It all goes back to music.
When I was writing this novel, long before I knew how it would end or where it would go, I knew it would be about time travel and the sense of loss that comes from dislocation from the present moment. I had this image in mind of a historian or archaeologist finding a tiny memory format and extrapolating the remains of our culture from this infinitesimally small sample. What would be lost? What could be inferred?
I considered the nearest memory device to hand, which happened to be a 128GB micro-sd card I used for my music player. It held the complete works of David Bowie, which covered 1964 to 2012 at the time. 48 years of material that seemed to encompass everything from our current age, like a hologram of culture, where any individual part could be analysed and would reveal influences that would span out into the far future and references that would trail off into the far past. The micro-sd card could easily have held the complete video works and transcribed interviews, the news articles and reviews. It would have revealed elements of fashion, art, literature and history. Tiny fragments, like clips of lyrics, would lead to a series of deeper explanations and descriptions of their hidden meaning.
Although I always listened to music whilst writing, I started to listen to David Bowie to the deliberate exclusion of all else; allowing the main characters to become equally enthused. This resulted in the chapter titles reflecting song titles and makes for a great playlist.
CHAPTER 01: STARMAN
CHAPTER 02: TELLING LIES
CHAPTER 03: JUMP THEY SAY
CHAPTER 04: THE HEARTS FILTHY LESSON
CHAPTER 05: IT AIN’T EASY
CHAPTER 06: A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN
CHAPTER 07: WE ALL GO THROUGH
CHAPTER 08: NEIGHBOURHOOD THREAT
CHAPTER 09: SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS)
CHAPTER 10: I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU
CHAPTER 11: STATION TO STATION
CHAPTER 12: WATCH THAT MAN
CHAPTER 13: FUTURE LEGEND
CHAPTER 14: TIME WILL CRAWL
CHAPTER 15: SACRIFICE YOURSELF
CHAPTER 16: EVERYONE SAYS HI
CHAPTER 17: ASHES TO ASHES
CHAPTER 18: SURVIVE
CHAPTER 19: AS THE WORLD FALLS DOWN
CHAPTER 20: SLIP AWAY
CHAPTER 21: TIME