March 18, 2020

Sounding like Sunday

“When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids.

It’s been a funny few years to be a science-fiction author. From the Trump election, to Brexit, to the activism of Extinction Rebellion and of Greta Thundberg to raise awareness of climate change, I often feel I’m living in a science fiction story. And to be completely truthful it does make them harder to write. Science fiction is supposed to look at the events of today through the lens of the future. How can one do that when the events of today as incomprehensible and full of fear about what the future will look like?

I always did enjoy a bit of apocalyptic fiction, if that’s what you’re in the mood for right now you’ll find my recommended titles elsewhere on my website. I’m not in the mood for it right now myself but I can’t help thinking about it anyway. As I walked to work yesterday I thought at once about the opening lines of Day of the Triffids. Yesterday was a Tuesday (as my facebook friends quickly pointed out) but the eerie weirdness of almost no cars on the roads, almost no people walking on the pavements and almost no planes in the sky meant that I understood at once what the narrator of Triffids was talking about.

Today I am working from home. Actually today is technically a writing day but I’m using it to do some re-framing and thinking about what is next. When I’m scared or sad one thing that can help is to try to do something nice for other people so I’m writing a list of hopefully helpful tips about working from home which I’ll share shortly. My team are now remote workers and there will be lots of other people starting to do the same.

I will get back to the writing, I hope. The world needs creative arts, especially in troublesome times. But right now I’m focused on practicalities. Because it isn’t Sunday. It’s the middle of the week and we have work to do.

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