On Building New Worlds

There’s enough bad news about that if I absorb it I start to think “I should be doing more” and then, most brutally, “what’s the point?”

When I feel exhausted like that I’ll go for a walk, which gets my imagination going. I’ll notice a new path through the trees or see a sky that looks surreal and I’ll pretend I’m in a different country. Distant cars become waves rushing on a beach, trees thrashing in the wind become crashing waterfalls over cliffs. I’d be wandering through a world that I want to live in.

Since lockdown I’ve been quietly building a dream home in my down time, set in entirely new worlds.

They have been largely inspired by my research into sustainable futures like rewilding or universal basic income. It’s also been shaped by my research into Utopias.

I want to build a world with different values and possibilities. Here’s an example of what I’ve been working on:



When Jada Clarke was eight years old a gateway opened up to another world. The first explorers admired the acres of green and the psychic abilities of the people and nickname the place ‘New Eden’.

Twenty years later, Jada’s dreams come true when she and her best friend Jas are invited to visit the new world as part of the first study exchange for the University of Birmingham.

No one knows how the portals came to be, nor when they’ll close again, so she knows it’s a risk. Not to mention that a day in New Eden means months on Earth. She must learn to let go of everything she cares about, including her kid sister Serena, in order to embrace the strange and wonderful ways of this new world.

Meanwhile a physicist tries to find a way to control the portals, a teenager tries to make the best of a hopeless situation and a young family from the New World learns to build a life in Jada’s hometown.



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