Terry J. Newman's debut book, Drayling, was published in March 2011 by Pen Press Publication.
Here's information about the author: Terry J. Newman lives with his wife in Sussex. He is a member of English Heritage, the National Trust, Brighton & Hove Albion Supporters' Club and Mensa.
Here's a description of Drayling:
Twenty-fifth century Drayling, and Britain as a whole, has benefited greatly from advances in technology and medical science, and life in the Graves' household, and in those of their friends and colleagues, is secure, clear and very content. The desire and need for clarity, truth and order has motivated communities to live in harmony, abandoning any potentially controversial aspects or ways of life, including all religions, in favour of a modern civilised society that upholds order, simplicity, honesty, love and honour as its ideals.
A REVIEW OF TERRY J. NEWMAN'S DRAYLING
Terry J. Newman's Drayling is a philosophical and partly political science fiction book for adults. Although Drayling is pure speculative fiction, it's almost like a combination of speculative fiction and mainstream elements, because the events take place in a small and secure community and the Graves family is in the middle of the happenings. I like this kind of science fiction, because it's often more interesting and challenging than hard science fiction.
When I began to read Drayling, I wasn't sure what to think about it, but soon I found myself liking it, because the author had his own voice and writing style. I liked the author's philosophical, easygoing and thoughtful approach to things concerning life and society (the characters spent a lot of time thinking about things and how to react to them). Drayling reminded me a bit of Terry Grimwood's Bloody War, which I read a few weeks ago, but it's a totally different kind of a book.
Here's a bit of information about the plot:
The whole Britain has changed after Dunstan Heathfield's Revolution. This revolution changed the way of life completely and introduced new ideas that were accepted and celebrated throughout Britain. Uri Graves lives with his family in Drayling, which is part of the British Friendly Federation. His wife is Della and his two children are called Marius and Urania. They're content with their life in Drayling. This 25th century British community has a simple political and cultural structure. Life in Drayling is safe, clear and simple, but everything begins to change when political atmosphere changes and a young man called Stin arrives into Drayling. When political atmosphere changes radically, a minor group of people decide to do something, because they feel that their way of life is threatened and they begin to revolt against the government. They also want to find the truth about certain things.
The members of the Graves family are described as happy and content persons who are proud members of the society. Uri Graves is a Local Historian and an intelligent man. He's always willing to talk about history. His son, Marius, follows in his footsteps and becomes an important part of the community. Uri's wife, Della, is an understanding, patient and loving wife, who supports her husband. Uri's daughter, Urania, is a young girl. The other characters are also interesting.
Drayling starts slowly, because several things (BFF, RA, DHR etc) are explained to the reader, so it isn't a book for hasty readers. The reader gets to know about the community and how things are handled there. Gradually the plot gathers momentum and the reader just has to keep on reading to find out what happens next. I think it's nice that the author spent enough time to explain things, because it created a good basis for the climax.
There are several interesting scenes in Drayling. For example, it was interesting to read how the community reacted to a cricket game, when Marius discovered it in his archaelogical excavation. It was also fascinating to read about a peaceful community and the way of life within the community, because Drayling is almost like a utopia where everything is nice and easy and nobody has to worry about anything. The quest to find out about the power line was also fascinating. I also liked the ending of the book, because it revealed everything (I'm sure that several readers will find the ending fascinating, because the characters find out the truth about important things).
Drayling is a surpringly quick read, but it's a rewarding reading experience. If you like mainstream fiction and depictions of a stable and loving family life and political situations, you'll probably enjoy Drayling. This book may not be of interest to some readers, because it's a combination of utopian science fiction, political elements and family life (and the story moves slowly), but readers who are willing to read different kind of science fiction will find it intriguing. Drayling is a book for intelligent and patient readers who appreciate history and philosophy and and want to immerse themselves in reading.