Today I’m pleased to welcome Tyler Edwards, author of The Outlands which is published on the 24th January, with a guest post about ‘what ifs’
Have you ever wondered ‘what if’? What if I had made this choice? Done this differently? What would my life look like today if I’d ___? It’s one of my favorite questions to ponder. What if I had been popular instead of an awkward nerd in High School? What if I’d taken this job instead of that one? What if… is a question full of infinite possibilities. With each exploration of causality an entirely new world is formed. Imagining how life or the world could be different if one thing in it were changed has always been intriguing to me. Sometimes the smallest most seemingly insignificant choices are the ones that make the biggest difference in our lives.
There are plenty of moments in my life that I wish I could redo. Plenty of things I wish I could change. I find myself wondering how I would be different if I changed them. Are the moments I’d alter first perhaps the moments that have molded me the most? What values would be different, beliefs lost if our experiences in life were different?
This is why I love dystopian stories. A good dystopia is just that, it’s imagining a world where one thing is different and then pulling on that loose thread until the sweater of the world we know unravels. From this ball of shapeless yarn, we weave a new world; a world that could easily have been our own should this one little thing be changed. The adventure of a dystopia is asking the question what if on a global scale. Dystopian stories are a daydream of wild imagination where the characters guide you on an exploration of the very question: what if?
I was surprised by how much fun it was to really unpack this question as I worked on a dystopian story. What I didn’t expect is how it would change my view of the world that is. There are so many things I just assume are how the world works. Things I’ve accepted as fixed. The more I look at the world and ask the question: what if, the more it seems fluid. That makes every day feel a little more like an adventure.
About the Book
In the ruins of the world that was lies the city of Dios, a haven protected from the hostile environment known as The Outlands. Ruled by an oppressive Patriarch, the people of Dios are conditioned in fear. The smallest infraction could result in banishment to the Outlands, a fate worse than death.
With his make-shift family of “Undesirables”, Jett Lasting struggles to find his place in a world where drawing attention to yourself can get you killed. His very existence is considered a crime. To survive, he must avoid guards, beggar gangs, and an ever-growing tension that could drag the whole city into chaos.
Jett unwittingly becomes entwined in a plot to overthrow the government where his choices could lead to freedom or the death of everyone he’s ever known or cared about.