End of Story by Louise Swanson
(Hodder & Stoughton, 2023)
Reviewed by Shellie Horst
Louise Beech has been writing emotionally powerful, award-winning novels for years. End of Story, written under her pen-name Louise Swanson, is her first foray into speculative fiction. Sitting at the thriller end of the genre, End of Story is set in 2035, five years after the government banned fiction.
Our lead character is Fern Dostoy, a big list author. A problem when fiction is taboo. Made up anythings, and creative practices have re-invented themselves for fear of persecution. Even the diary Fern uses to chronicle her days is subject to prosecution. Understandably, it’s an absolutely terrifying idea for anyone in the creative arts. We are subjected to a hopeless society. With the criminalisation of storytelling, Fern’s career crumbled, losing her wonderful home and everything she holds precious. Fern finds herself isolated, bereft of family, and immensely distrusting, leaving her writing life behind as a cleaner.
Review from BSFA Review 21 - Download your copy here.