Pippa Goldschmidt’s THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE is published today by Freight books. The collection is longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize 2015. The official launch event for the book will be at Looking Glass Books in Edinburgh on the 11th June – you can click here for more information, or to reserve your ticket.
In THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE, Pippa Goldschmidt brings together an outstanding collection of short stories on the theme of science and its impact on all our lives. By turns witty, accessible, fascinating and deeply moving, Goldschmidt demonstrates her mastery of the short form as well as her ability to draw out scientific themes with humane and compelling insight. Goldschmidt allows us to spy on Bertolt Brecht, as he rewrites his play Life of Galileo with Charles Laughton after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She introduces us to Albert Einstein as he deals with the loss of his first child, Liesel. We meet Robert Oppenheimer scheming against his tutor, Professor Patrick Blackett, at Cambridge University, having fallen in love with Blackett’s wife. She tells the story of a female university student starting a love affair with her lecturer paralleled alongside the ‘relationship’ between Alice and Bob, two imaginary figures that symbolise the theory of relativity. Goldschmidt’s scope can be epic, at other times intimate, providing a forensic examination of relationships and the forces that influence them.
Pippa was recently featured on BBC Open Book talking about Solar Eclipses in literature, the week of the solar eclipse. Her story from the collection, ‘No Numbers’, was broadcast as part of the BBC Radio 4 Scottish Shorts series. She also spoke with Elaine Chiew on BBC Radio Scotland about the COOKED UP anthology that her work is featured in.
You can catch Pippa reading some of her poems about astronomy and Chile at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London on the 6th of June. She’ll also be appearing at the Glasgow Science Festival on 10th June, and German readers can catch her in Bremen and Berlin on 18th and 19th June respectively.
Pippa Goldschmidt lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. She used to be an astrophysicist and her first novel THE FALLING SKY, about an astronomer who discovers evidence contradicting the Big Bang theory, was a runner-up in the Dundee International book Prize for 2012, and longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2014 and is published by Freight Books (2013) and in Germany by Weidle. She is currently a writer in residence at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg institute near Bremen, Germany. She was writer in residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, at the University of Edinburgh. She has a Masters in creative writing from the University of Glasgow and was a winner of a Scottish Book Trust/Creative Scotland New Writers Award for 2011/12. Her short stories, poetry and non-fiction have appeared in a wide variety of publications including the New York Times, and one of her essays has appeared in an anthology of the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014, published by Houghton Mifflin.
Praise for THE NEED FOR BETTER REGULATION OF OUTER SPACE:
'Definitions: 'scientist' – human being who wonders, tries, gets things wrong; 'science' – curiosity, wrapped in strange language and with odd-looking equipment; 'story' – what if, and then, and then. Pippa Goldschmidt mixes all of the above and the resulting compounds are sweet, funny, spicy, provocative, moving. Your universe will be expanded. It doesn't get any better than that.' – Tania Hershman, author of MY MOTHER WAS AN UPRIGHT PIANO
'These stories, written with deep empathy and a bittersweet humour, open up a world where literature often fears to tread. Science is a tool for understanding the universe, but in Pippa Goldschmidt’s hands it is also a metaphor through which we can better understand ourselves. She is a writer of great heart and talent.' – Iain Maloney, author of FIRST TIME SOLO and SILMA HILL
'Sharply imagined stories that glitter like a constellation: funny, sexy and moving by turns. There is a haunting, planetary loneliness at the heart of many of these tales, but they're told with energy, wit and unflagging inventiveness.' – Wayne Price, author of FURNACE and MERCY SEAT
'Pippa Goldschmidt is busy defining an entirely new kind of "science" fiction. These stories – all of which are superb exercises in tone and concision – are urgent dispatches from a territory almost completely ignored by contemporary authors – elegant fables that inhabit the intersection of science, culture, humanity, and which are thoroughly informed by a sharp understanding of both the secret histories and hidden processes of actual science.' – Alastair Reynolds, author or REVELATION SPACE and POSEIDON’S CHILDREN
Praise for THE FALLING SKY:
'A delicate and fascinating study of a life in which intellect and external microscopic and cosmic fields interact.’ – Stephen Fry, Judge of the Dundee International Book Prize 2012
‘This novel is brilliant on several levels. Beautifully written, with many flashes of dark humour, it is fascinating... and is also a terrific portrayal of one woman’s struggle with past tragedy and present difficulties.’ – Daily Mail