A year ago, almost to the day, my science fiction novella Across Spacetime was launched. To celebrate this, I’ve interviewed Samir Bond, who, with Beatrice Blanche, is a main character in my book.
A: Hello Samir, how are you?
S: Hi Angela, I’m having a great time in London, away from Antarctica. Too cold for me down there. I can’t say that England is a warm place, but is still much better! People to see, places to visit… That’s my idea of paradise.
A: I see. I thought you enjoyed it very much on Mars as well, maybe even more than in London.
S: Yes, I did, still too cold though. It was an interesting phase of my life. For the first time I was off Earth without my family, doing something that was cutting-edge: making history or reliving history, to be precise. I felt special. When you live in an era in which almost everything has being discovered or invented, it’s very difficult to stand out in a big way.
A: Would you do it again?
S: Yes, I would. I met extraordinary people during the Spacetime Programme, from all over the solar system. How ironic that I had to travel back in time to meet Beatrice in London!
A: Yes, life is unpredictable. In the interview she gave me, Beatrice told me that she had a hard time in the past Earth because she had to remove all her implants, but once the withdrawal syndrome was over, she felt fine and didn’t need them anymore, not even when she went back to the future. So I was wondering, what was life in the past Earth for you?
S: Exciting and challenging. Another chance to show myself what I’m made of. Having to rely on my wits and not technology to solve my problems, that was exhilarating. Since I’ve come back from the past, I have reduced my dependence on it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy cooking so much, apart from starring in Across Spacetime of course.
A: You’ve helped me a lot when I was writing Across Spacetime. Is there something that you’d like me to have written differently?
S: Well, yes, actually. You made me say that I missed smart cities. And that was true. However, I’ve realised, too late, that you and your readers would have misunderstood what I meant. So thank you for the chance to put it right now. What I meant is that I missed the smart cities of my century, not the ones connected to a “smart” network, like the 5G one that governments around the world want to deploy in your point of the spacetime continuum. No, we refused to use them. Our ancestors decided against that technology because it was too risky for human and animal health. And also because it was the basis for implementing the so-called Internet of Things, that would have introduced an unprecedented level of surveillance on citizens without any legal reason for it and without full disclosure of the extent and scope of the surveillance. A true Orwellian society. I’m grateful that our ancestors stopped it before it was too late. I hope you’ll be able to do the same.
A: Thank you for this, Samir. Only recently, I’ve realised how dangerous the 5G network is. You're right, its introduction has nothing to do with increasing the speed and quality of our communications. I hope we’ll be able to stop it in this universe too. Can you tell me what is smart about your cities then?
S: Yes of course. In our cities, there is no pollution because we have free, clean energy, and no Homeless because everybody has a comfortable, nice place to call home. We care for one another; no one is left behind or excluded from our society. Everybody is given equal chances, but that doesn’t mean that we are equal. Meritocracy is essential in a just and happy society. I wish I could show you… Maybe in another book?
A: That’d be great! I have loads of other questions I would love to ask you, however I know that you must meet up with Beatrice shortly, so I won’t keep you any longer. I look forward to interviewing you again soon. And please give my regards to Beatrice.
S: Will do. Thanks for having me. It’s been a great pleasure Angela. Till next time!