Thursday, 17 October 2013

Short Story: Pressed for Time by Andrew C Murphy

Pressed for Time is a (very) short story which is the basic precursor to the film In Time (which starred Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried I believe), a film that I enjoyed a lot. Since watching In Time, I have always been intrigued as to where the concept came from, maybe in some way I wasn't convinced that Hollywood could come up with something so original. I looked for ages, and then today just by chance, I stumbled upon Pressed for Time and I had an answer. Due to the short length, really only a couple of pages, a plot summary isn't really possible, so instead this review is going to simply be my thoughts on reading.

Link to Goodreads

The style of writing in Pressed for Time would be more akin to that of a newspaper article or report, as there is very little to characterise it as as fictional story. What I mean by this is that there is very little plot, and there are only really two characters in the story, 'I' and the journalist. Instead Pressed for Time comes across as if it is a factual account rather than an emotional account, despite even having a first person narrative.

Those of you who are familiar with the aforementioned film, In Time, will recognise the idea of a clock on the person's wrist, though in this case they only count as far as 70 and no further. At 70 the person's time is up. The government can control the time on a person's clock by speeding up or slowing down an hour, and so they have control of the situation. Unlike in the film, time is not used as currency, though it is possible to see how that could happen.

I found that Pressed for Time had a very interesting concept, and I would have been intrigued to read a more in depth exploration of it in novel form. But at the same time, the short couple of pages were interesting and worth a read.