in the easy town story
What is the easy town story?
In the easy town story Alice convinces the US billionaire Tom Holbon to join her in developing a town experiment. The aim of the experiment is to rethink– well, everything.
The easy town story will be published in 12 books, covering 7 years, from Alice’s letter to Tom Holbon, that started it all, to planning, building and running the town experiment.
There is a lot more to the story. For the more see the easy town books website.
How it all began
When I wrote the first draft for book 1, beginning, I realised that someone was bound to bring up social media.
Without a plan or an idea what I was going to do about social media, except that I didn’t want tech giants to play a role in the story, I started to write a scene where Alice is confronted with that question. At the end of that scene, I had the Hub.
The Hub Stations came about in a similarly unplanned way. A character asked whether the Hub wouldn’t become just another tech giant, and wouldn’t that contradict the project’s approach of working with small businesses?
As the discussion unfolded, the idea for the Hub Stations was born.
In the final version of book 1, beginning, I used a summary of the Hub Stations idea, not the original dialogue.
A major reason for giving the Hub this much room in the story was that the Hub is a great example of what is possible if and when we rethink business practices.
With the support we propose for the Hub Stations, we demonstrate early on that we mean what we say, that we are not out to exploit, that we work to create not to pump dry, and that every human will be treated with respect in our businesses.
book 1, beginning
The Hub in book 2, travelling
Ever since the two key scenes were written, the ideas for the Hub and for the Hub Stations keep piling up, and it was great to visit some of the fictional Hub Stations in book 2, travelling.
One of my favourite Hub scene in book 2 is when a group of people ask Alice about the Hub, and with a lopsided smile she shows them her phone screen.
It was white.
‘But it is empty.’
‘It’s whatever you want it to be. You’re the master of your Hub, in every way. I like my Hub simple.’
Alice smiled. ‘There are only four things I need. And I activate them with a tap of my finger. One tap: phone, two taps: texts, three taps: missed calls and texts, and alas four taps: the new Hub version which we’ll launch in September.’
Eyes widened. ‘Can we see?’
Alice rolled her eyes jovially. ‘Sure. Tap, tap, tap and tap.’
book 2/2, travelling
I love this scene, because it demonstrates so clearly that the Hub is whatever a user wants it to be.
The Hub in the upcoming easy town books
In book 3, shaping, and in book 4, building, the Hub scenes will mostly focus on Hub features for the future Easy Town.
Though generally speaking, the Hub won’t play much of a role in that part of the overall story.
In book 5, hiding & breaking, on the other hand, the Hub will play a central and unexpected role.
Since the Hub wasn’t part of the original story, I don’t know yet whether it will play a special role after book 5. Though, I guess the town features and their implications, plus the implications of using the digital world, and related issues, will be discussed at various points in the story.