The second half of Garden of Eden is ostensibly about a race. It’s more about how just the right things at the right time can lead to new friendships and a new life.
This is where Garden of Eden steps up a gear. I wanted this to be a story about people learning to do something with their lives, getting that buzz of energy and enthusiasm I feel when I commit myself to a project. Having something to work towards.
From this point on, the characters have something to aim for.
Previous Chapter: A Few Drinks
Chapter 3 of this story is less laid back, and introduces a bit more about the sort-of familial life the characters lead. Something I wanted to get across was that in this idyllic future world the nature of a family might have changed a little, but people still remain human – and that utopias can still have conflicts on a personal level.
Previous Chapter: Something to Do
One of the constant things I found a challenge when writing Garden of Eden was writing about how it feels to listen to music; be it songs you love and know every note of, or the experience of a new album for the first time, trying to describe music in a way that gets across how you feel when you listen was something that would be central to this story of young people and their band. I hope I succeeded in some way.
What is Garden of Eden?
I have had Garden of Eden, a short young-adult science-fiction novel, sitting on my hard drive since 2014, untouched. It was the first National Novel Writing Month piece I completed.
I have decided to serialise it on this blog, posting a chapter a week to give me an incentive to revisit it and edit it with fresh eyes.
I wrote it partly as an experiment – could an interesting story be written about what is ultimately a utopian world? It was in this part inspired by the animated science-fiction series Aria, but equally by the aesthetics and countercultural, extreme-sports trappings of Eureka Seven. I was not interested in writing another war story, or a massive-scale tale of humanity’s fate, but instead a story about people – very flawed people trying to do the best they could. It seems presumptuous to cite Steinbeck in a discussion of a young-adult story about futuristic motor-racing but there is something, I think, of a desire to emulate Cannery Row in this, too.
Garden of Eden is set in the far future, in a world where society is able to live a relaxed, peaceful life. I wanted to write about families, and friendships, and the weight of expectation that people might face. At the same time, I wanted to write something comfortable and relatable despite its high-tech, alien setting. I hope I succeeded.