Bryant & May And The Exhausted Writer
Thanks everyone for some interesting suggestions about what to do with Bryant & May for their twentieth excursion.
Some of these ideas have already been covered. I’ve written about the Blackheath plague pits twice before in short stories. The stories appeared in the shared-world ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ anthologies. When I was small much of the heath was still covered in scrub, with great ditches that were perfect for bike riding – they were all filled in.
I don’t really want to time machine the unlikely lads back to Victorian times, partly because Bryant is a closet Victorian and would simply fit in too well, partly because if I bring in SF elements after years of keeping them out, there will be Trouble From Certain Quarters.
The nano-device idea was used by Michael Crichton (not very successfully) in ‘Prey’, and I’ve had Royalty visit the PCU (back in ooh, ‘White Corridor’ possibly). I have set quite a few plots in bits of East London but the area is ready to get a bigger look-in in the next novel. I haven’t got them out to Essex proper, though other writers, like the excellent Syd Moore have made this their own special field.
Jan’s ideas about Blackheath and Greenwich play into my background nicely and I will explore more here – Greenwich is rich in folklore and strange tales.
Swimming pools could be part of a larger look at derelict or overlooked London, although I have to say that there’s not much of it left that hasn’t been rebuilt, usually with a Pret A Manger on the site.
I always liked the way Ian Nairn wrote about London – ‘Nairn’s London’ is a masterpiece, and part of his series about travelling from London to the North can now be viewed on BBC iPlayer in the Archive section.
Roger – very funny. Sadly, I’m no Gibbon.
I covered the Winter of Discontent in ‘Seventy Seven Clocks’, and am reluctant to revisit that horrible time. I could do one set in the Thatcher era but this is Jonathan Coe’s manor, and he is a whizz at it.
But I do have an idea now – although it’s one not so far suggested. I was thinking about Nairn championing the unloved covers of modernity, which led me to another saviour of London architecture…
Watch this space!