This Christmas I started working on an idea and, in order to keep myself focused on adding to it regularly, I’m resolving to add a little more of it daily to the blog.
I’m a little obsessed with bleak and dystopian visions of the future; speculative science fiction and apocalyptic narratives. I love to wonder: how would people behave if they weren’t allowed to just get on with things? How deeply do people’s morals run? How much would it take to throw things into disorder? Who would rise out of the ashes, triumphant?
Over the past year or so I’ve become a little obsessed with reading to answer these questions. The following are the authors that have struck a chord and that I hope will feed into my writing style for this year’s big project: Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions (he makes it look so easy), Brave New World (the new generation being brainwashed to think that their elders are the strange ones), The Country Of The Blind, Blindness (how to take advantage of new weaknesses), The Walking Dead comics (not to mention the show) and The Day Of The Triffids (an elegant but claustrophobic setting).
Without giving too much away the two main conceits are as follows:
1. Immortality (of sorts) has been mastered: a person’s consciousness can be downloaded onto a USB and installed into a new body.
2. Overpopulation has reached such an untenable state that, in the interests of fairness, body sharing has been introduced. 10 years prior to the story’s beginning, all children at the age of 10 have been ‘means tested’ and assigned body shares. Bodies are shared in threes and each person experiences every third day.
Tomorrow: the 10 rules for harmonious living in a body share.