"Earls Court in Outer Space", possible title for a future episode of Dr Who. I have been thinking about forms of fiction as a way to make more sense of things. Also time travel is unavoidable. This blog is about 2002 after all and the issues for UK print and publishing seem not to have changed very much. Also travel in actual space would be interesting as the Frankfurt bookfair is the same week as Total Print! So my first plot premise is that in the future there will be an integrated kind of show in London, "total communication" perhaps when the LCC gets used to not being LCP. This is some way off of course.
Diagrams show Earl's Court with a print and publishing event at the same time. Ground floor for anything heavy, print kit in Earl's Court 2 but connected to the books in Earl's Court 1. Upstairs for the agents near the Conference Centre, and pre-media, software any equipment that is fairly light. The LCC Futures Conference is in some other space at the back. Yes, there had to be a point to all this. the escalator will go straight to the LCC conference with a direct walking route from Earl's Court 2. Think about it. Next week you may find yourself walking all the way round Earl's Court to go up a level and walk back almost as far as where you started.
Anyway, back to the fiction. UK authors have started to vanish, but then reappear. Terry Pratchett is back again but still no sign of Doris Lessing. Then new texts appear on the Web in similar styles such as they may have written. The website is traced to Canada and there appears to be a connection with a Toronto agent played by Dan Ackroyd. Believe me, he will take the part. All he has to do is to explain that he is in contact with aliens and they have a method of producing books. Terry Pratchett was easy to clone but Doris Lessing is a bit more difficult.
Enter Doctor Who, played by Christopher Eccleston. He manages to negotiate a deal with Dan Ackroyd so that Doris Lessing returns to the UK and several authors agree to let the aliens have all digital rights while they keep hard copy rights for the UK. Also the entire building of Earl's Court and anyone in it during the show gets a trip round the planet earth. Only Christopher Eccleston can manage the confident grin as he hurries off to the next adventure. There could be a sequel depending on how the deal turns out.
Link to Doctor Who show and gif (animated)