Audible is giving away a short story by Philip Pullman to help London commuters deal with the Southern and TfL strikes that were due to take place today (6th December).
From Monday 5th December until 9am Friday 9th December, Audible members and non-members can download the 32-minute story "The Collectors", which is set in the universe of His Dark Materials, for free on the Audible website. New customers will not be required to sign up for a trial membership.
Audible released "The Collectors", which normally costs £1.99, in 2014. In the story two characters called Horley and Grinstead discuss new works of art that Horley has added to his collection. However, the two pieces of art in question are about to be caught in the crossfire of a story that has travelled through time and between worlds.
Pullman said: “I usually find short stories very difficult, but this one came easily. As a matter of fact it came out of something Kate Bush told me about two paintings she owns, which have the odd property of finding each other again if one of them is sold or given away. With her permission I built on that idea and used it to open a little window from our world into the world of Lyra and her dangerous mother Mrs Coulter. The story is dedicated to Kate.”
Audible has also put together a list of eight stories they say will help commuters face the pain of the strikes. These include "The Surprise" by Toby Davies and "The Ghost Writer" by Val McDermid. Each audiobook is timed to last for 15, 30,45, 60 or 90 minutes.
Southern Rail's three-day strike is underway while TfL's 24-hour strike has been suspended.