In News from Gardenia Gavin Meckler, the nerdy hero of the News Trilogy leaves the world of 2011 and arrives in a far more benign version of a possible future in the garden lands of 2211. He finally escapes this world only to travel sideways in time and end up in another possible future, as depicted in News from the Squares, a world run by women. He is aided by a friendly group of men to once again try to get back to his own time, but slips sideways and arrives in another possible future.
In News from the Clouds, the third and final book of Gavin’s adventures, he experiences first hand a far more challenging environment than he has ever experienced.
Gavin is faced with a planet that is ravaged by storms, seared by winds and scorched by an unforgiving sun. While the driving force behind the News Trilogy has always been to try and imagine a world where things are better than the present day, it is becoming every more apparent that our current activities are going to bring about long-term changes for our descendants.
Gavin is not faced with megacities or garden states - more with gouged earth and people living on the edge. But they are living, adapting; they are coping with all the extremes the ravaged planet is throwing at them. When he emerges from the mysterious cloud that shifts him through time, he doesn’t land on the ground: he is landed by baffling technology onto a floating city - a cloud city.
This is a world where the human race has two options: to live and work in enormous protected culverts that are reinforced to withstand the ravages of the weather, or float above the torment in delicate, lighter-than-air structures moving with the wind.
He soon learns this is not an ‘us and them’ arrangement where the downtrodden are forced to struggle on the surface while the minority elite float above them in abject luxury, it is a highly organised social system where everyone experiences both lives.
The technology of the Cloud people is far more advanced than in either of the other two stories and it becomes clear to Gavin that not only do they understand how he ended up slipping through time, but they also understand how to help him get back home.
Will he finally be able to return to Kingham in 2011? Will the world he left still be there? Will he be able to maintain his marriage to Beth, and continue his work as a mining engineer?
All these questions and many more will be faced as the final book is created.
Waking up in Gardenia was, looking back on it, no big deal. On that occasion I awoke in an actual bed in an actual room made of stone and wood and some kind of carbon nanofibre insulation. But the room had walls, a floor, a delightfully carved wooden ceiling, doors, windows, and most importantly it was on the ground.
Waking up in the Institute in London was, admittedly, a bit weird but I was still in a room with straight walls in a building in a city. A city that was also connected to the ground.
Waking up on Cloud Nine was a bit more of a challenge.
I was ensconced in a white supportive bench made of an unknown but possibly intelligent material that was in turn encased in a circular, semi-spherical white room with a round window looking out onto totally static clouds. When I say static, I mean they weren't moving across my limited field of vision, I stared for a long time and they didn’t budge a millimeter. It was like looking at a well-lit, still image of clouds.
I was alone in this slightly chilly space. I didn't suddenly jump up and run around in a panic, I stayed still simply because I didn't know what to do. I mentally re-traced my steps as I tried to get a grip on the situation I found myself in.
I have been a very bad Unbound Author, not posting things in my shed. I am experiencing guilt.
I am trying to rectify the situation now.
The cover looks gorgeous doesn't it. I was so thrilled when I saw the first drafts. Brilliant design.
But what about what's inside the cover?
Due to the fact that many people have already received thier copies it's also very rewarding to hear their responses…
I admit it's been very quiet in the News from the Clouds universe, but behind the scenes there's been much activity.
I've finished recording the audio version, we've combed through the manuscript many times, spelling, grammar and 'who the hell is Jim?' questions have been answered. I have no idea who Jim was, for some baffling reason one character who'd never been called Jim was suddenly Jim on…
A short explanation of the mild insanity that can be induced when you sit in a small sound booth recording an audiobook.
This is a very short outtake from the News from the Clouds audiobook.
It doesn't reveal any spoilers.
News from the Clouds has reached 102% as I write this.
I cannot express my gratitude enough for the trust and support I've had from everyone who's pledged.
I have just completed the first draft of News from the Clouds.
That really doesn't mean the book is finished, I know I will re-write it after the wonderful Rachael Kerr (my editor) has been through the manuscript with her red pen, but it is an enormous relief to have got this far.
To give you a taste, I have posted a chapter below, spelling and grammatical mistakes abound no doubt, but I think…
I am now over half way through writing 'News from the Clouds' and I want to share a chapter with you.
I'm really enjoying the process of bashing this book into shape but of course it's a slog.
I keep going back and changing things, rewriting chapters and throwing stuff out but I'm getting there.
News from the Clouds tells the story of how the human race survives the…
These people are helping to fund News from the Clouds.