Author Archives: Stephen Oram

Take a trip, with Fluence

It’s been a week since Fluence was published and it’s time to take it (and me) out on a trip.

Over the next two weeks there’ll be an online book tour, which will take in 11 stops and feature a mix of interviews and reviews, and I’ll be at the Penzance Literary Festival on 9 July to take part in a panel on publishing and the evolving world of the Indie Author.

The fortnight culminates with a London book launch in the Primrose Hill Community Library (in conjunction with Primrose Hill Books) at 7pm on 21 July – you’re very welcome to come and join us.


photo credit: harbor via photopin (license)

Fluence is published

Fluence is published today, 26 June, and available online in paperback and as an e-book from major retailers.

There’s lots of information on my website, where you can browse the first few chapters, take the Fluence Test and read the blurb.

The first review through the door is from Celia Wade-Brown, the Mayor of Wellington in New Zealand.

“Oram offers a glimpse into a Dystopian London where social media use moves from mild addiction to a visceral quest for survival, where commodification of experience and shallow responses sound warning bells for our species’ continuance. Current debate about benefits and who’s entitled to support reach bitter depths . Fluence’s mix of characters tumble today’s class system and focus on appearance into a rat race where empathy is rare and no-one knows who is friend or foe, even within their own family. A fast-paced and eerily visual read.”

So… imagine a dystopian world: where you are defined by algorithms; where corporations are in control of the government; and where your social media influence determines where you can live. Imagine the dystopian world of Fluence.

if corporations governed us…

Have you ever been in a supermarket queue with someone shouting in your general direction that there are plenty of empty self-service tills? I have. I was in one when I started to ponder what it might be like if the corporations governed us.

As I waited disobediently, I couldn’t help observe how the drive towards self-service affected the way the staff interacted with their customers. I understand the desire to reduce costs and that’s fair enough, so long as there’s a sufficiently level playing field for others to offer alternatives. Personally, I’d rather pay a little more and have some human contact, or even a little bit more than that and still have local independent shops.

Anyway, my thoughts meandered into the territory of the National Health Service. Would a similarly dehumanised health service be characterised by stressed and low paid staff shouting at queues of the sick? Shouts to cajole and point out that you can queue for an x-ray if you want, but there are plenty of self-service booths available and it’ll be a lot faster.

On the other hand, a loyalty scheme that gave the most frequent users the most reward points could be a winner.

Am I being unfair? Possibly.

Anyone for a self-service eye test or a do-it-yourself cancer diagnosis?