The Future Isn’t What It Was

The Future Isn’t What It Was

Many thanks to Guy Lawley for this in-depth review of the graphic novel “There’s No Time Like The Present” by Paul B Rainey from his blog “The Legion of Andy”—which is a reference to British cartoon character Andy Capp.

“Between the book’s covers, we have read a superb, entertaining story

which also perhaps stimulates some thought about the nature of that reality,

and the lives we lead in it.” — Guy Lawley

Here is an extract:

“People of a certain age—especially those who spend a lot of time nurturing their comic and SF collections, and/or online—might find their lives reflected in this engaging, skilfully told tale. Highly recommended.

“The first thing to say about this book is that it is a true graphic novel—not, like some other books, a graphic short story dressed up as a novel. Reading it in one sitting is, I suppose, technically possible, but you would probably want a couple of meal breaks. Possibly also a night’s sleep.

“TNTLTP started life as a series of self-published comics. Escape Books have collected the story into a single hardback book, beautifully designed and produced, and this is without doubt a Very Good Thing.

“It is both a well-observed tale of the everyday lives of unexceptional people, and a wild science fiction story involving time travel and its far-reaching implications.

“From his life in the southern English “new town” of Milton Keynes—not always thought of as an inspiring location—and from our early 21st century times, Paul Rainey has crafted a story which spans if not the whole of space, time and human experience, something pretty damn close.

“One of his key insights is that life in a small town anywhere in the developed world is not lived solely in its streets and buildings. Inside the head of every resident is a world of the imagination, fed both from within and by the media we consume. This in itself is not new, of course. Our Neanderthal cousins probably had some kind of imaginative life. Our Victorian ancestors read both fiction and newspapers in increasingly huge quantities. What is new is the sheer quantity, scope and immediacy of information and novel experiences available from the new media, especially the online variety. We live in a world that a few generations ago literally was science fiction.

‘Life in Milton Keynes, in other words, is life simultaneously bounded by the concrete realities of the town and its opportunities (or the lack of them) and unbounded by unprecedented access to worlds beyond….”


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