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King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar Teacher gets published

Mr Nathan Duck, English Teacher at King Edward VI Handsworth Grammar School for Boys has recently had a short story published in the science-fiction anthology ‘Scarlet Traces’. Please see below for a synopsis and a review by Jonathan Wright .

It’s school life, but not as we know it

Handsworth Grammar School appears in a piece of retro-science fiction set in a swinging-sixties Birmingham that never was.

Found in the new collection of science fiction short-stories- ‘Scarlet Traces- An Anthology’- the tale’s protagonist is called Wilf, who finds himself in the sixth-form at the school in 1967. But it isn’t quite the HGS we are familiar with.

Wilf is an immigrant from the planet Venus, and he is struggling with the heavy expectations placed upon him by family, friends and enemies. In his world, aliens exist, the British Empire persists and Birmingham is still at the heart of industry supporting Britain’s expansion out into the Solar System.

‘Scarlet Traces’ was originally a comic-strip created by local author Ian Edginton and the artist D’Israeli as a sequel to the H.G. Wells novel ‘The War of the Worlds’. After three successful series, the story has made a transition to prose, gathering together an eclectic mix of British science fiction and comic authors, including Handsworth Grammar’s own member of the English Department, Nathan Duck. “I tried hard to incorporate ‘Easter Eggs’ for people who know the school, both past and present,” says the author, “It was fun to write.”