I think I’ve more or less finished work for Christmas now: I may do a bit tomorrow but then that’ll be it. So this week I’ve sent off a couple of stories to a magazine, and it occurred to me that they were in some way linked, as if they belonged to the same universe. The worlds they inhabit are in a future about fifty years ahead – maybe a little more – and like most futuristic writing they take an aspect of modern culture, magnify it and project it forwards a number of years.
The first story concerns a Queue. At first it’s not clear why the man is standing in the queue, but it slowly emerges that for those who have no work (which is most of the population) the Queue is the only game in town. They are queueing for a talent show and the chance to win millions. Life revolves around servicing the queue; those not actually in it are engaged in serving food and drink and running errands for those who are queueing. The challenge with this story was to make something essentially monotonous seem interesting.
The second story was originally a chapter of a novel – a novel which I’ve unearthed and intend re-writing next year. Again, it’s set between fifty and a hundred years into the future at a time when thoughts can be extracted from the mind and stored either on computers or in Museums where they resemble art forms. The study of thought is very dangerous as most people don’t understand the risk of Assimilation – becoming sucked into the Thought and losing your own identity. All this is of course symbolic, and it turns out at the end that the narrator is in a mental hospital: even so it’s left open as to how much of this is real and how much is delusion.
So that’s that. And time to wrap up, I think. Take care my dears and have a wonderful Christmas. See you on the other side!
Oh, and I am utterly chuffed that Andy Murray won BBC Sports Personality of the Year and almost equally chuffed that Tyson Fury got nowhere.