The Dancer by Rab Ferguson

Penelope D’Silva is a dancer, loved worldwide for her innovative interpretations of classic theatre. She is a perfectionist, content only with being the best. Performing to packed theatres live every night, the recordings syndicated globally – she is incomparable.

But her new live show, The Lady, is faltering, with empty seats and dwindling audiences marring each performance. The advent of 3D projection technology is changing the nature of theatre. Performance is evolving, as audiences flock to the CineTheatres. 

As every artist must, D’Silva must innovate, raise her standards, or lose her audience – to herself.

A story of doubles, the territory between progress and work that has endured for centuries, and the nature of live experience, Rab Ferguson’s The Dancer looks at how technology changes our art, and artists. In the age of the perfect simulation, what is an authentic experience?

Published December 2016.

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Rab Ferguson is a York based writer of fiction and poetry. He's been published in several journals including Litro Magazine, Storgy, Voice-In Journal, Under the Fable and The City Fox. He's also a performing storyteller, and has been known to wear a woollen cape. For more of his writing, check out


It is a story with purpose, and one which uses technology to reach a much deeper issue about the nature of artistic expression. It is human enough to be inviting, even to non-science fiction readers, and the essence of the story will resonate with readers long after they have put it down. 4½ / 5
Andromeda Spaceways Magazine

The Dancer is exactly what you want from speculative fiction, taking a current piece of technology (3D cinema) and a current trend (be it sport, theatre or cinema, people are staying home more) and extrapolating both to frightening conclusions. Ferguson sums it up beautifully
Shoreline of Infinity

This short is an episode of Black Mirror waiting to happen...a compelling and fascinating (not to mention frightening) story.
Raging Biblioholism

I consider The Dancer to be one of the absolute highlights of the year.
Rising Shadow

ePub ISBN: 978-1-907389-51-1
Publication date: 05 December 2016
Format: ePub and mobi