Chaired by Jamie Jauncey
The books by both authors are created in a world that we don’t live in and there has been some big change to the world order in order for these worlds to exist.
Jamie invited both authors to explain the world they had created for their novels.
Susan explained that her book was set in a world where the human species have sleepwalked into cyber technology, there is no past, no present and no future. The book is ultimately a play on the 2020 concept. No aspect of the book defies physics, this make the book more real and the technological advances in the book could in fact come true. This is even more true with the upcoming release of Google Glass (glasses with a device in the top right corner, that you can record your thought on and will know exactly where you are). By not defying any physics this book comes to a natural conclusion that could in fact be the future world that we will live in.
Gemma started with the idea of utopia and the idea that perfection does not exist. Being a fiction writer you can create this idea of a world were utopia exists and make it work. However evil is a tempting thought to the human species and when we are faced with group dynamics, people that would not usually participate in so called evil activities are usually the first to volunteer.
The discussion then moved on the manipulation of the media which is present in one form or another in both books.
Gemma stated it is not Artificial Intelligence she is worried about but the amount of information people give out about themselves. In the age we are living in our life is ultimately on show, we have become our own Big Brother and are saying to the public please judge us. This is extremely event on Instagram, where people posts pictures of their outfits or the food they are eating. Gemma explained how ultimately she wanted to explore the people who have access to this information. How much do we know of the world, which is not presented to us? We trust that the what the news is telling us is correct. What is perception? What is reality
Susan’s book focuses more on the idea of the cyber world offering us a different reality. By using Instagram we are basically going back to our 3 year old self and saying ‘look at me’. People live so much in the eyes of others that they don’t have friends, they have an audience to who they perform for and through this performance we don’t process what is actually going on in our lives.
Conversation then moved on to the characters present in Gemma’s book, she explained how she always wants to put barriers between what her characters’ want as she never wants the reader to know exactly where things are going to go. Life is not black and white, as a teenager your world expands and you find yourself living with very little constraints and as you reach adulthood these constraints are reintroduced and present for the rest of your life.
Talk then moved on the box scene present within Susan’s book. I don’t want to go into to much detail about this scene as it could spoil the book for people who have not read it. Susan explained that the box ultimately symbolises the human species worst fear which is us finding our self in a solitary situation that goes on forever. If people are in a box and don’t communicate with anyone, do they ultimately exist? Goes back to the philosophical thought of If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
An audience member brought up a brilliant thought, the books you have written are ultimately for us, the reader, we are not brought up in that society and can clearly see it is not a good place to live in. As a reader I see the rebellion of the characters as gutless as the world can not be argued for.
Gemma explained how this thought frustrates her as well and she goes to great length within her books to work out the exact path to which the generations evolve into the world that her novel is set in. It is important to make this logical and explain to the reader, in so many words, how it became standard to get to the world they live in.
With that final thought an interesting session was brought to a close.