My A-Z theme this year is a guide to my trilogy of novels called ‘The State Trilogy’. Set in an unnamed island country known only as ‘The State’, in the imagined near future, the books follow the intertwining stories of a number of characters, principally a State police detective named Danny Samson and an assassin, Gabriella Marino, over a period of six years. It begins with the assassination of an elected official and spirals into revolution and civil war. Part political thriller, action story, war story and dystopian science fiction, the trilogy took three years to complete and the books are available to read now – you can find links to purchase them HERE

In The State Trilogy, ‘T’ stands for:

Tania Childe: A junior officer in the employ of assassinated City Consul Donald Parkinson. Her full first name is Montana, named by her parents after the state in the Civil American States destroyed by the first strike nuclear attack. She is questioned by Danny Samson and later comes to him with vital information in his investigation. As a character, I deliberately made Tania’s sexuality and gender appearance ambivalent. This represented something I wanted to have more of within the future world, although initial ambitions were curtailed, partly by focussing on the plot, and partly by the clumsy English language lack of non-gendered singular alternatives to ‘he’ and ‘she’.

Tyrell and Tia: Members of the northern village in the wilderness and part of the raiding party that makes the dangerous journey to the city in search of supplies. Tyrell also accompanies Hassan on their quest with Eilidh in ‘State Of War’.

Transport: I’m no expert in the future of transport and what may come and replace cars running on petrol and diesel, but I did include some details that I think have a fairly good chance of happening in the medium to far future. Cars are electric, and automatic, although there are still a few older models that include a steering wheel around, including for the police. Taxis are all AutoTaxis, driverless cars. All models of cars are the same shape and colour for economical and resource reasons. Train services are much improved, and a large monorail shuttle travels the length and breadth of the State (think HS2), carried on a track that travels over the wilderness. Cycling and walking are encouraged. Although military flight is mentioned in the trilogy, passenger flight isn’t mentioned, but does exist, although the State does not easily allow people to enter or leave the country. In a quirk of status, the Chancellor insists in still having a chauffeur drive her state car.

Technology: As with transport of the future, I’m no expert on technology. I deliberately didn’t go into too much detail about what we all may or may not be using in the future. There were some things, for example the TouchScreen – a modern replacement of your smartphone, tablet, laptop, computer and television. As the novels progress, I deliberately regressed in some of the technology, so that the city, destroyed by the civil war, and her citizens, in the end become reliant on older and more basic technology, for example in the weaponry of the rebels and mercenaries compared to the state of the art military might of the State army. It was important that the novels focused on the story of the characters and not on the technical details of the future world, which are in the backdrop and help frame the story, but not dominate it.

Teddy Davies: Edward Davies is the head of the State Security Service, the name given for the vast intelligence organisation that controls the lives of the citizens of the State. He also runs the State hit squads and surveillance networks and is loyal to the Chancellor and the Central Alliance Party. Teddy is a dangerous man to all, the power behind the throne, and he holds all the secrets from his time in the agency, including the secrets about the First Strike War.

Timothy Pigeon: A journalist covering the State Chancellor and the Palace in Capital City, working for a State-controlled media outlet and consequently compromised in his work.

Next up – U is for: United States of America and Union of Socialist States

All the entries in the A-Z of ‘The State Trilogy’ can be found HERE

The books are available from a wide selection of online retailers, including AMAZON

33 responses to “THE STATE TRILOGY A-Z GUIDE: T”

  1. Hari Om
    If one thinks back even ten years, it is difficult to remember that we barely had things like the birdy-thing or the insty-thing and this whole business of carrying one’s entire world in one’s pocket/handbag or – now – on one’s wrist was still ‘sci fi’… short of a paradigm shift in the nature of tech (brain implants?) it will merely be aesthetics and fashion that will dictate how it looks and is applied. Transport is more interesting and immediate… YAM xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • To think when I was at Uni doing Film & TV they had a library of films on VHS, recorded off the TV, for us to study! No streaming in those days, and my ‘phone was a mobile that had two lines of digital text and that was it! Yes, the change in the last couple of decades with technology has been massive – and I think too quick for us to really comprehend what it is doing to our lifestyles!


  2. I’m not sure why but some of your made up terms *feel* like real terms. Like Touchscreen, okay occasionally people use Touchscreen to mean their touchscreen PC. But then, AutoTaxi just *sounds* right, so clever and quick right? And, that’s not even a real thing … yet. It just reminds me of some really good sci fi, where it’s like, 1) just a matter of time and 2) that is a pretty good brandname for it when it gets here.

    Liked by 1 person

      • As someone who identifies (internally) as NB, this is a subject dear to my heart. I don’t mind she/her pronouns and use them all the time, but I prefer not to be labeled or categorized by gender when at all possible, because I think that is ignorant. Singular they/them actually has more history to it than you might think. It sounds archaic or confusing because we’re not used to it, because singular “they” fell out of public usage. Due in part to sexism and gender-normative thinking, which gender-based pronouns tends to reinforce. If we start using they/them (or some alternate pronoun) all the time, then “they” will “feel normal.” And, one day it will feel weird that we always assigned gender to people/jobs/situations. That’s how cultural and language drift works! Pronouns always have the potential to be confusing in poorly-worded prose, so that is NO EXCUSE. I have a lot of strong feelings on this.

        This is all very doable, but it does take time, but not that long if we make a concerted effort. Kudos for taking steps with the Tania character. No, you don’t need to be any smarter than you are to do this. It actually isn’t all that complicated OR hard.

        (Just looked this up real quick: check out some of the examples and quotes for a reality check, in case you don’t believe me.),specify%20a%20role%20being%20undertaken%20by%20a%20person.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed Anne. The trouble I had with they/them for the individual was that they/them (person) were also part of a group of three people – so when saying they/them it quickly became confusing as to who I was referring to – the individual or the group, and the writing quickly became very clunky. There needs to be a neater way to get round this pronoun problem!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hm. Haven’t gotten to that part yet, but pretty sure there are ways around it. Of course if Tania doesn’t mind presenting as fem that’s also fine. But you run into this problem anytime you use titles or pronouns. There are always ways to disambiguate. You probably do it with other pronouns all the time on reflex. Just guessing, but I know my brain is like that sometimes. Oh wait, I can rewrite to be clear which he I mean but not which them I mean. If this character is that inseparable part of a trio, then irl I bet you would say something like well not all of them just Tania to be clear. As opposed to not all of them just her. Ugh I am really tired and grumpy today and even more unfiltered than usual. Also this is interesting to me. Have a good one.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just a note (not a critique)… they has been accepted as singular for quite some time. When you say “ambivalent” I cringe (sorry!). Being nonbinary is not ambivalent, it’s simply who that person is. When you say ambivalent, I immediately envision Pat from Saturday Night Live (a character I really loathe) because people should not be comedic oddities or fade into the background on the page simply because they are “harder” to write than something we identify with. As an ace nonbinary writer, I find it difficult to write straight women who live their life in the “stereotypical” ways. It’s fun taking a step outside of ourselves as writers and create characters that represent both the best and worst of what we see around us. Even in the future, there will be some who don’t fit their societal norms. I haven’t bought your books yet, but who knows…by the time we reach Z, you might have convinced me lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Teresa – I think you may have mis-interpreted what I meant by ambivalent. What I meant was I deliberately didn’t proscribe Tania with a male or female identity in the writing, not that I was ambivalent about the importance of non-binary identification. The struggle I then ran into was the pronoun problem of the English language, which I mentioned to Anne in her comment. We can use they/them for a singular person, but in the same scene with a group of people who are also referred to as they/them, it quickly becomes tricky to differentiate which they/them you’re referring too! So in the end I fell back to referring to Tania as she/her, which meant the passages flowed much better, but took away from my original intention of having a non-binary character (although I think it’s still implied enough for those who want to see it that way). Hope that has cleared that up for you – we don’t get SNL over here, so I have no idea who Pat is!! I agree, part of the fun and interest of writing is stepping outside your own identity and creating characters, and learning about others in the process. Hope I’m able to convince you by the time we get to Z!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not sure when I’ll feel able to trust self-driving cars. The map app on my phone has taken me to some bizarre places at times, which makes me wonder about the accuracy of the computer-driven vehicles. hahaha I imagine myself relaxing, napping, reading, and letting the car drive, then getting out and wondering, “Where the heck am I??”

    I like how the “Chancellor insists in still having a chauffeur drive her state car.” What a great quirk to add!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, not something I would fully trust, certainly at the moment – plus, I do like driving, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would quite like to drive myself most of he time. I thought it was a nice way to make the Chancellor stand out from the crowd 🙂


  5. Interesting how trains were at one time thought to become obsolete but in recent years are making a comeback. Including them in your future is almost an expected mode of transportation. Also, cycling and walking are encouraged in your story as they are in the present. Soon your stories will be considered contemporary, one more sub-genre to add to your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting how you are playing with driverless cars and non-gendered characters, both of which are very present in our worlds today. It is fascinating and useful I think to explore how this will evolve in our books.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I felt all the petrol heads being crushed by the concept of the cars all being the same 😀 Personally, I’m very dull & consider a car simply a means of getting from a to b, but I know I’m in a minority there! Even Himself, who’s a practical sort, has a love of cars, so long as he doesn’t have to pay to run & maintain them!

    A-Zing from Fiction Can Be Fun
    Normally found at Debs Despatches

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, the petrol heads are going to have to get used to it! It seems logical to me that as resources become scarce and economies tighten, then the easiest way to achieve profit is to only make one kind of car, uniform production.

      Liked by 1 person

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