In the email exchange that we had when discussing this guest post, Marcie suggested that I might consider writing on the subject of “the best/worst thing about 25th Century Britain.”
I suspect she realised that just about my only reference source for this would be my own book, “Drayling” – so I agreed readily. Many thanks, Marcie!
Drayling is, in fact, the name of a small district in Southern 25th Century Britain, and it is typical of communities throughout the country at that time.
Its citizens revere the memory of Dunstan Heathfield, a 24th Century statesman who formed the Government of National Unity, and went on to show how, by non-violent, yet determined political means, peace could be achieved throughout the world.
Such a prize did not, of course, come without a price. Over a period of time, competitive sport, religion, currency and non-administrative travel and communication were all abolished and banned by law.
Controversial, certainly, but Heathfield – who also renamed the country “The British Friendly Federation” – succeeded in convincing the populace that such measures were “a necessary and small price to pay for global peace.”
Over a hundred years later, school children would quote, from memory, his most famous quotation:
“To be able to change the most vital pieces of the jig-saw, every piece of jig-saw must change to a greater or lesser extent. After all, the most important feature of every jig-saw is, and must always remain, the overall picture.”
And so it is that the citizens of the BFF live in harmony and contentment. Until, that is, the head of the national government dies unexpectedly. Suddenly, there is a significant shift in approach – so much so, that a small group of ordinary people conclude that they have no alternative but to take radical action to protect their way of life.
“Drayling” is their story.
I don’t want to spoil the read for those who have yet to pick it up, so I’ll simply say that it is a different kind of science fiction book – for the intelligent reader.
To quote from the back-cover synopsis, “Reality collides with fantasy and philosophy as they embark on a mission of suspense, danger, deceit and death – with far-reaching ramifications.”
“Drayling” lays bare the best and worst things about 25th Century Britain.
I really hope you’ll read it - and I really hope you’ll enjoy it.
And don’t forget to let Marcie know what you think on “To Read Or Not To Read”!
With best wishes,
Terry J. Newman
Twenty-fifth century Drayling, and Britain as a whole, has benefited greatly from advances in technology and medical science, and life in the Graves' household, and in those of their friends and colleagues, is secure, clear and very content. The desire and need for clarity, truth and order has motivated communities to live in harmony, abandoning any potentially controversial aspects or ways of life, including all religions, in favour of a modern civilised society that upholds order, simplicity, honesty, love and honour as its ideals. However, the death of the Premier brings a significant shift in approach - which forces a small group of ordinary people to conclude that they have no alternative but to take radical action to protect their way of life.
About the author:
Terry J. Newman lives with his wife, Linda, in Sussex, England. He is a member of English Heritage, The National Trust, Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters' Club and Mensa. Drayling is his first novel and is, in his own words, "more Futuristic Drama than Science Fiction. There aren't any little green men or spaceships, it all just happens to take place in the future. It's a different kind of Science Fiction book - for the intelligent reader."
As an aside, Newman has revealed that, woven into the book, are twenty six "allusions to my home county of Sussex". The most obvious example being the title, "Drayling", which is an anagram of "Ardingly" - the author's birthplace.