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Like Science Fiction? Try Coronatime

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  Read Coronatime.

What if technological innovation was so all-transforming that it reversed the advance of civilisation?

It has happened before.

In recent centuries we’ve got used to the idea that technical innovations – the steam engine, electricity, air travel, antibiotics, contraception, the Internet – mean that “Things can only get better”.

Tell that to the collapsing dregs of the Roman Empire.  Or the Aztecs. (more…)

Coronatime: how Klimt, Beethoven and The Grateful Dead fit together

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  Try Coronatime.

I wrote a while ago about “7 ways to explain the meaning of life” (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

I said that the meaning of life would emerge around 80% of the way through my novel Coronatime; and that it involved “Come Celebrate with Us” and “The Kiss”.

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Wiener Secession, 2015 – Photo: Robert Pimm

I live in Vienna. Since I lived here in the ’80s the wonderful Secession building built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich has a new basement housing Gustav Klimt’s magnificent Beethoven frieze, (more…)

Corona time: When waiting for a London bus is pure pleasure

How is the coronavirus changing the world?  In addressing how everything may be affected by coronavirus, Coronatime examines existential questions such as the relationship between time and money.

I wrote in my blog Red London buses and the meaning of life (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site) how we all have a limited number of years, months, weeks and days to live.

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My blog Read this now – before you waste more of your precious life pointed out that most of us feel short of time; and are not sure how to spend what time we have.

So what would happen in a world where some people were able to live for hundreds of years.  What leisure activities would they seek?  Read on:

Edited excerpt from “Coronatime” Chapter 15

KY Sutanto had visited London many times. But this was his first venture to the district called “South of the River”. (more…)

Coronatime: Red London buses and the meaning of life

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  In addressing how the world may be affected by coronavirus, Coronatime examines existential questions such as: when is the next bus coming?

We all have a limited number of years, months, weeks and days to live.

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So why should we spend that time waiting for a red London bus?

My recent blog Read this now – before you waste more of your precious life pointed out that most of us feel short of time; and are not sure how to spend what time we have.  I also noted that my novel Coronatime (hit link to read) explored 5 ways wealth and creativity can’t mix (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

The conclusions of Coronatime are good news for poor people.

So where do London buses come in? (more…)

Coronavirus: don’t waste your precious life

My novel “Coronatime” creates a post-coronavirus society where the relationship between time and money has crystallised into a way to trade life itself.  A post-pandemic world will tell us a lot about our existing world’s obsessions.

Have you ever wondered: “what shall I do today?”

Or even: “what shall I do now?”

It’s one of life’s mysteries that:

– we all have a limited number of years, months, weeks and days to live;

– we all want to make the most of that time;

– many of us feel short of time to do the things we want;

– and yet… when we do have some free time, we’re not sure what to do with it.

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It depends how you look at it.  Anish Kapoor in Istanbul.  Photo: Robert Pimm

Part of the problem is excess choice.  Twenty years ago, I had a job where I flew regularly between London and the Far East in business class.  I had a busy job, and I used to relish the thought of a 15-hour flight with no disturbances and a host of pleasures on-tap.  But when I settled down into my comfy seat on the plane, I sometimes found myself overwhelmed by a kind of existential panic.  Should I (more…)

Coronatime: Peter Pan and Steve Jobs

My post-pandemic comedy, thriller and love story “Coronatime” looks at how a world after Coronavirus will be shaped by our obsessions with beauty, wealth and staying alive.

What do Peter Pan and Steve Jobs have in common?

Answer: they both help explain why wealth and creativity cannot mix.

There is a reason for that stereotype of a starving artist in a garret.  Need, and monomania, sharpen the senses.  No wonder millionaire rock stars have trouble re-creating the catchy tunes which made them famous.  Why should they get out of bed in the morning?

My post 7 ways my sci-fi novel Coronatime explains the meaning of life (bold italics are to other posts on this site) contrasts how you might behave if you suddenly found you had only six weeks left to live with how you would act if you learned you were immortal.

In the first case, we’d all try to enjoy an intense six weeks.

Me aged 1 (in pram) with elder brother – both rich in Biotime

This brings us back to the quote by Steve Jobs which opens Coronatime: (more…)

Coronatime, Klimt and Beethoven

What can a post-coronavirus society tell us about love and the meaning of life?  My novel “Coronatime” is a thriller, comedy and love story set in a post-pandemic world.

I wrote a while ago about “7 ways my sci-fi novel Coronatime explains the meaning of life“.

I said that the meaning of life would emerge around 80% of the way through the book; and that it involved “Come Celebrate with Us” and “The Kiss”.

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Wiener Secession, 2015 – Photo: Robert Pimm

I live in Vienna, where the climax to Coronatime takes place, and was delighted to find that the wonderful Secession building built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich had got a new basement.  That basement houses Gustav Klimt’s magnificent Beethoven frieze, based on the Ninth Symphony, which, to quote Wikipedia, “illustrates human desire for happiness in a suffering and tempestuous world”. (more…)

Coronatime: why wealth and creativity can’t mix

How will coronavirus change our world?  Maybe our post-pandemic future will be like the worst features of today’s world, but much, much worse.

You know that stereotype of the starving artist in a garret producing a masterpiece?

It appeals to starving artist types.  It also appeals to comfortable well-off types who think that maybe if they were skinnier and hungrier they’d be creative too.

All I need to be the next Toulouse-Lautrec/Stevie Smith/[fill in name] is a garret!

Like many stereotypes there’s a grain of truth in it.  But why?

You can find a philosophical and intellectually robust exposition of why wealth and creativity don’t mix in my novel Coronatime.

Coronatime looks at how coronavirus may change our world

You can read the first part of the novel on this site.  The whole novel is not yet available.  So for now, here’s a summary of 5 ways Coronatime shows wealth and creativity can’t mix:

(more…)

Coronatime: 7 ways to explain the meaning of life

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  Read Coronatime.
A wise man was reading my novel Coronatime the other day.  He said “how can you get to the depths and layers of Coronatime earlier in the book to draw readers in?”
Depths and layers.  It’s true.
On the surface, Coronatime is a straightforward story about a detective who is framed for the murders of 10,290 mothers, babies, medical staff and visiting family members in a Santa Monica neonatal unit and has to prove his innocence.
The background is Coronatime itself – a life-exchange fluid of which one gram equals one year.  Great news, right?  No-one ever need be poor again – in theory.
If you’re short of cash you can sell some of your life expectancy to someone else.  Ditto, the rich need never die – provided they can keep producing enough wealth to buy Coronatime to live until eternity.
The world of Coronatime is hyper-capitalist.  But unlike pale imitations such as In Time (good premise, poorly executed) people don’t go on behaving as in today’s world.
In Coronatime, although things look familiar, everything has changed. That change is encapsulated in the opening quote by Steve Jobs: “Death is very likely the single best invention of life”. (more…)

Coronatime: how DNA Tabs are coming true

Writing about a post-coronavirus world, I’m finding that many of my worst predictions about the future are already coming true.  Why a chip to use a photocopier could become much worse.

I’ve written before about my fears that if I don’t publish my novels soon, they’ll come true.

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This is one of the reasons I want to publish Coronatime.

When I wrote Coronatime, I imagined that before long, every human would be chipped at birth; that such chips would be linked to your DNA (to prevent transplants); and that they would communicate with a central database (the Federal Unitary Control Computer) a thousand times a second to confirm your location and what you were up to.

Now I find that similar chips – minus the DNA, so far – are being used to allow staff in Sweden to use the photocopier: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31042477.  No more painful than an injection, reports the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones.

Better get ready, guys.  They started with cats and dogs.  Soon they’ll be coming for you.

P.S. you can sample more fresh, original writing on this site via my 5 pleasure paths.  If you enjoy it please follow me on Facebook.  Or you can join my mailing list.

Coronatime: what motivates terrorists?

Why do terrorists carry out terrorism?  What are the goals of terrorists?  How can you stop terrorism?  How can you achieve the goals of terrorism without so many people getting hurt?  “Coronatime” explains.

It’s time to start unpacking the box.

Let’s have a look at an excerpt from my new novel, Coronatime.

What motivates terrorists?  In another of my novels, Blood Summit, I point to the importance of the Herostratus Syndrome, as explained in the excellent book by Antony Borowitz (long title: “Terrorism for Self-Glorification: The Herostratus Syndrome”).  In the foreword I quote Mark Twain: “One of the commonest forms of madness is the desire to be noticed”.  I also quote Mark Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon: “I was an acute nobody… I was ‘Mr Nobody’ until I killed the biggest Somebody on earth.”

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Part of Coronatime is set in Vienna – Photo Robert Pimm

In the dystopic world of Coronatime, terrorists are motivated by money and by the urge to show their lives have meaning.  Here, in an excerpt from the book, our heroes Jake and Sandy meets a member of terrorist group The One Life Army.

 

Coronatime: an excerpt.  The One Life Army

‘We are not terrorists, or freedom fighters. Actually, we see ourselves more as a pressure group which is not afraid to apply real pressure.’

(more…)

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