Spindles: Stories from the Science of Sleep


Spindles: Stories from the Science of Sleep edited by Ra Page & Penny Lewis

Synopsis: The relationship between sleep and storytelling is an ancient one. For centuries, sleep has provided writers with a magical ingredient – a passage of time during which great changes miraculously occur, an Orpheus-like voyage through the subconscious daubed with the fantastic. But over the last ten years, our scientific understanding of sleep has been revolutionised. No longer is sleep viewed as a time of simple rest and recuperation. Instead, it is proving to be an intensely dynamic period of brain activity: a vital stage in the re-wiring of memories, the learning of new skills, and the processing of problems and emotions.

How will storytelling respond to this new and emerging science of sleep? Here, 14 authors have been invited to work with key scientists to explore various aspects of sleep research: from the possibilities of ‘sleep engineering’ and ‘overnight therapies’, to future-tech ways of harnessing sleep’s problem-solving powers, to the challenges posed by our increasingly 24-hour lifestyles. Just as new hypotheses are being put forward, old hunches are also being confirmed (there’s now a scientific basis for the time-worn advice ‘to sleep on a problem’). As these responses show, sleep and the spinning of stories are still very much entwined.

Featuring scientific contributions from: Prof Russell G. Foster, Isabel Hutchison, Dr. Simon Kyle, Dr. Penny Lewis, Dr. Paul Reading, Stephanie Romiszewski, Prof Robert Stickgold, Prof Manuel Schabus, Prof Ed Watkins, Prof Adam Zeman, Dr. Thomas Wehr.

Featuring Martyn Bedford, Zoe Gilbert, Andy Hedgecock, Adam Marek, Lisa Blower, Claire Dean, Deborah Levy, Ian Watson, Sarah Schofield, Annie Clarkson, Adam Roberts, M.J. Hyland, Lisa Tuttle & Sara Maitland

This project was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Published: December 2015 | ISBN-13: 9781905583690

Mini-bio: Ra Page is the founder and Editorial Manager of Comma Press. He’s the editor of numerous anthologies, including The City Life Book of Manchester Short Stories (Penguin, 1999), co-editor of The New Uncanny (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, 2008) and Litmus, voted one of 2011’s books of the year by The Observer.

Mini-bio: Penny Lewis is a neuroscientist at the University of Manchester, where she runs the NaPS (Neuroscience and Psychology of Sleep) lab. Her research investigates the impact of sleep on memory, cognition, and health in general.

A contributor’s perspective: Zoe Gilbert

The Short Story Book Review
Science Focus Preview

[Image supplied by publisher]


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