Originally written as a commission for BBC Radio 4, this spare, vivid book conjures a time when drinking water has become a rare and precious commodity.
Cynan Jones describes Stillicide as a collection of interlinked short stories. Each provides additional viewpoints and textures to the overarching examination of a future in which water is commodified.
As with all of Cynan’s writing, individual sentences have been honed into missiles, designed to carry and deliver information and emotion in the most efficient way possible, with the spaces on the page designed to make their impact all the more resonant.
Far from being bleak, the chapters or stories are a comfort to climb into, as each is understood from inside a single character’s mind. There’s an unexpected but welcome sense of being sheltered by their grey matter, and of gazing outwards at the strange, thirsty world they inhabit. A meditative quality seeps from the pages, even as the themes themselves ripple with injustice and quiet rage.
The space Cynan has created is far enough removed to give him the freedom to invent at will, yet close enough to remain dauntingly recognisable.