publishing)

 

The New Abject edited by Ra Page & Sarah Eyre

October 2020

New Abject Mock

Something has fallen away. We have lost something of ourselves, our history, what we once were. That something, if we are to face it, look it squarely in the eyes, terrifies us, makes us wretched. This is the horror of the abject.

Following the success of Comma’s award-winning New Uncanny anthology – which asked fiction writers to create new stories updating our understanding of Freud’s ‘unheimlich’ – The New Abject asks leading authors to produce new stories of modern unease that respond to that other psychoanalytic theory of horror: Julia Kristeva’s theory of the abject.

Featuring authors such as Ramsey Campbell, Lucie McKnight-Hardy, Mark Haddon, Matthew Holness, Lara Williams, Margaret Drabble, David Constantine, Saleem Haddad, Christine Poulson and more to be announced.

For fans of…

  • Salt Slow by Julia Armfield
  • Boy Parts by Eliza Clark
  • Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Sealed by Naomi Booth

 

God 99 by Hassan Blasim

November 2020

God99 Mock

God 99 is the highly anticipated debut novel by acclaimed Iraqi writer, poet and filmmaker Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by celebrated translator Jonathan Wright. Blasim won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (now the International Man Booker) in 2014 for his second short story collection The Iraqi Christ, and has since been published in more than 22 languages. This much-anticipated novel is a piece of autofiction, following Hassan Owl, an Iraqi refugee as he traverses Europe.

For fans of…

  • The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim
  • Between Beirut and the Moon by Naji Bakhti
  • Out of It by Selma Dabbagh
  • Crudo by Olivia Laing

 

The Book of Jakarta edited by Maesy Ang & Teddy W. Kusuma

December 2020

The Book of Jakarta_AI COVER

The Book of Jakarta is the next instalment in our ‘Reading the City’ series.

Despite being the world’s fourth largest nation – made up of over 17,000 islands – very little of Indonesian history and contemporary politics are known to outsiders. From feudal states and sultanates to a Cold War killing field and a now struggling, flawed democracy – the country’s political history, as well as its literature, defies easy explanation. Like Indonesia itself, the capital city Jakarta is a multiplicity; irreducible, unpredictable and full of surprises. Traversing the different neighbourhoods and districts, the stories gathered here attempt to capture the essence of contemporary Jakarta and its writing, as well as the ever-changing landscape of the fastest-sinking city in the world.

For fans of…

  • Comma’s Reading the City series
  • Tiny Moons by Nina Mingya Powles
  • Moving Parts by Prabda Yoon

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