Re-imagining democracy for Parliament Week

On Wednesday 19th November, for Parliament Week, I joined Mike Carey, Mike Fell and chairman Dr. Chris Tyler to reinvent democracy with an audience of  gamers, sci-fi, fantasy and comic fans, LARP-ers, scientists and people interested in the future of politics.

The evening was part of a week of events intended to encourage people to engage with politics. (You can find out more about this using the hashtags #scifiparl & #DoDemocracy.)

Everything was filmed – there was even a stenographer! – so you’ll be able to see what we each came up with on the Parliament YouTube channel very soon. Chris and the two Mikes had many things to say, ranging from the fascinating to the terrifying and the audience was full of astute, broad-minded people who asked some very challenging questions. It was an excellent night and I was glad to have been invited.

The following was my contribution. Continue reading

The idiot abroad – JD’L goes to the Houses of Parliament…

The future of UK democracy in the hands of fantasists. You know it makes sense…

You may find this hard to believe but Mr-I-don’t-have-a-political-bone-in-my-body here is going to give a presentation at Parliament on Wednesday evening.

I know.

But hey, people, it’s Parliament Week and I was extremely flattered to be invited.

Myself and two other authors will each outline our visions of a future (better? Hm. Not sure…) democracy and audience members will be able to ask questions and debate what we come up with.

For me, not having a great deal of enthusiasm for or understanding of politics, this is turning out to be an intriguing exercise. Having been given less than a week, I’m attempting to come up with a brand new democratic system – one that re-imagines what’s been in place for hundreds of years!

So, wish me luck.

Better still, if you can make it to Westminster, come and see what the SciFi Writers of today think the future of politics holds for us all…

The Mahe Mailshot – Confessions of a failed hunter gatherer

Carnivorous Cabbage - this woman's bones and handbag were later discovered in a bin liner behind the trader's stall.

Carnivorous Cabbage – this woman’s bones and handbag were later discovered in a bin liner behind the trader’s stall.

In March 2003 My wife and I went to live on a small island in the Indian Ocean. We stayed there for a year of tropical delights and frustrations. As a break from fiction – and to help maintain my sanity in the midst of a strange culture – I wrote a series of emails to folks at home…

 

 

 

 

 

 

—– Original Message —–
From: JD’L
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2003 9:56 AM
Subject: Confessions of a failed hunter gatherer

Dear weight watchers,

Continue reading

The Mahe Mailshot – Box 341

My idealistic impression of what the postal service is all about.

My idealistic impression of what the postal service is all about. A friendly cat is essential.

In March 2003 My wife and I went to live on a small island in the Indian Ocean. We stayed there for a year of tropical delights and frustrations. As a break from fiction – and to help maintain my sanity in the midst of a strange culture – I wrote a series of emails to folks at home…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—– Original Message —–
From: JD’L
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2003 4:16 PM
Subject: Box 341

To all mail recipients,

Continue reading

The Mahe Mailshot – Breakdown and Recovery

Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles.In March 2003 My wife and I went to live on a small island in the Indian Ocean. We stayed there for a year of tropical delights and frustrations. As a break from fiction – and to help maintain my sanity in the midst of a strange culture – I wrote a series of emails to folks at home…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—– Original Message —–
From: JD’L
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 2:20 PM
Subject: Breakdown and recovery

Fellow motorists,

Continue reading

The best Halloween night out – ever

Tastes and Tales Halloween

Don’t miss it!

The first Tastes & Tales was graced with the talent of Rod Duncan – recently of The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter fame – and thriller author Sam Hayes.

Rod told an eerie but raunchy fairy tale, Sam chilled everyone with a horrific crime scene investigation and I read the opening scenes of The Book of the Crowman.

The event was a sell-out. Delish was packed with a lively audience, who ate and drank their fill and went home thoroughly entertained.

This Halloween, we’re doing it again – this time with even creepier readings from three of the UK’s best-known authors of dark fiction: Sarah Pinborough, David Moody and me. Each of us will read a nightmarish tale to haunt you for the rest of the winter.

Meanwhile, Claire and her staff will serve round after round of delicious, freshly made canapés and ply everyone with unique wines and local craft beers.

I cannot wait!

Book now – tickets are selling fast!

The Mahe Mailshot – BANANAS

Map of MaheIn March 2003 My wife and I went to live on a small island in the Indian Ocean. We stayed there for a year of tropical delights and frustrations.

As a break from fiction – and to help maintain my sanity in the midst of a strange culture – I wrote a series of emails to folks at home…

—– Original Message —–
From: JD’L
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 5:03 PM
Subject: bananas

Me Hearties, Continue reading