Frasier Armitage (@FrasierArmitage)
Pre-reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“No, you listen, and listen hard. We're not here to investigate what people remember. We find out the truth of what happened, and that’s all…”
Are you happy with your past? Ever wished there was something that you hadn’t done or maybe some burning regret of something you wish you had?
Well, good news folks – Anderson Whitman Real Estate are here and we can literally change your life!?
Not long now until New Yesterday hits the bookshelves of the world - April ’23 to be precise. Here is a tale from the cyber-mind of Frasier Armitage who has explored the science fiction / real life ‘what if’ nexus in his short stories like Rememory and Yestermorrow (which is actually a prequel to this – his first full novel).
Hang on to your pasts people - New Yesterday is a time-twist-em-up that explores the ultimate offer of the ability to change your past, to allow you to enjoy a future you’ll want to remember.
Think Total Recall with various lifestyle packages available – and the hero of this head-messing plot is Adam Swann who we meet as he’s being held at gunpoint by a man who claims he stole his life. It’s a cracking start and kicks off a full-scale investigation to discover the assailant's identity and regain those aspects of himself that he's lost.
Adam has recurring flashes of a woman called Lottie, but he can’t recall who exactly she is. Can he unpack this mystery without scrambling this brain because if you try to remember your former lives that have been ‘removed’ it can mess you up…
Armitage writes with a compact and engrossing style. New Yesterday has a plot that could easily have got out of hand as time changes for characters throughout. There’s lots to think about and enjoy here, the good news is that you don’t need to undergo any medical procedures to add this to your memory banks!
You can preorder now on Amazon. Or if your wanna jump into this world now you can grab the prequel, Yestermorrow.
We abducted Frasier and asked his some questions:
Matt: If you were granted the superpowers, who or what would be your nemesis?
Before noon, I’m basically a zombie. I’d have to do a job-share with another superhero who woke up with a spring in their step, otherwise, the whole criminal underworld would get a free pass between the hours of 7am and midday.
Matt: What is the most life-affirming thing you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?
Frasier: I’ve been reading a lot of age-appropriate books to my one-year-old, and there’s something very sweet about the moment when the hungry caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly. I mean, can you get anything more life-affirming than that?
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?
Frasier: I’m terrible at organising things, so the only parade I’d ever be hired to throw is a fictional one, where all I have to do is write about it! But that in itself would be a great one to throw — a literary parade which featured entirely fictional characters in a fictional London.
And if that weren’t possible due to the limits of reality (boring!!!) then it’d be a Keanu Reeves parade, because then I’d get to meet him and shake his hand and look him in the eye and say “woah”, which would fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.
Matt: You have the chance to change your memories - what does that look like for you?
Frasier: I love this question. It’s actually something I’ve explored in my stories. New Yesterday isn’t just the name of my upcoming book, it’s a city where events in the present can change the past. So, as you can imagine, the aspect of whether changing our past can really lead to a better life is a big theme in that.
And another story of mine is set in a world where memory is currency (Rememory).
Memories are the conduits through which our choices flow. And I’m happy with my choices, so I don’t think I’d change a thing. But if I was forced to change something, I’d choose to remember the name of that thing I keep forgetting so I don’t have to keep googling it. I’d tell you what it is, but I really have forgotten. It’s the thingymajiggy. You know the one.
Matt: Who or what inspires you most (can be living or dead)?
I can’t tell you how many amazing ideas have wormed their way into my imagination when I’ve been spitballing something with another writer. Interaction is vital to my writing process. My wife and son are the sources of inspiration I draw from the most, but I only really know that because of the conversations I’ve had.
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?
Frasier: Probably one of the many Frasiers from other parts of the multiverse who’s decided to come and steal my story ideas for his own nefarious gain. Evil Frasier doesn’t mince around.
Matt: What is the meaning of life?
Frasier: I used to think I knew the answer to this question. But then my son was born. Seeing him in pictures during that first scan, I had to admit that I didn’t know the faintest thing about how to even define life, let alone give it meaning.
The closest I’ve come to finding meaning is a direct result of finding purpose. Whether the purpose of your life is something you discover or something you create for yourself, the meaning of your life becomes apparent when you realise what your life is going to be used for. Don’t just drift. Define what you’re going to do with your life, and its meaning will follow.
Also, at the risk of sounding mushy, it’s probably got something to do with love. Right?
Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Matt: If you could have a sidekick of any sort – what would it be able to do for you?
Frasier: They could remember the name of that thing I keep forgetting! And take on my duties during the infernal morning hours.
If anyone is up for the job, let me know. You’re hired. Although, to be honest, I’ve always thought I’d make a much better sidekick than a hero. So maybe I should be offering my sidekick services out here instead?
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?
Frasier: “Here lies Frasier Armitage, who achieved his lifelong goal of meeting Keanu Reeves after doing an interview with Matt Adcock. He was survived by everyone he loved.”
Matt: Any final words you like to add...
Frasier: Just a big thanks to everyone who takes a chance on an indie author. The highest compliment you can pay a writer is to allow them access to your imagination for a little while, so for every reader out there — thank you.
Oh. And I should probably mention that New Yesterday comes out on April 4th, 2023. (I’m terrible at marketing. You can add that to the list of jobs for the hypothetical sidekick.)
(4.5 - Strong concept near future memory-stretching fun!)
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