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Author of literary and speculative fiction published by Orbit (Little, Brown). Based in UK. Check out my latest novel The Undoing of Arlo Knott.

Why our year of regrets is so hard to stomach

A couple of years ago, I wrote a book about a character who could undo his actions — like having an ‘undo’ button for life. What was the inspiration? Looking back at my mistakes and wishing I could change them. Over the past year, my concept has been scaled up to country-sized proportions. I’ve watched the actions of this Government pitch us into an ever more appalling death toll and sighed ‘if only…’

Those in control have made their moves as though playing a computer game, with endless second chances. Why didn’t we close our borders a year ago, as…

Mental map-making and technology

Before the advent of GPS, everyone flipped through road atlases and A-Z maps, plotting their route from A to B. Now digital maps work out the journey, and it is a route from you to B. The map radiates outward from that central pin that is you, and your destination simply approaches. Even knowing exactly where you are or the whereabouts of what you seek is unnecessary. All you have to do is follow instructions, and trust the tech.

Photo by oxana v on Unsplash. Person with hand on streetmap.

Down to earth

When in Venice last year, I saw thousands of stakes driven into the mud, marking out the safe…

Life in a data-driven society

Sometimes current affairs rally round and serve up the perfect backdrop to a book launch — and so it was earlier this year, when the Cambridge Analytica story broke just as my debut novel Everything About You was published.

As you probably remember, data was taken from around 87 million Facebook profiles and used to target thousands of adverts. Whatever Cambridge Analytica did with the information, it did effectively, contributing to changes in the political landscape that are still hard to credit.

Now that the firm is no more, there is one part of the…

Heather Child

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