Winning the 2008 Bristol Short Story Prize for her story 'The River', Rebecca Lloyd, a writer and editor from Bristol, UK, was shortlisted in the 2010 Dundee International Book Prize and was a semi-finalist in the Hudson Prize for a short story collection in the same year. Her novel Halfling was published by Walker Books in 2011, and in the following year she was co-editor with Indira Chandrasekhar, of Pangea, an Anthology of Stories from Around the Globe, with Thames River Press. In 2014, her short story collection Whelp and Other Stories was shortlisted in the Paul Bowles Award for Short Fiction, and her collection The View From Endless Street was published by WiDo Publishing.
In the beautifully-isolated Oothangbart, order and organisation, hierarchy and custom, and the regular flying of kites ensure that each finely-mapped hour of each planned week are as predictable and reassuring as the last. One Donal Shaun Hercule Poseidon, a citizen of middling rank with no greatness in gait or demeanour, is not so reassured and is becoming less and less predictable. Love is partly to blame. Were it not for his love for the baker, Pearl Offerings, his shed would not be filled with ossified bagels, nor would he be constantly fretting over the unsent love-letter that sat upon his mantelpiece. Nature had its role to play too. Were it not for the leaping fish that emerged unannounced and unexpected from the supposedly-barren river encircling Oothangbart, he might have wandered unnoticed for his entire existence and taken his philosophical questions with him to the grave. Government is definitely to blame. When the fish-panic seized Oothangbart, Donal was dragged into the machinery of government and thrust into an officialdom which had no place for a creature of thought. This is Donal’s story.