Begin at the beginning

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

If you’ve come this far you will be aware of the fact that I have written a book, and that I will be spending the next three months or so hounding you for pledges and shares. I’m thrilled that Unbound have taken it on, as the principle of crowdfunding sits perfectly with the underlying message of RESET, and I’m grateful for them taking a chance on what is a bit of an out-there format.

The kernel of the idea for RESET came to me in late 2014, originally as a dystopian tale told in an innovative way. Then I wondered if the world really needed more everything-is-terrible-and-only-getting-worse fiction, and came to the conclusion that it was doing quite alright thank you. This lead to more thinking about what the world actually needs more of, and the two things that stood out were balance, and hope. Rather than abandon the dystopian aspect entirely, I split the narrative into two contrasting tales and RESET was born.

I then set about telling everyone who would listen about the cool book I was writing and how great it was going to be. Eventually, people started asking how much I’d written if it was so brilliant, and the only response I had was vague mumblings. So I started actually writing it. I thought about the most ridiculous, outlandish things that a political leader could say and the most abhorrent policies that a government could enact, and I worked them all into my first draft. They included: massive border walls, a leader calling people opposing him “terrorist sympathisers”, enhanced surveillance of the general public’s private communications, a country leaving a union of nations, and a huge rise in nationalist sentiments and outright, unchecked racism.

As I cobbled together the first 5000 words and copious pages of notes that would go on to form the bulk of the first draft, ideas from my book that I had thought ridiculous enough to remain within my fictional world began to come to pass. By the time I’d completed a very rough 52,000-word draft and sent it to Unbound in August, events had morphed the whole project from a fictional account of events on an earth-like planet, into topical satire.

The upside to this is that, as well as showing how quickly and easily the people of Thera slipped into a dystopian nightmare, RESET has a counter-narrative that shows how different things could be. In that narrative, the forces of oppression are fought against, the racists are confronted time and again, and the people of Thera come together to make a better world. There is no Kumbaya, no flowers in guns, no “let’s just love each other, man”. It is a real visualisation of what could happen if the folk of Thera were motivated by something better than fear, to make their planet work for the many rather than the few. Once the book is fully funded, I will be launching a forum where people can discuss the ideas presented in RESET and share their own suggestions as to whether any of those ideas could make their way to the real world. Please join me on this adventure and pledge and share the page! Thanks!


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