When I first wrote and published Ellen’s Tale I wrote a story I believed in. Climate change, sustainability, the break down of law and social order. I imagined how the loss of society would impinge on mankind’s morality and lives. It was speculative of course but I was basing it on decades of world watching as well as people watching. I didn’t project anything into this future world that I didn’t think was a possibility.
I had been worrying about the world since at least the 1970s but very few of my friends had the same concerns. The climate to discuss it now has improved yet there is, I sense, still resistance to what the consequences for diminishing natural resources could be.
So I sent Ellen on her way and the next two volumes suspecting that any readers would dismiss it all as a little far fetched.
I have heard from people who know me and care for me that it made them think. What more could I ask for, nothing, but they cared about me so did it count. Oh the insecurities of the writer.
When I was invited to come and talk with a reading group who had recently finished Ellen’s Tale my first instinct was to refuse. Politely of course but still a definite no. I have difficulty talking to people, especially strangers. Brilliant words, sentences formed and ordered in my mind somehow loose their way through the tangled synapses between grey cells to mouth and vocality. I can offend without knowing, sometimes indeed those ordered words don’t even make it to mouth. No public speaking is not a good idea.
I was persuaded by two facts, I knew two of the people in the group, not well but known. Also it was not going to be a talk but a normal discussion of a book, as in reading groups.
I belong to two reading groups.
I could do that
I did that.
I enjoyed it so much . The ladies all understood what the book was about. They didn’t necessarily like the future I imagined, but could see how it might happen. It was helped by the news of the three parent child that hit our headlines the same week. My genetic manipulations in the story made scary sense to them. I could point to the science my speculations had built on, the advances already in the wings awaiting the legality just granted British scientists, with the mitachrondria trials. Could show examples of the step by step advancement into the scary future. Allowed by the public because the steps seemed to offer so much.
We can so we do. Is the statement
One day, maybe
We can but should we? Will be the question
Ellen had done a good job with a dozen readers in that group, they want to read more. Maybe I now believe not all my friends were being kind, maybe I should believe them when they say they enjoyed the books.
Since the talk I have been struggling with some kind of virus so haven’t done so much as usual.
However, I managed
and for those looking for the ROW80 update