Jeffery Smith, Perfect Timing

Jeffery J. Smith, Perfect Timing, Rogue Phoenix Press, 2017, no page numbers, 1-62420-321-3, £3.97,

We don’t normally review fiction in the Citizen’s Income Newsletter, but we have been sent this book because of its mention of unconditional incomes, described here as ‘Citizen’s Dividends, like the Alaska oil dividend’.

The book is a science fiction novel in which Crik is transported to the future and finds himself in a world both familiar and unfamiliar. Perhaps the best way to describe the book is to quote from it:

Crik moves in for a closer look of Murky upgrading the chronoscope into a functioning time machine. He recalls working with Randy’s Dad on his first car, a Mazda rotary. Crik holds a part in place as the historian tightens it down. ‘What’s your nutshell explanation?’

Murky wipes his brow. ‘Space travel is changing your location. Time travel is changing your vibration. Not the vibration of your matter, but the vibration of your aura, so that you no longer fit in this time, the present, but fit in another era, one of the futures or pasts.’ Murky holds up a part that looks like a multi-spouted oil can. ‘Zuminators to bring an aura into focus.’ He pats another that looks like a flabby fish. ‘H80 dynamators to intensify the aura.’ He holds a dual cylinder. ‘KYJays to keep the intensified aura attached to the body.’ He pats the heart-shaped part. ‘Solmatol Series X to tune into another era’s frequency and an LKM 78 to match the aura’s frequency to it. Presto, you’re gone.’ He breaks into an aria.

This dude probably knows lots about lots of topics. Crik shows him the crystallized thread. The scientist shrugs. Crik clears his throat. ‘So about that extra income, your dividend for citizens.’

Murky doesn’t look up from his sweaty work. ‘As soon as we all shared society’s surplus, and everyone felt secure materially, then all of us could contribute our unique talents. Look at me, I used to be a banker.’

‘Wooh. It’ll be our little secret.’

‘It was an ex-con who broke the nano barrier. Never would’ve happened without everyone finally getting a fair share. Once they divvied up the commonwealth, progress took off, went ballistic.’

Wow. Amazing. The way things should be.