BURNING WITH OPTIMISM’S FLAMES

Edited by Jay Eales.

Stories by Helen Angove, Aditya Bidikar, Simon Bucher-Jones, Jonathan Dennis, Elizabeth Evershed, Cate Gardner, Sarah Hadley, Kelly Hale, Stephen Marley, Philip Purser-Hallard, Daniel Ribot, Alan Taylor and James Worrad.

ISBN 9781909031050.

Published in 2012 by Obverse Books.

Cover by Paul McCaffrey.


     ‘I can remember asking him, “What are the stars? Where do they come from?”

     ‘He would tell me that the stars are burning worlds, caught forever in their unending flames, raging, roaring against the night. They look out beyond their fragile spheres for places of calm and serenity to shine their brightness and bring life.

     ‘He would clasp me around the shoulder and say that we were like stars. We had to use the energy within us to defeat the cold spaces, to turn away the dark things that dared to destroy life. We had to find our own calmness and serenity even when it was denied us.

     ‘I don’t think I understood him then. I was too small, and my brother never spoke in the concrete terms that my brain could comprehend.

     ‘Looking back on it, though, I think thatís when P.J. began to burn.’

     – Intermediant Izzy Ring, The Heaven Facility


The collection includes Philip Purser-Hallard’s short story ‘De Umbris Idearum’:

Wailing’s Lace, 2621: The Pope’s xenotheologian, Monsignora Tantry, investigates disturbing reports of a force disrupting the delicate balance of religious politics in the habitat – a cult known only as the Remote...

California, 2012: Concerned by the behaviour of one of his students, Father Gerard Evangelista attends a sinister party at the Theater of Memory – a party which is also, in a very real sense, a revival meeting.

London, 1584: The excommunicated heretic Giordano Bruno’s sorcerous experiments yield some surprising results, and the discovery that he holds the Church’s very future in his hands.

The Eleven-Day Empire: Father Self of Faction Paradox sets his alarm clock, and considers an intervention which will touch the lives of three priests – and, incidentally, shape a millennium of history.


‘De Umbris Idearum’ features Imogen Tantry (who first appeared in ‘Predating the Predators’, and later as Pope Beatrix II in ‘A Hundred Words from a Civil War’) and Father Self of Faction Paradox (first introduced in Of the City of the Saved....)




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All material © Philip Purser-Hallard 2012 except where otherwise noted, and not to be used without permission.
Burning with Optimism’s Flames cover © Paul McCaffrey 2012.
Burning with Optimism’s Flames cover blurb © Sarah Hadley 2012.