12 years, 11 months ago

Yabbies – a novel

Link: http://weblog.tomgraves.org/index.php/2011/06/29/yabbies-a-novel/

Happy to announce that I’ve at last gotten round to publishing my sort-of-novel Yabbies. Hooray! :-)

(I perhaps ought to say ‘completed and published’, but as you’ll see, ‘completing’ isn’t quite the right word, since much of the content is made up of story-fragments that could be assembled in just about any order.)

At present you can download the full content in PDF format for free from the Tetradian Books website.

More details and background to follow, but for now, here’s the book-blurb:

“Yabbies. Funny little things, all in their own world at the bottom of the dam. A bit like us, ain’t they? Can’t see a thing for all the mud in the water; bits and pieces drift down, in any old order, all out of sequence, an’ we have to make sense of them as best we can.”

This unusual novel explores ideas about sustainability from a different angle: that we can’t achieve a sustainable world without a system of law that fully supports it. To make that happen, we would need truly revolutionary change in the way we see our world: a refocus of passion from possession to purpose. In some ways, as one of the characters here explains, we may not have much choice:

“The whole system is so fragile that there’s a real risk it could collapse at any time, in a really big way. Those problems are inherent in the system, so to speak, so that the whole thing is held together by little more than wishful thinking.”

But what would happen if only some countries made that change – and others didn’t? What would happen to trade, to international relations, to everyday living? How would they deal with each other’s business-visitors, or tourists? Yabbies explores these themes through story-fragments, each piece as if drifting down to us through the waters of time, different characters describing their own worlds and experiences each in their own unique voice. And perhaps a little magic, too.

Yabbies first appeared more than a decade ago as YABI – Yet Another Book Idea. Although it has taken many forms over the years, as an interactive website, screenplay, annotated text and more, this is its first time available as a conventional novel. This new edition includes a background section on the ideas and principles behind the story, and also a suggested timeline to link the fragments together.

Author Tom Graves is best known as a writer on a broad range of non-fiction topics – from the structure of organisations to the structure of magic, and much more besides. He applies the same perceptive eye and acerbic humour to this story, using fiction to explore some of the deep-questions and ‘undiscussable’ themes of the present day.

Share and enjoy, perhaps?