We are thrilled to announce that Mike French, the owner and senior editor of prestigious literary magazine, The View From Here, has signed a publishing deal with Elsewhen Press for his latest novel Blue Friday. Dystopian science fiction, it tells 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. Combining dark humour with a vision of the future that is almost an inverse of the classic dystopian nightmare of 1984, Mike’s latest novel follows in the tradition of great Speculative Fiction satirists such as Jonathan Swift.
In Blue Friday, overtime for married couples is banned, there is enforced viewing of family television (much of it repeats of old shows from the sixties and seventies), monitored family meal-times and a coming of age where twenty-five year-olds are automatically assigned a spouse by the state computer if they have failed to marry. Only the Overtime Underground network resists.
Al Murray, Managing Publisher of Elsewhen Press said “Mike’s novel is thoughtful, while at the same time prompting a wry smile in the reader. It reverses the usual dystopian vision of a future regime driven by productivity and industrial output at the expense of family, demonstrating that the converse may be no better.”
Mike’s novel Blue Friday will be published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in the Summer and in paperback in the Autumn.
I had the second half of my driving test last night, and I passed with flying colours. I suppose that isn’t much of a surprise, really. On the other hand, for the hours leading up to the test I was horribly nervous.
The theory test was in the morning, and I was fine with that since it was literally just regurgitating the rules and laws of the roads and skies; rather easy with perfect memory retention. Continue reading “Diary of a Neobody – May 8th, 2112”
This month’s postcard from the future comes from a genetic nurse working in the Social Engineering Department of the World Family Commission…
They tell me I should enter this competition, because they’re going to select the best postcards from a whole cross-section of people in society and send those cards back in time through that new machine they’ve been building. And that makes me think: what should I warn the folks in the past about to try to stop them making mistakes? But that makes my head hurt, because without those mistakes we wouldn’t be here… but resumably bigger brains than me have looked into that conundrum and put it to bed. Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #3”
I had my last driving lesson last night.
I decided, in the end, to learn by doing, not by downloading; neither I nor Grace could decide if downloading would be hypocritical, but we eventually agreed that actually being taught would be the better way forward. The main reason, one I’d not actually considered before, was that in being taught I’d have a chance to experience the assorted emotions of driving and, more importantly, I’d have the teacher there with me to help me cope with them. Continue reading “Diary of a Neobody – May 1st, 2112”
The conference was a complete success. We managed to pick up four clients looking to us to mediate between them and space-based industries, with interest from at least seven others. As such, the office has been rather busy lately. It’s still a relatively new area for us, so everyone’s still learning some of the little details. Continue reading “Diary of a Neobody – April 24th, 2112”
I’ve been… how did Joseph describe it? ‘Out of the loop’ for the last couple of days. Ms Erikson, Joseph, and Mr Harris (who has now demanded I call him ‘Daniel’) were all supposed to be going to a conference on Earth/space -based company relations. Ms Erikson fell ill on Sunday though, and I was brought on board at the last minute. Continue reading “Diary of a Neobody – April 18th, 2112”
Seregil of Rhiminee, on the Risingshadow website, has written a thorough review of The Lost Men by David A. Colón in which he praises both the quality of David’s writing style and the depth of the story. He says that “The author’s descriptive style made [the characters’] problems and feelings come to life.” David’s debut novel is almost an archetype of slipstream fiction, telling a story of love and Fate in a near-future but post-apocalyptic world with few remaining human inhabitants. Touching on the fact that David’s story is both a perfect example of speculative fiction and at the same time a philosophical literary novel, Seregil says “…everything was in balance in this novel, because the author had found a nice way to combine science fiction and literary fiction – the result is an enjoyable and thought-provoking reading experience.” You can read the whole of the review on the Risingshadow website here.
You can buy The Lost Men on Kindle here (US) and here (UK) and soon on the iBookstore and Kobobooks too. It will be available in paperback later in the year. One final quote from Seregil: “It’s a fascinating and sophisticatedly written debut novel, which can be recommended to everybody who likes beautifully written stories.” Thanks Seregil.
On the Risingshadow website, Seregil of Rhiminee has written a very complimentary review of our anthology of New Speculative Fiction, [Re]Awakenings. As far as we know, Seregil is our first Finnish reader. But don’t worry, the review is available to read in English here! My favourite line from his review is at the end: “If you enjoy reading well written and fascinating stories, this anthology won’t disappoint you.” Thanks Seregil 😉
I very nearly missed my entry today. After the trip with everyone yesterday, I’ve been somewhat…distracted.
The activity centre was more impressive that I expected, to be honest. It was almost a geodome like the ones in the US, just on a much smaller scale. The entire place, barring the entrance and reception buildings, was underground. It was like descending into some kind of strange grotto devoted to team-building exercises. The whole area was made up of pseudo-woodland, with dirt paths leading between the different activities. I hesitate to call them ‘games’, but that’s what a lot of them were, really; we certainly weren’t taking any of it seriously. Continue reading “Diary of a Neobody – April 9th, 2112”
In the year 2210, on the brink of a time-travel breakthrough, an anonymous international competition is held to find the most appropriate and entertaining postcard messages that should be sent back in time to the year 2013. Anyone can take part. The winners are surprising…
In the brave new world of the future, not everyone gets to partake of perfection. I am what in your time was called a tramp, a misfit. Here and now they call me a Maladjustnik, a word that of course you will not know. But I think you will understand the condition all too well, if this message ever reaches you. Continue reading “Postcards From The Future #2”