Monday, 12 August 2013

Anthony Trollope: The Fixed Period

Finally, a new Whisky Priest book! It's the long-promised publication of Anthony Trollope's sole science-fiction novel, The Fixed Period.

Britannula, off the coast of New Zealand, is a thriving republic. Three decades ago the government of energetic young men decided that compulsory euthanasia after the age of 67 would spare unnecessary suffering and state expense. But now, in 1980, some of those once-young politicians are now elder statesmen, facing very significant birthdays...

The Fixed Period is quite an oddity: Trollope does steampunk as grim social comedy. Its imagined 1980 features portable telephones, battleships launching city-busting shells, steam-powered bicycles and cars, and cricket played with huge teams and artillery-like mechanical (and steam-powered) bowlers. Its narrator, Britannula's elected leader, is a sad and convincing portrait of a well-meaning fanatic, pushing his 'utopian' vision of enforced euthanasia even at the expense of his best friend's life.

Trollope himself died in the year of the book's first publication, 1882, at the age of 67...

Read an appreciation by David Lodge here.

Available from Lulu, Amazon US and Amazon UK.


  1. Anthony Trollope does sci-fi? Consider my mind officially blown.

  2. I was amazed when I first came across it, too--and it was definitely worth resurrecting.