Posts

Clearances

An extract from "2032" available now in all ebook stores.

Fitzroy


"Fitzroy." Jack said.

"What?"

"Clearance."

It was enough of a novelty for them to be able to attend in person. The housing policy in action. Whole blocks of 5km square blocks were being cleared out for redevelopment. Today's target was Greeves Street by George Street in Fitzroy. Some compensation, although nothing near market rates. Then the bulldozers moved in and cleared it flat.

There was sporadic resistance from the owners. In this space only a small percentage, less than 10%, actually lived in the houses they owned. Mostly the owners were distant, and reluctantly accepted the compensation. In a lot of cases the owners were overseas. Hardly likely to jump on a plane and lie in front of a bulldozer. The renters in the space were overjoyed: with a 50% cut in their rent, and funded relocation to one of the new developments. They held parties, feted the government. To them, R…

DeathLotto

Extract from "2032" by Andrew Jennings. Available in all ebook stores now.

Cabinet meetings were of a size larger than Jack liked to deal with. Nominally it was 20 people. But with advisors hovering it stretched to something like 100, spread across two or even three rooms. Today was focused on security. The upstart government was surrounded by enemies. He tuned in as an army major stood at the lectern.
“Fortunately the geography works in our favour. With a combined satellite and drone surveillance it is a simple matter to keep the northern plains free. North of the dividing range in the agricultural zones there is very little cover.”
He brought up a map showing the zone. Between Albury and Shepparton, and north of Bendigo there were great open spaces. The red swathe was broad and like a circle. He thought about asking about sea-born attacks from the south, where there seemed to be no defences, but he was cautious about making an idiot of himself in such a large gathering. T…

Ruby's victory speech

Extract from "2032" by Andrew Jennings. Available in all ebook stores now.

"Somewhere between 1 and 2" an eager face responded.
Noah struggled to process that. Of course he meant somewhere between 1 and 2 million people. Where on earth do you put them all? Something like one fifth of the entire population of Melbourne. Spread throughout the city. For Ruby’s speech. A very important speech. Marking the new beginning, setting an agenda. Consolidating power.
"How do we fit them?" Noah asked the obvious question.
Jack turned towards him.
"As far out as Brunswick. On the street. Everywhere."
"Screens?" Noah asked
Those without the augmented reality viewers would gather in parks. But most had the viewers that projected onto glasses. You got the speech overlayed on top of the scene you were looking at. He  hesitated to ask the most obvious question.
"Security?"
Ruby looked up. Glanced at Jack.
“If they fly anything in past the city…

Jack and the Employer

Extract from "2032" by Andrew Jennings. Available in all ebook stores now.

 “Just like old times.” Noah said
“Yes.” Ruby replied. Jack just smiled.
In a sense it was. They would meet at the beginning of the day. Somewhere. Perhaps a cafe, or later on in a rented meeting room. Now it was the same schedule, but with quite a different view. Early in the day they could see all the way to Geelong. A few stray clouds drifted above the bay. As the day progressed, the heat would burn them off and the thin line of sand they could see would have many people on it. Below them, the MCG would hold a cricket match. Life went on. While it was possible to get 100,000 people to a sporting event you would struggle to get 10,000 to a political rally.
Ruby began.
“Employment practices. The sweep. We have separated them into segments. About 60% of employers are ok. A bit of dodging this and that, but they are not really a problem. Then there are about 40% that are seriously out of whack. I want…

The world of "2032"

"2032" my novel available in all ebook stores.

As the title indicates, it is set in Melbourne Australia in 2032. The use of the year in the title is a homage to 1984. I love that book, and have read it so many times.

Some time ago I was in hospital for a few days, and I had a copy of Piketty 'Capital in the 21st century'. It is comprehensive both across cultures and through time. The book has some simple but frightening conclusions. That inequality is the result of the naked exercise of power, that throughout history it has followed a pattern of increasing to the point where it is totally irrational. Then at some point it all breaks down, either through war or revolution.

"2032" is  on that path of breaking down the inequality. Especially the ferocious inequality between the old who have capital, and the young who only have their abilities and education to sell.  Is there a single point where it just explodes? Is there a point where it all collapses? There…

Product Review: Winter Jerseys - GroundEffect Thermos + Berglar

Ground Effect  : Thermos + Berglar

I tour in Australia in the winter quite a bit, with some long tours. It doesn't get super cold, but it can be challenging. When it hovers around 0 centigrade (32 F) and it is blowing a cold wind, and it is raining, then the effective temperature can get towards the -5C or even lower. You want good gear to keep warm and to be comfortable.

I have had the Thermos for a few years, and recently I actually wore out my old jersey and replaced it with the Berglar.

When it's extremely cold I wear a synthetic thermal, with the Thermos over that, then the Berglar. On top of that I have a Netti rain jacket that I wear even when it's not raining.

Four layers? Yes. Layers are good. When I start for the day, I will take a few kilometres to warm up. Then I will start taking off layers. On a typical cold day when I'm in motion I will finally have the thermal and the Berglar.

The Thermos is a wind blocking undergarment. It's specifically built to b…

I decided to forgive Lance Armstrong.

It's not so popular, forgiveness. Nowadays people talk of "gaining closure" when the perpetrator has been ruined, humiliated, jailed or in many cases, killed. There are two amazing instances of forgiveness in modern history. South Africa, for one, and East Timor for another. People who have been abused, tortured and killed for years and years find the courage to forgive. Incredible.
Mine is a minor thing, really. I've decided to forgive Lance Armstrong. Yes, of course, he made a fool of all of us you say. He cheated. He ran a protection racket around his racket. How can you forgive somebody that did that? Well, I think I can. 
As others have said, he broke my heart, a little. I followed him for years, stayed up late night after night watching the Tour. I'll never forget some of those moments where he just sprinted away on the climbs. One summer my daughter and I made the journey to Adelaide to watch him in the Tour Down Under. Do I regret that? Not really. 
But …