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Pre-order: Released 27th September 2024

Stories emerging from the period of austerity under the leadership of Johnson and Cameron.


From a futuristic colony where a woman dreams of rockets, to a drab estate where a girl finds magic, SJ Bradley's inventive and experimental stories showcase remarkable range.


Vividly rendered, they illuminate quiet despairs and heroisms pulsing through seemingly ordinary lives - councilmen, dance moms, dreaming teenagers.


With empathy and lyrical prose, Bradley transports readers into psychologically rich neighborhoods where reinvention flickers amid life's constricting boundaries.


Gritty yet tender, Maps of Imaginary Towns interrogates grief, ambition, belonging, and traces the hard-won solace of small acts of courage.


'Maps of Imaginary Towns discreetly blurs genre in exploration of our endlessly shifting geographical and emotional terrains, where the only constant is community and what we have to do to find it. Bradley’s collection is an endlessly playful, quietly powerful marvel.'

- Glen J Brown, Author of Ironopolis (Shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize & 2020 Portico Prize).


"The worlds that Bradley maps out in this collection often seem beguilingly familiar—but they are liable to suddenly shift, admitting the unexpected and the strange. I love Bradley’s off-beat sensibility: these stories drew me in with their intimate character details, then made me laugh-out-loud with their dark invention and wit." - Naomi Booth, Author of 'Exit Management'


"An acutely observed and carefully-crafted collection with a keen political edge." - Stu Hennigan, Author of 'Ghost Signs'


About the Author


SJ Bradley is a writer from Wakefield. Her short fiction has appeared in various journals and anthologies including Conradology and Resist! Stories of Uprising from Comma Press, New Willesden Short Stories 7, Queen Mobs, Litro magazine, and Untitled Books. Her first novel, Brick Mother, and her second novel, Guest, are both published by Dead Ink. She is the editor of the Saboteur Award-winning anthology Remembering Oluwale, which is available from Valley Press. Her work as an arts organiser involves the non-profit literary social Fictions of Every Kind (which ran for 10 years), The Northern Short Story Festival and the Walter Swan Short Story Prize. She is also a teacher of creative writing including short story writing courses for Comma Press and First Story in Leeds and Bradford. She's on Twitter at @bradleybooks.


Praise for SJ Bradley's previous work:


"A tightly honed work of dirty realism with convincing characters and richly developed settings, Guest is an entertaining and life-affirming work with important things to say about protest, resilience and the idea that “successful” living depends on an ability to share in the lives of others." - The Morning Star on 'Guest' 

Maps of Imaginary Towns by SJ Bradley


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