Call me a conspiracy theorist, call me a worryguts, call me clairvoyant – the prologue (scroll down) to my first novel was written more years ago than I care to remember and in a totally different context. But how wonderfully prescient! However, it’s not all doom and gloom, after the somewhat apocalyptic view of the universe in the first two books of the series, the next three offer a far more positive view of the world and a new way of doing things. If you’re looking for something to read check out my books. Skid- The First Chronicle, The Second Coming, The Lifeboat, The Colonists, The Island
It’s a common view, which I share, there will be a new normal once we come out the other side of the pandemic. There will be a greater role of government in our economic lives and a reversal of 40 odd years (thanks Roger, Maggie and Ronnie et al) of libertarianism and a view the free market is the best way to sort things out for the greater good. Because while the ‘free market’ is great for people who can compete, it doesn’t deliver good outcomes for the vast majority of those who have little or no leverage.
What we’re witnessing today is evidence only government can respond on the scale required when a nation is face with a real crisis and strong institutions are required to ensure we prioritise people’s wellbeing is over profit. This new normal won’t, or shouldn’t be the death knell of international trade and globalisation, rewarding people for taking business risks or entrepreneurship and developing new ways of doing stuff, but we need to acknowledge that for the greater good big government has a part to play in setting an even playing field, regulation and doing the right thing, and looking after the little guy, and those that can’t compete in the new world.
Here are the links to the books on Amazon for your reading pleasure.
“We thank you, almighty, for this harvest,” Inel chanted, not for the first time wondering what the words really meant, for on this planet he was the almighty.
It was a tedious duty but the single most significant act of his rule – the annual tasting of the plant. The origins of the elaborate ceremony were long forgotten, as was the reason the ceremony was enacted year after year without deviating from the ancient script.
Whatever the case, it seemed best to carry on regardless. It was a case of continuing a tradition for tradition’s sake, without question, for to question the need for the ceremony, even in this age of enlightenment, was to question all the noble traditions of Skid, the very reason for there being a Skidian society at all. And that wouldn’t do.
Despite the tremendous significance of the service there wasn’t much to it really. Trying not to tumble head first into the bubbling liquid below the platform on which he stood, Inel dipped an exquisitely carved, long-handled ladle into one of the vast, open vats where the planet’s synthofood was produced. After much chanting and exaggerated gesturing he tasted some of the latest batch. It was considered a propitious sign if he did not keel over on the spot.
It would have been quite a simple process except it proceeded only after an hour or so of solemn declarations, affirmations of duty and the usual drama that turns a simple custom into one of great complexity and length. A theatre that assumed more importance than it warranted in this enlightened and technological age. Completely unaffected by the ritual the enormous fermentation vats bubbled away quietly, providing the planet’s sustenance, as they had since time immemorial.
Towards the rear of the little group of witnesses, pressed up against the containment wall, stood a man whose appearance marked him out as someone clearly different to the others. Noslow was short and slim with a swarthy complexion, in a crowd that was mostly very tall, grossly overweight and whose skin color almost matched that of the brilliantly white robes they all wore.
Noslow carefully unscrewed the top of a small vial hidden in the sleeve of his robe and, concealing the vial in his hand, casually draped his arm over the lip of the vat and let the contents dribble down the containment wall into the bubbling liquid.
With a nervous smirk he listened to the final chant – a relic of a more superstitious age, when the Skidians believed their survival depended on placating the spirit world. Still, Inel went through the motions of ensuring Skid would have sufficient food for the coming year. If all went well, Noslow hoped one of his own people – perhaps even he himself – would lead next year’s ceremony.