Irregularity is an anthology of short stories which, as the blurb says
is a collaboration between the National Maritime Museum and award-winning publisher Jurassic London: a collection of original stories inspired by the Age of Reason. Using the Longitude Act as the jumping off point, IRREGULARITY is inspired by the great thinkers of the Age of Reason – those courageous men and women who set out to map, chart, name and classify the world around them. The great minds who brought order and discipline to the universe. Except where they didn’t.
I couldn’t have put it better myself and as you can see I didn’t even consider trying 🙂
Why did I want to read it?
I think I first came across this because I follow one of the authors on Twitter (I actually follow a few of them now) and she (pretty sure it was @kimecurran) mentioned that she had a story included in this volume, and then I looked at the other authors listed many of whom already were or were on the way to becoming favourites, and so downloaded it was.
What did I think of it?
I’ve said this ad nauseam but I’m going to repeat it, just because – anthologies are tricky to review because there are very few collections in which every story hits the spot. And I have to say that at first – and I will admit that I may possibly *ahem* have forgotten what the theme of the collection was when I started reading it – I wasn’t entirely sure where this was all going, but I can safely say that only a couple of the stories didn’t do it for me, and that’s not a bad hit rate out of 14.
It’s worth mentioning the following, which stood out:
- The Spiders of Stockholm by EJ Swift – a writer new to me whom I was lucky enough to meet at a reading at the end of January, this is a story about spiders and dreams and categorisation and what happens when you put a name to something (and this story is up for the Sunday Times short story award)
- The Assassination of Isaac Newton by the Coward Robert Boyle by Adam Roberts – (1) extraordinarily cool title (2) draws attention to Newton’s resemblance to (yes, that) Brian May (3) totally bonkers
- The Voyage of the Basset by Claire North – Darwin + butterflies + coronation = wonderful story
- A Woman out of Time by Kim Curran – things must happen as intended, ut who makes sure that it does?
As well as these the collection covers mapping the winds, understanding clocks, the hunt for impossible animals, dissection & art, animated dinosaurs and whether science can quantify love. Amongst lots of other stuff. Recommended.