More

Author guest blog: Fated by Teri Terry

Teri Terry’s new book Fated is a blisteringly topical teen thriller, set in a not-unfamiliar world of closed borders and political turmoil. Here Teri introduces the book and its origins and provides some extension questions suitable for classroom or reading group discussions.

My tenth book, Fated, is out in the UK on 7th March! I’m so excited to be talking about it at last, but it’s impossible to do so without going back and forth in time …

My first book was Slated, the first in a trilogy, published in 2012 and set in 2054. The back story to the trilogy is that the UK has left the EU, closed borders and become isolationist. Underage students were blamed for the widespread chaos and rioting that followed. Imprisonment and offenders’ executions were replaced by wiping memories and assigning them to a new family for a second chance. This process was called Slating, referring to the idea of a clean slate.

Back in the real world, the UK seems poised to leave the EU. During the build-up to the vote and then the results, I kept having this uneasy feeling that things I’d written were coming true. I became increasingly obsessed with wanting to know how the world in Slated came to be – to write a prequel to the story. How did things go so very wrong after the UK left the EU? How fragile is our democracy?

Fated is set just a few years from now – a generation earlier than Slated. Three teens are at a crossroads in their lives at a time when the whole country seems to be disintegrating into violence and chaos. When their paths intersect, their decisions and actions – or inaction – could change the world …

Discussion questions

A point raised in Fated is how unfair it seems that teenagers aren’t able to vote but are stuck with the results.

  • In the Scottish referendum, sixteen and seventeen year olds were able to vote. Should young people be able to vote in referendums that have such far reaching consequences on their futures?
  • Should they be able to vote generally?
  • What effects might this have on the political scene in the UK?

Social media has a huge impact in Fated. In the real world it can bring attention to injustices and effect change, but it can also be manipulated and exploited.

  • What impact does social media have on politicians and voters?
  • If it can be so readily exploited, should it be more controlled, and if so, by whom? If it were, what could the implications of this be?

Slated is set in an imagined future UK where a strict totalitarian regime, the Lorders, controlled the country. Fated shows how the Lorders began.

  • Do you think this could happen in the UK? Why or why not?

A dystopia is a story set in a future world where things have gone wrong. A hero fights against the system but ultimately fails, and the story serves as a warning: change things now so this won’t come to pass.

  • Does Fated fit this definition? Does Slated?
  • Are we living in a dystopian universe right now? Why or why not?