Dystopian, Datstopian . . .

Gee whiz but we are truly blessed here at PS Towers, the latest evidence of such a bold claim being the new (or should we say “debut”) novel from Sir Alan Ayckbourn, THE DIVIDE, which I finally got around to reading during our WorldCon sojourn in Dublin and which we are launching next Thursday at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

So that makes for a nice change to other news, right?

Those folks who follow PS-related news in the daily quality newspapers may have noticed a flurry of articles and interviews announcing that Sir Alan, one of our most renowned and beloved playwrights, is about to have his first novel published.

You may have also noticed that PS is the publisher—whoo hoo!—and so it is that Nicky, Mike and I will be hot-footing it up to Scarborough on Thursday 12th September to launch the book at the wonderful seaside venue of The Stephen Joseph Theatre: come on now—what better place could there be for such a launch. In fact the actual event will take place in between showings of two of Alan’s plays, namely Season’s Greetings and Birthdays Past, Birthdays Present. The times are 4:30 to 6:30 on the 12th September and at the special launch celebration, Alan will be there to sign copies.

So what’s it all about? Here goes.

As noted by Nicole Ackland in her review of the stage version (see Broadway Review, Feb 2018) THE DIVIDE is a gripping tale of repression and forbidden love in a dystopian society, especially topical in today’s political atmosphere.

Told in the form of personal accounts and official documents, THE DIVIDE imagines a world in which men and women are segregated into two societies, separated by “the Divide”, the geographical line between them. Soween and her brother Elihu are traced through their school years in this oppressive gender order, struggling with difficult friendships and failed relationships. Both savour forbidden creative fruits: Soween loves the banned novels of the Bronte sisters and Elihu is a budding artist despite living in a society that condemns all images of people.

In this imagined world a hundred years in the future, a plague breaks out which sparks a civil war and almost wipes out humankind. Women still carry the plague but are immune to it themselves, making them dangerous to the vulnerable men. The so-called Preacher's work teaches that women are sinful, and alcohol, jazz music, and mirrors are withheld from them. Men and women are kept separate to promote peace and prevent the spread of disease.

In this society, gay relationships abound and children are raised by a Mama (the woman who carries the baby) and a Mapa (the other mother). This is a world in which it is heterosexual relationships that are considered strange and risky.

Strange and risky for sure . . . and laced with intrigue. You’ve been warned.

And while we’re on the subject of being warned, here’s Nicky with her usual update.

Thanks, Pete (I think). The signed edition of CHASM is now in stock and I received an email from Steve Laws telling me how pleased he was with this edition. We have now posted out all customer orders of this edition.

We also have copies of the signed edition of THE COMPLETE SHORT STORIES OF MIKE CAREY but unfortunately this cannot be posted out yet until we have the slipcases. <sigh>

Signing sheets for all titles that you might have pre-ordered are either being signed, or about to be signed. I will let you know as soon as we receive the completed sheets. Bear with us and the authors who are doing their thing to create these lovely signed editions and keep your fingers crossed that they find their way back to the green sward.

It’s a short update this week in comparison to other weeks but that doesn’t mean that we are sitting back in our chairs with our feet up. We have got some really exciting titles that are a within a hair’s breadth of being completed and sent over to the printers. Back to Pete.

Thanks, Nicky.

Okay, gang, it really is short ‘n’ sweet this week so without further ado, have a great weekend (although rain is forecast here in Blighty), look after each other and happy reading. And if you might be around next Thursday then don’t forget—we’d all of us love to see you.

Best wishes as always


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom