Like anyone, I start each New Year’s Day by using a book knife to hand-cut open each page of the newest volume of the Farmer’s Almanac. Like Lincoln before me, I set my calendar based around the weather forecasts for the next 364 days, adjusting where necessary. (I actually did this as a preteen, arranging on which day I should plan my October birthday party. No shame.)
In addition, I go through each piece of fiction set in the New Year to see what I can expect. Of those I could find in the first three minutes of research, only THE JAGGED ORBIT rings a bell.
Written in 1969, John Brunner’s Nebula Award winning science-fiction novel takes place in the USA of 2014, when “interracial tensions have passed the breaking point.” One of the main characters is a “spoolpidgeon”: a gossip columnist/political analyst who fabricates fake news stories to embarrass and blackmail celebrities and political figures.
It is worth checking out the book’s first two chapters below if you need a reminder that there are no actual rules in fiction.
In my next post, I’ll teach you how to give deckled edges to every page of your entire library.
By Andrew Wetzel