Nicholas Herrmann’s writing explores existential, speculative and ecological themes, rooted in everyday, human relationships. His graphic short story, ‘Matters of Consequence’, about the death of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was published by Elbow Room. Nicholas is also a founder of Observatory Press, an independent publishing house specialising in science fiction and illustration. He received a Distinction for his manuscript, The Light Factory.
The Light Factory is set in Birmingham seventeen years after a super-eclipse that never ended, causing perpetual, global blackout. Animal and plant life has perished. Suicide rates are high, with hedonistic festivals of fire providing the only catharsis. What’s left of the planet is sustained by lamps. The novel follows Felix, a twenty-two-year-old botany graduate who has grown up in darkness, as he tries to accept his mother’s suicide, and rekindle hope and purpose in the lives of his friends and family. An exploration of depression, grief, extinction and survival, The Light Factory asks the question: when every necessity is taken away, how does one create new meaning?