Bath time can be so much fun

Whilst in the bath yesterday we had this really good idea for a re-telling of the classic Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. Instead of being visited by the ghosts of christmas, we would be visited by the ghosts of stories past, present and future. Specifically the stories that we had written, were writing and would write. So while splashing around for the soap we were plotting out the parallels, including a nice scene in the future where we picked up a copy of our own collected works and found that it was blank. Your basic ‘get your arse out and actually write something’ kind of story. The we sat down at the keyboard too begin and instead ended up in a brief meeting with our internal editor. He’s a strange guy, for one his office is decked out in late 70’s plastic furniture which always makes me feel uncomfortable. He seems to be more interested in the work by his other authors than he is in our work. However as much as I don’t like him he is sometime right. He seemed to think there had been enough re-tellings of Dickens stories in general and “A Christmas Carol” particularly. We think that he was right. However we were left thinking about this classic story and the impact it has had on the world around us. There is the obvious aspect of the story “mend your wicked ways now, for it isn’t too late to save yourself”. But as righteous and right as this moral is I doubt that those it is meant for have heard it. No I think that the impact of “A Christmas Carol” is both subtler and more profound. It has to do with time and, in a way, time travel. Here is a story that presents the idea of seeing the past, present and future all in the space of a few hours. Yes its all done with spirits and mystical explanations but that does not change the result. The story goes as far as saying that the future is not yet set, that we have the power to choose the path we take. One of the most powerful moments in the story for us has always been when dear old Scrooge asks: “Tell me spirit, is this the future that will be or the future that may be only?” We think that had it not been for this charming little story and its amazing level of popularity that many (perhaps even most) of the current concepts of science fiction may never have been explored, for almost all sci-fi starts with the premiss “What if in the future…?”