Chaired by Russell McLean
The idea behind James’s novel came from the international hysteria that is going on to do with global warming. It is meant to be a very closed and claustrophobic novel. The things we seem focused on are war, weather and the economy, what would happen if all three of these turned bad at the same time. James’s also writers a series of sci-fi books, they are classed as sci-fi as they have spaceships in them. People are willing to buy into a world to escape from their own.
The idea behind Samantha’s novel came from a solar storm that happened in 1859 and there was an alternative outcome. It has been classed as steampunk by some people but Samantha sees steampunk as modern technology going into the Victorian age and this novel is more Victorian age going into the modern world. Samantha built her world from the bottom up and this allowed a sense of consistency through out the novel.
Horror is used in a very interesting way in James’s book, it is more modern gothic horror than a classic horror novel. Horror should unsettle you. We live in a time in which we are not as obsessed with the body, we are more worried about the mind. If you could cure memories, it would make a difference to society as most of the time memories are just lies we tell ourselves.
There is a lot of slang present in Samantha’s book and through reading it you are meant to understand what is meant through the context of what is going on. However there is a glossary at the back of the book should you need it. Samantha created a system of clairvoyants for the novel and in this system she wanted them all to have believable limits. This was done through a lot of historical research focused on deviation. George Orwell and Margret Attwood were huge influences on Samantha’s work as both are classic dystopian.
The government do a convenient thing of forgetting thing but forgetting thing will not make the problem go away, it will actually make the problem worse. For James a good dystopia lives and dies on what we can believe ourselves. It has to be set in a real world that has a level of fantasy on top of it.