Search This Blog

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Writing - history doesn't stand still

One of my unpublished manuscripts (98,000 words) is a dark sci-fi novel set in the near future, Time With A Gift of Tears.

It's 2033 AD. Tim Farman (aged 39), a successful historical novelist, uses a secret time-traveling laptop (TTM -- Type Temporal Machine) to transport him to past ages for research purposes. At the opening of the book, he’s visiting Roman Vindolanda (360AD) to discover psychological warfare training, and then goes on to King Arthur's Dark Ages Cadbury (519AD) where he saves Guinevere's life. During these time-excursions, he barely escapes with his life, so he decides on one more time, the near past, to Britain in 2020, at the outbreak of the Race Revolt...

As can be guessed, when this was first written, 2020 was a lot further in the future than it is now! 

The danger of writing near-future sci-fi is that time will catch up. Here, for amusement, is the timeline, showing the novels that Tim has written, plus other events:
20,005             Day of the Mammoth Time-jump
2053                            Gilgamesh of Uruk’s Amulet Time-jump
510                               Night of the Druids Time-jump
327                  Murderous Macedonian Time-jump
33                                  Golgotha Witness Time-jump
360                               Vindolanda – The Border Spy Time-jump
519                  Cadbury  A Geordie in Guinevere’s Bed Time-jump
1495                Vengeance from Vilcabamba Time-jump
1561                            Elizabethan Charade Time-jump – first ‘horse riding’
1752                The Lost Eleven Days Time-jump
1888                            The Victorian Cad Time-jump
1994                            Timothy Farman born
2000                Tim’s first test Time-jump – no book resulted
2009                12th Terror Scare;
2011                UK nationwide riots
2014                Northwest Explosion (Sellafield terrorist attack)
2014                           African exodus; Iraqi exodus; racial uprisings in UK; all British police armed
2015                          Solent Islamic Fundamentalist nuclear blast; legalising heroin; Lawless August; Zimbabwe escapees
2016               Limited War; Britain expelled from Commonwealth
2017               Politically Correct Legislation; Typhoid epidemic; 13th Terror Scare; 
PC Legislation revoked; Zimbabwe settlement
2018                Sellafield Accident
2019                           Puritan ethics sweep through UK; Asian Flu computer virus; Sexual Rebound to Puritan ethics
2020                           Race Revolt
Diary of a Time-traveller in the Race Revolt Time-jump
2023                Common Sense return to norm after Sexual Rebound
2025                Compromise Peace; Race Revolt ended
2030                First test Time-jump to 2000
2033                           Time-jump to 2020 (Age 39).

I'd been planning to rewrite the book anyway, but I suspect now I may need to take account of the two referendum campaigns that have riven the British Isles recently!  Proof, if it were needed, that history doesn't stand still!


Neil Waring said...

I am old enough to have lived through most of history, well not quite. Nice post, interesting story concept

Nik Morton said...

Thanks for the feedback, as ever, Neil. Who's to say we haven't been reincarnated and lived through those eras listed in the timeline?