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News from the Squares cover

The Synopsis

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.

The Excerpt

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.

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The Reviews

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The Author

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.

The Rewards

This book is now published. You can still pledge, but you won't get listed as a supporter in the back.

£5
Digital

e-book edition and access to the author's shed

£15
Digital & Audio

Audiobook, e-book edition and access to the author's shed

£20
Hardback

1st edition cloth-bound hardback, ebook edition and access to the author's shed

£25
Hardback & Audiobook

Audiobook, 1st edition cloth-bound hardback, ebook edition and access to the author's shed

£40
Collectable

Signed & dedicated 1st edition cloth-bound hardback, audiobook, ebook edition and access to the author's shed

Sold out
£100
Party

2 invites to the launch party at somewhere futuristic (tbc), 1st edition cloth-bound hardback, audiobook, ebook edition and access to the author's shed

Sold out
£200
Future House

Everything up to & including the party level + two tickets for a tour with Robert of London’s most advanced contemporary houses. Venues tbc (lunch included)

Sold out
£300
Future People

Everything up to & including the party level + two tickets to lunch with Robert and three visionary women thinkers/entrepreneurs. Guests tbc. 20 places only.

Sold out
  • Format: Paper Back
  • ISBN: 978-1-78352-007-7
  • Published: 09/2013
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