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The Peacock Cloak

The Peacock Cloak [Kindle Edition]

Chris Beckett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In 2009, Chris Beckett’s first short story collection The Turing Test won the prestigious Edge Hill Prize, becoming the first, and to date the only, genre collection ever to manage this. In doing so, the book triumphed over a very strong shortlist, including collections by one Booker Prize winner in Anne Enright and two authors who have been Booker shortlisted in Shena Mackay and Ali Smith (the latter a winner of the Whitbread Prize).

When announcing the winner, one of the judges – James Walton, journalist and chair of BBC Radio 4’s The Write Stuff – said, “I suspect Chris Beckett winning the Edge Hill Prize will be seen as a surprise in the world of books. In fact, though, it was also a bit of surprise to the judges, none of whom knew they were science fiction fans beforehand.”

In 2012 the Sunday Times named Chris’ latest novel Dark Eden the best science fiction novel of the year, and it is currently shortlisted for the BSFA Award in the same category. NewCon Press are delighted to be publishing The Peacock Cloak, the latest collection from one of Britain’s most distinguished and accomplished genre authors. Contains twelve stories (85,000 words) all previously uncollected.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 458 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Publisher: NewCon Press (14 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Chris Beckett's third novel Dark Eden (published in 2012), follows two others, The Holy Machine (2010) and Marcher (2009). His short stories have been appearing in print in Britain and the US since 1990, and his short story collection, The Turing Test, won the Edge Hill Short Fiction Award in 2009, in a shortlist including collections by Booker and Whitbread prize-winners, Anne Enright and Ali Smith, a rare instance of a science fiction book winning a non-genre literary award.

More information about his fiction writing can be found at

Chris Beckett works part-time as a lecturer in social work, and he also writes text books. He tries to use his experience of story telling to make these books readable and lively, and to write in a realistic way about social work as it actually exists.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars from me too 10 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful collection of stories, each one a small gem that leaves you thinking. Don't expect neat little tales with a beginning, middle and end... they aren't all like that. Some leave you guessing or wondering which adds to the enjoyment. I can't say there was one story I didn't love for one reason or another. All superbly crafted so that you get lost inside someone else's imagination for a while.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Futeristic Fables 3 Jun 2013
By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Peacock Cloak is the second collection of stories by Chris Beckett. It contains 12 stories set in the near and far future on our world and others. Some are linked (only ever so slightly), most are not. Stories include those of dimensional travel, alternate realities, a space travelling celebrity, a planet with mind projecting indigenous species and others. Through these tales Beckett tells moralistic stories that resonate in our time and include wars based on beliefs, isolation, marriage and a few others.

Always well written and thought provoking the tales really are a joy to read. They don't have a twist in the tale but are very reminiscent of Phillip K Dick's short stories compilations. They are creative, original and thought provoking whilst being true to Sci-fi at every turn. The tales included here are :-

Atomic Truth
Two Thieves
Johnny's New Job
The Caramel Forest
The Famous Cave Paintings on Isolus 9
Rat Island
Day 29
Our Land
The Desiccated Man
The Peacock Cloak

I particularly enjoyed Greenland (a story about immigration and cloning), The Peacock Cloak (about gods) and Our Land (a story of war between English, Brythons and Saxons). The stories stay with you for a while afterwards and are always as interesting as a sci-fi story as they are as fables. Very highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A rather average collection. 17 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
A rather average collection.

Atomic truth

In a networked near future, all the connectivity keeps people isolated - only one outsider sees reality.

Two thieves

In a far future which has mostly lost technology, two hardened prisoners on work detail
discover something...and each one learns a different lesson.

Jonny's new job

A satirical tale of what happens when a social worker fails to prevent a child in his care being murdered by a parent. What happens is mob justice, combined with a surprise for one of the mob.

The caramel forest

Wierd story about a little girl who alone seems to be communicate with the silent alien fauna on a colonised planet.


A desperate father offers himself for experimentation to get his family to a safe haven...

The famous cave paintings on Isolus 9

Clancy, a writer, is very much in love with Elena. Since she is afraid of space travel, he sets off alone for Isolus 9 to view the famous paintings made by the original colonists. What he finds changes him deeply.

Rat island

Rather hysterical tale about global warming.

Day 29

The instant passage back from a colony seems to wipe recent memory. Nice idea,
but goes nowhwere...

Our land

A teacher slips through alternate Britains....

The dessicated man

A jaded, cynical spacer gets his just desserts....


A man meets a runaway from somewhere else which spurs him to change his life..

The peacock cloak

Superbeings and a cloak debate life. Tedious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark short stories 10 Jan 2014
By Styubud
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read zillions of sci-fi short stories this year, and this is one of the better collections. Some of them are absolutely amazing, and I would recommend taking time between each one to let the ideas sink in. I devoured them so probably didn't get as much out - gluttony is never a good idea. The final story blew my mind. This author is on to a good thing - very high quality, accessible stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SF at its best 11 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent collection of short stories from the author of Dark Eden. The style and story-telling technique are rather old-fashioned (I mean that in a good way). I was reminded of John Wyndham (also in a good way). But Chris Becket is obviously familiar with the stranger corners of modern SF, and this shows in the ideas behind the stories. All are thoughtful and thought provoking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good tales here. 17 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you like Chris Beckett, this of course is a must read, just waiting for the launch of the follow up to Dark Eden. Hurry up Chris!
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