Saturday, 29 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - Y is for Your Lordship

Welcome to Day 25 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's Y for Your Lordship.


“Just... gone?” said Lord Histender, the protruding veins on his forehead seeming to provide a physical map of his anger. “How is that possible? What about their tracking chips?”

“There’s no trace of them, Your Lordship,” said Dontible, legs apart and hands behind his back, focusing on his usual spot on the wall behind Histender’s head, his expression unreadable. “Gone completely offline.”

“That has never happened, Dontible.” Histender’s voice was so quiet as to be almost inaudible. “You must be aware that, realistically, there is only one thing this can mean. And it is disaster for this government.” He rested his fists on the desk, clenching them so tightly that the knuckles were the same colour as nearly everything else in the room – and in the country.


Dontible nodded. “Yes, Your Lordship.” There was no need for either of them to say it.

Friday, 28 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - X is for eXaminer Tharl

Welcome to Day 24 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's X for eXaminer Tharl. Okay, I stretched things a little.


Examiner Tharl’s services hadn’t been called upon for a long time. He was kept on as a retainer by the government, and his job was to re-educate people so that they saw things more clearly.

His last case had been a while ago. People tended to accept the status quo, especially after a select few had not returned from the Centre. But this boy… he was stubborn, Tharl had to give him that. He constantly countered Tharl’s officially sanctioned version of events with the things he claimed to have seen. What did he have to gain from it? To help someone out who should have meant nothing to him?


Tharl cracked his knuckles and checked the time on his pad. Almost time for Round 4.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - W is for Wellesbury

Welcome to Day 23 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's W for Wellesbury.


Wellesbury Noon. Ordinary name, ordinary kid. Well, maybe not that ordinary. He was captain of the school gravball team after all. But he’d be the last one to make a big deal about it. No, he just got on with it like everyone else – doing his studies (everyone was guaranteed a pass in the exams, but doing extra bits of work gave you bonus points that helped you later), sitting and eating his synthesised dinner with his parents while they discussed their day (which was invariably the same), going to practice and goofing off with the guys…

All very well, and he didn’t have any complaints about his life. So why did he have the feeling there was something more, something he was missing?

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - V is for Vapourise

Welcome to Day 22 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's V for Vapourise.


In Harmonia, things were neat and tidy to a fault, which was helped by several key scientific breakthroughs. One of those of which the people were most proud was the vapourising technology that dealt with messy and extraneous bodily products. Tears vanished before they hit the ground. People could blow their noses with the same handkerchief an endless number of times, while it remained spotless. General health and sanitation was vastly improved by the toilet vapourisers, which did a great job at taking care of business. Finally – and best of all – once citizens reached the end of a long and happy life, their remains conveniently vapourised upon expiry, leaving nothing but pleasant memories in the minds of their loved ones. After all, a dead body was terribly unhygienic.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - U is for Under-Region

Welcome to Day 21 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's U for Under-Region.


The Under-Region. A convenient myth to sell a population that had had its borders closed off by a fiercely xenophobic government. Well, “xenophobic” might be an understatement. Denying that any other country even existed probably required a whole new word. Due to what might be called an admin error, there was the faintest chance that someone from Harmonia’s nearest neighbour might find their way to this brave new self-sufficient society, but such a visitor wouldn’t be welcome. To avoid any awkward questions, the powers that be had decreed that that country was a hellish wasteland from another plane of existence, whose resident demons might occasionally try to infiltrate the utopia that had been created. And over the course of centuries, it stuck.

Monday, 24 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - T is for Tindleson

Welcome to Day 20 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. Who can believe there's one week left? The time is flying by. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's T for Tindleson.


Tindleson liked these kids. He hadn’t thought about them for a long time, but he was glad they were more questioning of things than most of their peers. Just because the circumstances of their birth were out of the norm, didn’t mean that was guaranteed.


In fact, they were doing things he’d only dreamed of doing, and for that, he had 100% admiration.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - S is for Swarbrick

Welcome to Day 19 of the A-Z Challenge 2017. This month I'm sharing my "Black & White Snippets" - snapshots of some of the characters, places and concepts that populate my forthcoming YA dystopian trilogy, Black & White. There won't be a lot of details or spoilers - just short scenes and vignettes that give you a hint of the world I've created. Today, it's S for Swarbrick.


Swarbrick savoured the taste of the mead in his mouth. Perhaps the processes behind its manufacture didn’t bear thinking about, but it certainly did taste good, and he couldn’t fault the Loretanians on their hospitality. Unlike back home, where alcohol had been banned as counterproductive to efficiency. That new boy in charge should do something about that. Despite their dire situation – or, perhaps, because of it – the Loretanians really knew how to enjoy themselves.