Author Jeffery J. Smith has published a science fiction novel, Perfect Timing, which explores the potential of a universal basic income to improve the lot of humanity.
Smith has been an advocate of basic income for over 20 years, promoting a Georgist-inspired approach to a citizen’s dividend. Explaining the influence of his views on his novel, he states:
As a lifelong activist, I’ve concluded that our most fundamental and wide-reaching solution is to get an extra income to everyone from society’s surplus. Doing that would topple hierarchy and all its attendant ills, it’d liberate us from conformist labor, it’d leave very little for people to haggle over in the political arena, and — coming from “rents” — it’d automatically spur us to do more with less. We could live our lives as the human beings we were meant to be.
In his words, Perfect Timing “conveys the tone of Hitchhiker’s Guide, offers insights like Stranger in a Strange Land, and presents an upbeat alternative, unlike Brave New World.”
The book’s publisher, Rogue Phoenix, provides the following summary (with a longer excerpt available on its website):
Accidentally transported to the future, caterer Crik escapes house-arrest with Tepper, his possible distant descendant. While pursued by volunteer vigilante Voltak, goofball Crik explores Geotopia—where buildings grow, people incorporate animal powers, smart phones know it all, and vehicles defy gravity—seeking clues. If he can discover, understand, and articulate the future’s public policy that works right for everybody, he can prove he was their founder, the lone agent of change who put society on its path toward universal prosperity and harmony with nature. If he fails to convince the Futurite Authorities, they wouldn’t return their unexpected visitor to the exact second he left—something their law requires—to the moment when a hail of gunfire was bearing down on the luckless caterer and college dropout…would they?
The novel was published on April 18, 2017, and is currently available at Amazon.com.
Reviewed by Genevieve Shanahan