Monday, 27 May 2013
Anger, The Final Push and Shameless Happy Endings.
You probably guessed that already, right?
What you might not have guessed is that Custodian has a shamelessly happy ending which, for a post-apocalyptic novel, might not be to everyone's taste. And I don't really care if that offends you or not. I don't spend three years researching and two years writing these books to get your approval.
Custodian was finished on the 21st of April 2012 i.e. one year ago I could have happily passed it on to my literary agent who'd have auctioned it off to his three-choice publishers, the victor would have assigned it an editor and a marketing slot and they'd have changed everything (including my home-made Fields of Rape cover) so that everybody was happier with it.
I'm saying, "It's a flawed novel," but aren't they all? I was particularly annoyed that I would need to write a second book Liberator (which I'm a couple of chapters into) to explain what happens after mankind finds the other half of his DNA. I did come up with 'substantiation' for Asalah's chapter-one claim of ninety billion souls. I did take the reader through the intergalactic reason for it. But I wasn't totally happy with the aftermath. Remember, I'm an angry boy. Not really yet matured. Yet to grow up.
I remember thinking, for the last year, "What would happen if Custodian (Free Planet as it was named then) never came out, never found a publisher, never found shelf space?" And I never came up with an answer. I had this sinking feeling, for the last year, this simple understanding that 'my' free planet, as outlined in this fictional Devil's Advocate excuse for 'entertainment' will never probably come about. Creativity, Passion and Kinship will have no impact on the human condition. Do Right By (free planet) will not be a guiding principle - we will never leave it better than we found it. There are too many problems with the whole Free Planet concept. Not least the seven billion people who'd be needed for such an endeavour to nullify all the forces that would rise up against such an ANTI-PROFIT movement. Custodians would literally be slaughtered on the streets, as foreigners all over the world are being slaughtered in the streets.
People like you, people like me, people you know. Corporate armies and insane inbred educational philosophies of 'how the world should be' are crushing screaming baby skulls under their boot. And nobody gives a fuck. As long as it doesn't intrude upon their cosy life they've tacitly thrown away all freedom for. Call it democracy, call it religion, call it dividend. As long as the 'status quo' isn't disturbed. Where is the energy to combat or rectify or alter one iota of that? I suspect that after maybe a decade or more of Total Global Surveillance and corporate fascism in the name of PAY, PAY, PAY mankind will start to look for an alternative to the petro-dollar, the water-dollar, the grain-dollar. By then it might not be too late, but Custodian sprouts from a time when mankind is totally embedded in the Consumerist Way. He is lost in it. He needs a radical solution, a clever get-out clause to have any hope of escape.
There is light at the end of the 'free planet' tunnel, there really is a shameless happy ending at the end of the book. But like all systems of neo-liberty there's a big flaw, a potential spanner in the works, You The People. The freedom (or continued slavery-for-profit) of mankind depends on you. You're the only one who can save Free Planet.