Bit of a risk this. Normally when I go away I have a blog or two prepared and ready to go. This time I decided to take inspiration from the holiday. At least it seemed like a good idea before I left. Phew!
However, if as a writer I can’t be inspired in my writing by new places and experiences, then maybe there’s not much hope for me. Anyway I’m down in the south of France, east of Bordeaux and west of Toulouse in a small gite. If not in the middle of no-where about as close as you can get in this part of the world. I’m several kilometres from the nearest village, no traffic noises, no street lights, just the moon, stars (OK it was raining when we arrived so not even those) and insect noises. All very different from where I live in Surrey in the south of England.
Day 2 was what you hope for, blue skies and the promise of warmth to come in which we set out to explore an area we’ve not visited before. What’s not to like? The gite had a stack of helpful leaflets left by other gentle adventurers and the owners. Amongst them was one suggesting some less than arduous tours. So first stop an excavated roman villa dating from between the second to the fifth century. Now I’ve blogged before about how history can inspire science fiction and seeing this was a reminder of that. Wandering around these remains, appreciating the beauty of the mosaics and the ambitious design of the villa reminded me of how much we owe to where we’ve come from, how we much we build on that past.
Also, at the edge of the villa if you looked out across the gentle hills, despite all the technology between then and now, some things (many things?) have stayed the same. if you could bring one of those romans forward in time to stand beside me, despite being a little disappointed at the state of his home and perhaps a bit peeved at the number of uninvited guests wandering round it, there is much he would recognise. There are fields being cultivated, vines growing to turn into wine that I’m sure he would take pleasure in as much as the rest of us. Even the farm houses in the distance don’t look much different to the how the villa would have done, both being products of the landscape.
So as much as the technologies we humans invent will propel us into a wonderful future, in the next two thousand years, and for me that includes the certainty that we will settle other worlds, looking back shows me just how much from our (current) present and past we will take with us. The challenge for a science fiction writer is to weave all that into my stories. Note to self – ‘must try harder’.
As always comments and observations welcome.