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A science fiction response to the Child P case

25/02/2010. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Chris Beckett is a Science Fiction writer who wins literary awards (The Edgehill Prize, 4th July 2009) and has a day job as senior lecturer in social work at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. He has authored a number of academic textbooks on social work theory, ethics and child protection.

This experience as a social worker also informs his fiction. His collection of stories contains many first published in Interzone, a British short SF story magazine. Chris’s experience in child protection is critical to his new story 'Johnny's New Job'. That story is based on his reaction to the Baby P and similar cases.

The story will appear in Interzone's March 2010 issue number 227 along with Chris Beckett’s editorial on its genesis. Copies of this should be in UK newsagents and some bookshops from 5th March but around 10 days later in the US.

Chris Beckett’s first Interzone story appeared in October 1990. His second novel ‘Marcher’ from 2008, was based on stories which first appeared in Interzone and made extensive use of his social work experience.

Chris is represented by the John Jarrold agency and his website is

Note. For non-UK readers, there have been a series of high profile child abuse, neglect and protection cases in Britain in the past year or so. One of these was the Child P case, at the time the victim could not be identified for legal reasons.

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