The Private Enemy (novel) FAQ

This is the FAQ for the novel The Private Enemy. (Contains spoilers.)


What does crime/speculative fiction mean? 🔗

The novel is primarily a crime story but includes speculative fiction elements. Speculative fiction is a super-category of genres such as science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, cyber punk, steam punk and clock punk. There are other speculative fiction genres as well. In this case the story is speculating about a possible future. Other examples of this type of genre include George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949 and speculating about a possible 1984, which was at that time in the future) and G.K. Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill (published in 1904 speculating about a possible future 100 years after the time of writing, which is now in our past).

Strangely, some people seem to think that SF=spaceships+aliens. Science fiction does include stories about aliens or spaceships, and some of them are entertaining, but spaceships and aliens aren't a prerequisite for speculative fiction and there aren't any in this novel.

2015-03-30 11:42:07


How long did it take to write the book? 🔗

As far as I can remember, I wrote the first draft in 1992. It underwent a substantial rewrite after I completed the Module 1 Creative Writing course at the University of East Anglia and before I enrolled on the follow-on diploma course. The first 10,000 words formed 90% of my diploma portfolio. After the diploma finished I switched to private lessons with my diploma tutor and continued to edit the story following his critiquing.

2015-03-30 11:48:59


Isn't it a bit unusual to have a glossary of dialect terms at the end of the book? 🔗

It's not unheard of. Compton Mackenzie's Whisky Galore has a glossary of Gaelic terms at the back of the book.

2015-03-30 15:12:33


What's the difference between the first edition and the revised first edition? 🔗

Despite at least four or five different people proof-reading the manuscript a few errors were missed. These have been corrected in the revised first edition. Since I use print on demand, only around 80 copies of the first edition were printed. The revised first edition copies have "Revised first edition" at the bottom of the copyright page. The revised first edition is now out of print following the publication of the second edition.

2019-10-25 12:05:27


What LaTeX class and packages were used to typeset the paperback? 🔗

The memoir class with the following packages: fontenc (T1 option), inputenc, tgtermes (TeX Gyre Termes font), microtype, lettrine (drop caps), bpchem and glossaries. I also used the hyperref package to assist electronic proof-reading, but the hyperlinks were disabled in the final print-ready version (using the draft option).

2016-01-11 09:35:57



Why do the authorities give in to Anti-Tech demands? 🔗

Because it's a convenient excuse to censor communications. The only available public communication channels are: newspapers, which can be censored before distribution; billboards, which are government controlled; analogue radio, which can be monitored and interrupted with static.

2015-03-30 11:26:05