While others promote programmes to support work-life balance, author Mike French warns in his book, Blue Friday, of the dire consequences of allowing state intervention to protect family time
While many organisations are using this week, National Work-Life Week 2012 in the UK, to promote various programmes and agendas encouraging work-life rebalancing, author Mike French is warning of the potential dangers of extreme state intervention in enforcing the work-life balance and family-friendly employment laws, in his recently published book Blue Friday.
Dystopian satire, Blue Friday warns of a future where many live in fear of the Family Protection Agency, a special police division enforcing the strict legislation that has been introduced to protect the family unit. By 2034, in Britain, overtime for married couples is banned, there is enforced viewing of family television (much of it repeats of old shows from the nineteen-sixties and -seventies), monitored family meal-times and a coming of age where any unmarried twenty-five year-olds are automatically assigned a compulsory spouse by the state computer. Only the Overtime Underground network resists.
Combining dark humour with a vision of the future that inverts the classic dystopian nightmare, this latest novel from Mike French tackles important and timely social issues, following in the tradition of great Speculative Fiction satirists such as Jonathan Swift. Thoughtful, yet prompting a wry smile in the reader, it reverses the usual perception of a future regime driven by productivity and industrial output at the expense of family, demonstrating that the converse may be no better. Especially pertinent this week as the benefits of balancing work and life go largely unchallenged.
In her review, Magdalena Ball says “this clever, beautifully written story takes the notion of ‘family friendly working hours’ and work-life balance and follows the idea to a terrifying conclusion.”
Juxtabook said “Great satire on the modern obsession with a work/life balance”
Blue Friday is Mike French’s second novel. It was published in digital format (ePub, Kindle, Kobo, Apple iBook) on 1 September 2012, and will be published in a print edition on 10 November – with a launch party at Novacon 42 in Nottingham UK
A book trailer for Blue Friday can be found at http://bit.ly/BlueFridayTrailer
More information about the book can be found at http://bit.ly/Blue_Friday