Regular price: £19.99
Written for audio format, this collection of six science fiction stories draw on themes of arrival, discovery and destination. Commissioned especially for Audible, and narrated by outstanding performers, these stories evoke the traditional storytelling of West African Jali as the unknown and distant are brought to life for audiences.
In this collection Chris Beckett and An Owomoyela use the theme of 'discovery' to shape tales of searching; Nikesh Shukla and Lauren Beukes consider 'destination' in stories of finding a home; and Ken Liu and Paul Cornell each discuss 'arrival'.
Jali is one of three short story collections written by our favourite best-selling novelists and emerging authors, and curated based on the themes of arrival, discovery and destination. Bard collates contemporary fiction while Skald features six crime stories.
As an Audio Show - free for members - when you add Jali: The Short Story Collection to your library, you'll get all 6 episodes.
I'm not usually keen on the short story format but while I waited for the brave Audible support team to wrestle my latest pre-order from the cantankerous beast that is their database I thought I'd give it a try. It's actually not bad at all which even for free content is important because after all there is little more valuable than your time.
I particularly enjoyed the first two which were both stories of humanity trying desperately to find a new home but each took a very different approach to the theme. When Will We Get There felt like a complete character's story and The Star That Sings in Darkness seemed more of an episode about a character and a situation that I would happily hear more about. The idea of one woman alone searching the stars in a tiny rig definitely smelled of further possibilities.
Juraj was very short and felt akin to an excerpt from a Luke Smitherd novel but at just 27 minutes didn't feel greatly satisfying, I wanted to discover more about Juraj and how his abilities would be exploited. Internal Architecture was the only one where I didn't enjoy the narration as much as the others but is one of the most complete stories. The aftermath of a disastrous collision for the Earth which impacted on South Africa.
Finishing off were the near fable-like The Magic Flute and naturally "A Conclusion". Jali is a nice little package and while to be fair I am definitely no expert in short stories it kept me entertained well enough while I awaited that pre-order, and given how impatient I was for that particular book Jali did a fine job of keeping me distracted.