2. Contemplating the future of humanity from Lancashire


I can’t think of anywhere better to do it from, can you? Not when the stars are out and you’re sleeping in the lip of a prehistoric cave, within which a million-year-old waterfall discretely ignores the fact that you’re wearing your best undies under several layers of fleece, just in case he tries to seduce you across endless, unknowable knots of time and man-made fabrics.*

Whereas my words border on cliché, those of Lancastrian author David Constantine (Comma Press) dare to border both Yorkshire and the sublime, which – less generous Mancunians than me might argue – is no mean feat.

In all seriousness, I urge you to listen to one or two of his tales. He reads beautifully from his award-winning collections The Shieling and Tea at the Midland on the Comma Press website here. My personal favourite is below.

If I ever get this good, you can bury me alive with small stones high on a hilltop, overlooking a suitably desolate valley, and I’ll be perfectly happy. As the son of a poet, and someone who began writing poetry before prose, Constantine is an inspiring reminder of how serendipitous that route into fiction can be.

Please, please enjoy!

(*A very loose précis of the Constantine’s The Cave)

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