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Published
Publication date: October 2014
112% funded
715 backers
Cover of News from the Squares

The brilliant sequel to News from Gardenia

PLEASE NOTE: News From the Squares is now in production so your name can not be listed in the back of the book. However, you can pre-order a copy of the special Unbound Limited edition that will not be available in the shops.

In my last book, News from Gardenia, Gavin Meckler slips through a split in time and arrives two hundred years into the future. He discovers a world much changed from our own, a world with no money, no laws, armies or wars, no recognizable traditions or family structures and where nothing is burned to make anything else. At the end of the book he tries to return home to his own time, but something is amiss.

In News from the Squares, I am trying to create a very different world, another possible outcome for the human race that doesn’t require the total breakdown of society and a return to pre-medieval violence and disorder.

Gavin soon understands that he has travelled sideways through time to another possible future, as unlike Gardenia as our own era.

He arrives in the midst of a teeming mega city, a London that covers almost the entire landmass of what we currently know as the United Kingdom.

He soon discovers that this city exhibits a few other major changes in the way the human race lives and organizes the population. Once again it is a completely sustainable and highly technologically developed society, structured around a seemingly endless series of squares. In the center of each square there are huge fields dense with lush vegetation and trees.

Much of this environment is recognizable to Gavin, people still live in buildings, work, eat, sleep, get married, some have children, they vote in elections, use money and usually die of old age. The big difference is who administrates of this vast urban landscape.

The governing bodies, security services, medical establishments, companies, legal profession and scientists are all women.

Women make up the majority of the global population and run the majority of institutions, including the vast and slightly mysterious Institute of Mental Health where Gavin is required to live.

His arrival in this fabulously interconnected society causes something of a stir, ‘the man who came from the cloud’ is an instant minor celebrity, not something Gavin had ever experienced before.

He has also never experienced living in a world where women make virtually every decision affecting his life, where the men are more emotionally connected than he knew possible and where, for the first time in his life, he starts to understand that he’s an emotional being himself.

If women work and run the city while men look after the home and children, both out of choice rather than coercion, what would happen? How would children develop? Would society be more gentle, would sustainable systems be allowed to develop, would the profit motive be at the bottom of the contract rather than above the title?

These are all areas I want to explore in News from the Squares.

I've always been torn about my true role in life.

I always wanted to be a writer, and have written from a very young age. The first puppet show for which I wrote the script was presented when I was 9 years old. It even had some jokes in it. The kind children watching the show laughed, a bit.

Since then I've written stories, books, plays, sketches, and stand up comedy routines. I started writing for other performers in the late 1970’s and eventually ended up on stage in one of my own sketches in 1981. My life was transformed at that moment.

If the audience hadn’t laughed that night, I would never have ventured on a stage again.

I then helped create 'The Joeys', a four man musical comedy act who toured from 1981 to 1985. After dabbling in stand up comedy and writing for TV, I wrote a stage play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 1988. I really wanted to write a play and watch from the back of the theatre taking notes on the actors performance, but somehow I always ended up on stage.

My performance in this Perrier nominated two hander comedy romp lead to a role in Red Dwarf playing the much put upon mechanoid Kryten. I've been intermittently covered in rubber since 1989.

In 1994 I published my first novel, The Man on Platform 5.

Since then I've published 12 books, the most recent being News from Gardenia which was launched on Unbound.

I still occasionally appear on TV presenting such shows as Scrapheap Challenge, How Do They Do It and the recently re-launched Red Dwarf. I also produce two rather popular video podcasts, Carpool and Fully Charged.

I'm married to another writer, Judy Pascoe, and we have two teenage children, two dogs and a gaggle of chickens.

Finding myself sitting behind a brightly lit table in front of literally hundreds of people was fairly taxing. I had appeared on panels back in my own era, most commonly public meetings about various large engineering projects but I was usually there as a representative of a mining company and not the focus of attention.

Read more...

News from the Clouds

Thursday, 22 May 2014

As supporters of the 2nd book in the News from trilogy, I thought it only fair to give a taste of the final book, News from the Clouds.

As most of you will know, the story of Gavin Meckler's journey into the future ended rather abruptly in News from Gardenia, the story is then continued in News from the Squares and it is all tied up and explained in the final book.

At the end of News from the…

Designs for new covers

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Cover designs

I would love to hear what you think of the new cover designs for books 1 and 2 of the News from... trilogy.

The cover for News from Gardenia is approved, this is for the new paperback.

The lettering on the News from the Squares is just a rough to get an idea, obviously when it's completed the text will be aligned so it's the same on both books.

The spines, so many people have asked about…

Notes

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Manuscript

I have just sent back the manuscript to my wonderful editor, Rachael Kerr at Unbound. She did an amazing job, spotting pathetic errors, ridiculous repeat phrases in one sentence... "I was kind of sad, but it kind of made sense as I kind of walked down the kind of corridor....'

For goodness sake, how could I do that! Shocking.

Anyway, I'm really pleased with the result, it's now a question of…

First Draft Complete

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

As of a few days ago, I have the first Draft of News From The Squares.110,943 words on 406 pages of A4. (Only in digital form, I haven't printed it out.)

I am now reading and recording each chapter, this is just for me, not the audio book. This allows me to focus on one chapter at a time and make the many revisions necessary. As I read out the manuscript there are numerous pauses as I stumble over…

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