Thursday, November 17, 2016
Thinking about the Future
Next year in March my book An Uncertain Grace will be out in the world.
Time is like a ball of wool all bundled up into a tight dense hot sphere at the beginning of things. Then the big bang and all matter expands and time expands with it. Knowing this, I know that An Uncertain Grace has been published since the big bang. It has always been bundled up with all the other things that happen and will happen in this universe. My birth is there too and along with my birth my death. My good reviews, my bad reviews, the readers who love my work, the readers who hate it.
An Uncertain Grace is about the future. The future exists alongside the present and the past. It is just a location. The only thing that marks its direction is the second law of thermal dynamics, entropy.
I may have all of this wrong. But I don't thinks so. I have been struggling to get it clear in my head and I think I have a handle on it now.
An Uncertain Grace is not about the future but it pretends to be about the future. It is not a prediction, it is an extrapolation. For all I know the world will end before last next year. Trump might push the button on his little nuclear briefcase and start something that no one can stop. Whatever will be is there near us locating the world in that slice of time but I can't access it and as far as I know you can't access it either. All I know is that nothing in my book will actually happen because Liv, my protagonist doesn't exist. Liv is a part of my present moment. She is a bit of my brain as it exists now. Everything that happens to her is about me and here and now. It is a product of all the research I have done about sex. It is a culmination of all my study and reading and thinking.
I have tried to engage with some of the subjects I have been too scared to tackle in the past. It is a novel but it is also an exploration of ethics and sexuality.
Can people change? If a man is abusive in relationships can he learn about himself and change his ways by engaging sexually with himself in virtual reality?
If a pedophile is taken back to the moment he was abused as a child can he be cured of his damaging obsession with adolescents?
If we create an artificial intelligence that learns and grows as a human does are they more human than a machine? And when will they begin to fear their own death?
What if we could live between genders? Not male and not female. How would that genderless state be?
Can our consciousness exist without a body? Is there a way to keep our memories and personality alive beyond death?
These questions are things that have occurred to me. They are questions that I want to explore now. In the future I may have different obsessions that relate to things that have not yet happened to me. My exploration of the future is more about me, here in the present moment. By the time the book is published it will be about me in the past. I will have moved on. I have moved on. The world will have moved on.
Some of the things in my book are already being explored in the here and now. Perhaps they will happen before the time-line of the book. Our advancements in technology are beginning to outstrip my imagination. Perhaps we will discover other dimensions, the properties of dark matter, a way to see all of time all at once. If this is the case my book will look like a historical artefact before the fictional timeline which stretches 130 years into the future.
But for now I still want answers to these questions and so I have put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and I have begun to let my mind stretch conservatively into the future. I hope that a reader wants to see where this musing has taken me.
Find out more about the book or pre-order it HERE