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Top sci-fi author’s new story has independent Wales defending itself against England using magic

06 Dec 2021 2 minutes Read
The cover of Burning Brightly

One of Britain’s best-known sci-fi authors has written a story about an independent Wales that defends itself against England using magic.

The story ‘Red Sky in the Morning’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky, who won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2016, is included in the anthology Burning Brightly by NewCon press.

It tells of an independent Wales that has broken away from the rest of the UK that has fallen apart due to floods and crop failures.

After English soldiers invade it’s up to Rhys Ap Owain, the last descendant of Owen Glyndwr, to help the locals by using ancient magic to defend the nation’s autonomy.

In a review of the book, James Lovegrove of the Financial Times said the story was a “wry, understated” and “pointed” commentary, while Eamonn Murphy of SF Crowsnest said that the story is “pure fantasy” but his “Celtic blood surged with pride”.

Adrian Tchaikovsky’s story had been written especially for Burning Brightly, which also includes a contribution from Iain M. Banks. The collection is a mix of new stories and one contributed over the years to Novacon, one of the world’s longest-running science fiction conventions.

To commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary, members of the convention committee have selected their favourite stories from those that have been written by guests for the convention over the years.

These appear alongside original stories by Eric Brown, Ian R. MacLeod, Martin Sketchley, Kari Sperring, and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Adrian Tchaikovsky openly mused about the possibilities for independence on social media last year, asking:  “What if Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all just seceded together as a single unit from England.

“They could install a constitutional monarch and call themselves something, I don’t know, ‘the United Kingdom.'”

Burning Brightly: 50 Years of Novacon is available now and can be bought here.


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John Davies
John Davies
5 months ago

Much as I would like us to break away from England, I’m afraid this looks just like a warmed-over version of the old “dark mysterious otherworldly Celt” cliche. Fact is we are a pretty pragmatic and practical lot, adept at using every little advantage the world allows us. The evidence of this is that we are still here with a distinct identity and culture despite centuries of attempts to erase us. An “otherworldly” people would not have managed to achieve that. Shakespeare’s patronising English caricature of Glyndwr plays up to the trope; a Celtic Shaman who can “summon up spirits… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  John Davies

I wonder who Shakespeare was?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Any promotion of Wales in any form, be it Sci-,fi or fantasy, is normally welcomed by me. After all, Welsh mythology basically invented the genre with its Arthurian legends and tales from the Mabinogi etc.. which have influenced writers around the world since the dark ages to the present day. And although these tales originate from our country, Wales has never received the credit or regognition it rightly deserves. But I find this story and the idea of an independent Wales under siege from England, who invades because they require our resources not fiction but an uncomfortable fact. Its already… Read more »

David Smith
David Smith
5 months ago

Lol. Alright for a bit of fantasy but I look forward to a far more harmonious relationship with our neighbour ‘Up East’ after indy. Plus they outnumber us 18 to one so we’d never stand a chance. 😂

Pob lwc
Pob lwc
5 months ago

More proof that the separatists live in a world of make-believe?

arthur owen
5 months ago
Reply to  Pob lwc

As far as I can tell the Welsh ‘separatists’ who have commented here do not seem to approve,but I suppose your ideology tells you to ignore the evidence.

Argol Fawr
Argol Fawr
5 months ago
Reply to  Pob lwc

Spoken like a true Brexiteer ‘Pob lwc’. How’s it working out for you?

Pob lwc
Pob lwc
5 months ago
Reply to  Argol Fawr

I voted Remain, bud 🙂

Lou
Lou
5 months ago

Something quite similar appeared in the third issue of Gwyllion recently — just a suggestion for those who’d like to support up-and-coming Welsh authors over established English names.

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