sundial house press, sherborne, dorset




david guy tipping, geraldine, sundial house press

A collection of vividly realised stories of contemporary life delineated through the prism of human relationships with their disparate entanglements and unpredictable, often surprising outcomes. The author’s ability to successfully negotiate the interconnected minefields of the human heart and mind, to explore the tragicomedy of life in all its poignancy, complexity and diversity, is both notable and seductive.

DAVID TIPPING was born in 1930. A graduate of St. Andrews University, he spent most of his working life as a professional economist, following several years in academe at Keele, Newcastle & Oxford universities.

After living in the West Indies, followed by a stint in Hong Kong, he worked in foreign aid administration for the EU in Africa, where he later spent ten years freelancing. He retired to Dorset in 1998 and died in December 2015. The author of the novel Like Father Like Son, this was his first collection of stories.


Price: 7.99 | Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-908274-47-2 | Dimensions: 210148mm | Page Extent: 184  Publication

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And Other Stories
by David Tipping


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geraldine and other stories, david tipping, sundial house press

GERALDINE And Other Stories by David Tipping

Forensically sharp in observation, David Tipping’s short stories take us into a world that is on a fatal cusp in terms of what is happening to humanity. He poises us between a familiar middle-class professional reality and a dystopian postmodern robotic culture that in its most extreme forms dispenses with humanity altogether, sometimes literally as well as figuratively. Not surprisingly, perhaps, one can see the seeds of this dystopian future in the chillingly depicted yet utterly familiar banalities of the present.
   On the surface, Tipping’s characters seem urbane. They are socially and professionally competent (albeit with greater or lesser degrees of success), and yet socially and emotionally they are dislocated. In some of his characters, this inner detachment is wilful – necessary even – for their professional endeavours. ‘The English Gentleman and the German Gentleman’, for example, depicts a man called Assingham on a fairly routine assignment abroad to extract information from a source in Germany. And yet in the end Assingham realizes that he is the one who has been played. Even his name is not real – Assingham, a play on words? Who is the real ‘ass’? Identities are donned and discarded for specific ends; relationships are mostly either mercenary or deluded. In the end, therefore, the sophistication and emotional detachment of the protagonists almost always backfires on them. Indeed it is almost as if the more sophisticated the character the greater their chances of being dangerously misled. ‘The Second Wife’ is a chilling example of just this. We see our protagonist’s most fundamental human needs and emotions being hijacked for sinister ends. The effect of all this is unnerving. The reader is left with serious doubt as to the nature of reality itself.
   In ‘Neighbours’, perhaps one of the most recognizable everyday scenarios depicted in the anthology, we meet Lucy Meredith, a recently widowed lady who had heavily depended on her husband. She has an instinctive antipathy to her obtrusive but apparently much more sophisticated neighbours, the Latimers. Quite by chance, and only just in the nick of time, she discovers just how reliable her instincts were. It is as if she is protected by her very innocence and lack of sophistication – her humanness in fact. She is duped, but ultimately saved by being in touch with her own feelings.
   Elsewhere in the book, such as in ‘Art and Life’, and the eponymous story ‘Geraldine’ from which the anthology has its title, we similarly see the sadly dystopian nature of human relationships in the here and now. If only fleetingly and furtively, desire can be expressed and lived out, but love eludes almost all the characters, who collapse back from their badly timed and disjointed encounters into an inevitable and familiar isolation. By ‘The Age of the Robots’ and ‘Imagining’, both set in the future, we see a humanity on the brink of total extinction in a world where attachment and relationship are so alien that there is no longer even a vocabulary for it. And yet for those who feel them they are still worth staking everything on – even life itself.
Meira Eliot, author of The Strangely Surreal Adventures of Sylvia Smetana

"David's stories - quirky, sometimes black, funny, erotic - well worth reading!" ~ Diana Cambridge


david tipping, geraldine, sundial house press
The GERALDINE Cover (Back, Spine & Front)

Also available: the novel FATHER AND SON.