So I think I'm finally back online for good, or at least for a while. Was up and running with Virgin broadband, then had to change accounts due to complications closing it at my old house, so then lost it again due to a mess up with the transfer. After a few days, and one engineer visit, I'm back up and running again. All very friendly and helpful Virgin engineers and customer support staff, working in and environment which seems to be broken from the customer service perspective.
In the interim, I've been exploring ideas and themes for my next novel. I was struggling to make progress, largely as although I had the concept and primary characters thought through, I wasn't happy with the setting for the story. That was until I read Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora.
As an aside, there's something about Kim Stanley Robinson's work that doesn't quite satisfy me. I can't quite put my finger on it; I like the ideas, the settings, the attention to detail, some of the characters, and the politics in general resonate with me. There's something about the overall story-telling that leaves me wanting more. I should say that I'm largely basing this on his Mars Trilogy and Aurora. I'm also pretty sure that the failing is more of my imagination than of his writing, but it was that that set me thinking.
I was halfway through Aurora when I realised that an insular society would be the perfect setting to my story. The culture it might engender is a perfect fit for the narrative I was trying to make work. So thank you Kim Stanley Robinson for that inspiration, I'll try not to nick any more ideas :)
The events at Charlottesville yesterday also resonate with the story, and make me even more determined to improve my writing enough to do it justice. The rampant nationalism that is blighting the world needs to be fought against in every way we can. The white supremacist movement is one aspect of this, as are the forces behind groups like UKIP driving us to Brexit.
It's up to all of us to resist the normalization of these world views that has been occurring in recent years, with the tacit support of organisations like the BBC in the name of balance, and explicit support from the right wing media. I can highly recommend the work of groups like @ResistingHate and @hopenothate; their ongoing efforts and struggles against these forces shouldn't be underestimated. Surely the sight of Nazi flags and salutes being openly used in a western democracy again in support of its leader should be the final wake up call?