I've just read a novel I thoroughly enjoyed. It's called Pastworld. After a while, mainly because of the age of the main characters - 17 - I realised the book was written for young people. It's published by Bloomsbury Children's Books.
The idea underlying the plot is gripping - London, in the middle of the twenty-first century, has been bought by a mega-Corporation and turned into a huge theme park where residents and visitors live according to Victorian-era laws, morality and culture. The darker side of Victorian life (and of mega-corporations!) creates a sense of evil that provides the tension.
The book's a great read and I wonder if it might one day be made into a film.
One odd thing that struck me about the writing was that the author, Ian Beck, sometimes uses comma splices.
At first I thought it was occurring only in dialogue, which seems fine to me, as it gives a sense of the individuality of a character. Here's an example from page 84. 'At least we shall travel on a steam train, you might enjoy that.'
But there are comma splices in other places too, for instance on page 88: Lucius turned to Caleb and stopped him, he held on to his arm and said almost in a whisper...
There are many more examples of this construction.
I've heard it said that the comma splice will eventually be acceptable in English. I know that I see it often in the writing of teenagers, which makes me wonder if their writing is a sign of the times to come. I like changes in English, in language generally, because to me that's a sign of life, of change and growth. But I must say that comma splices 'twang' for me when I'm reading and take me momentarily out of the world of the writer's imagination.
Anyway, here's a great gift idea for all those writers who've already moved into the brave new world of comma splicing.
When I checked out the home page of the writer, Ian Beck, I was pleasantly surprised to realise he's the author of some of the lovely picture books I've shard with young children in the past.