SHORT STORIES: GLASGOW 2050
Other Short Stories: Corbies, Marina, A Christmas Miracle
In this city the future is already here – less than a step, a fraction of a second, barely a heartbeat away. The future is what happens next, and next comes very suddenly.
Under the sun-filtering Central Glasgow All-Weather Canopy, already christened Glesca’s Brolly, the webs of renewable energy hold the city together. All the accents of Europe and Asia blend with the older native voices in the street markets and beside the fast food counters. The voices are what you notice, these and the music of the world drifting out from the restaurants and retail arcades; for the traffic makes no sound in these post-gasoline decades. Fewer personal vehicles offset by more driverless taxis, a host of pedicabs and baggage trolleys pulled by the latest cheap labour from the new republics of the Caucasus, the free elevated monorail services round the centre and out to the suburbs. Sauchiehall Street is a symphony of street carnival; George Square is café heaven for the urban gourmet.
Where is the Worker City? Gone to the Proletysian Fields of delusive memory, sunk for ever beneath the waves of the Global Sea. Where is Red Clydeside? Bleached to a fashionable political tint – pink is this season’s black. Who belongs to Glasgow, dear auld Glesca Toun? All the world, baby, seeking asylum, looking for Celtic romance, a land with water galore, democracy despite itself – aye, there’s naething the matter wi Glasgow though it’s going roun and roun. And if you’re a common auld working chap, just haud your wheesht and enjoy the ride. And don’t stare too much at the CCTVs . The guys in dark glasses up in the control booths don’t like it if you notice them too blatantly - a quick zoom-in to identify your biometric indices, and a check-up visit later on in the evening from Dear Green Place Security. No cause for alarm, sir, just routine - do you have any problems with medication?
And you, auld yin, with your free-issue walking aids and transport. Awricht, uryi?
What stories have you seen unfold in these eventful years? And what are the sagas of this new Glasgow? The City has a million tales waiting to be told. Can we open the book on a few of them?