Eugen Bacon and Andrew Hook’s Secondhand Daylight is a propulsive time travel novel.
Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:
“For all the time travel shenanigans, the story is deceptively clean and simple, brimming with both nostalgia and heart. Readers will have no trouble empathizing with these endearing characters as they search for meaning and connection across time and space.”
In Secondhand Daylight, Green cannot stop his time jumps into the future; Zada must travel to the past to find out why. Their point of intersection is fleeting.
And one of them doesn’t even know it.
What compositions might channel this reverse story in alternative timelines to connexion?
I’m thinking of a new look at logic, deforming laws of nature in the world as we know it. Perhaps speed (fast, slow), gravity, relativity, causality, the alternate…
Iris / The Goo Goo Dolls
Perhaps time travel is the closest to heaven you’ll ever get. You’d give anything to touch your possible girl one more time. The impossibility of it all… You hope she feels you somehow—isn’t everything meant to be broken? You just want her to know who you are.
Anti-Hero / Taylor Swift
Midnights become your afternoons. You feel ghosted. Time comes with a price and a vice, your life in crisis. You stare directly at the sun, and sometimes at the mirror. What you see is a monster on the hill. An anti-hero no-one is rooting for.
Ghost of You / Mini Webb
Time and space, mornings turn to evenings. You keep yourself busy until the day is done. But you’re stuck in your head, holding onto the ghost of you before, once again, lights flash and your unstoppable leap into the dark.
You’re the Voice / John Farnham
Is this a chance to turn the pages over, write what you want to write? Or are you looking down the barrel of a gun? The voice, you must tryna understand it. The voice.
Miracle of Sound / Valhalla Calling (feat. Peyton Parrish)
The echoes of eternity… Valhalla’s calling you to pluck the strings of destiny, as the crash of thunder pounds within. Wind and waves carry you—will they set you free?
How Do I Say Goodbye / Dean Lewis
There’s much to say but so little time. How do you say goodbye?
Ashitae / Misia
It’s a soul quest. You’re not alone in this.
Celestial / Ed Sheeran
Tonight could go either way, hearts balanced on a razor blade. You’re designed to love and break, to rinse and repeat it all again. The world’s too loud, nothing’s looking up. But someone’s reaching out somewhere beyond the clouds, light shining through the rain. It might ground you in a celestial kind of way.
There are several pivotal songs for me, which—like our protagonist, Green—revolve around my own time spent on the Sarah Sands dancefloor in Melbourne during 1991. In those days, it hosted a postpunk/goth night once a week. Invariably, I was there, spinning.
Kool Thing / Sonic Youth
A key song for the dancefloor. It builds deliriously. Rhythmic, grungy. Gets those legs moving. Other than olfactory memories, what time travels you faster than music? I’m back in Australia every time I hear it. No wonder Green is propelled by it.
Probably an unheard song outside of the Australian underground. I had been a fan of The Smiths in their early days, and over in Oz they remained popular. This song ‘100,000 Morrisseys’ opens with a sample from ‘This Charming Man’, and I remember how the dancefloor would become flooded until the actual song kicked in (What would you do / if a 100,000 Morrisseys came marching over the hill?). It’s hilarious, and the dichotomy within the mash-up that wrongfoots the listener perfectly matches the dislocation of Green on that dancefloor.
Is It A Dream / The Damned
The Sarah Sands goth nights usually concluded with this song. It’s not a favourite of mine, signalling, as it did, the end of the evening; but you’d find me disconsolate and lost, moving sporadically amongst the few that remained. The central question now maps onto Green. Are his experiences real, or is it a dream?
Cut-Out Shapes / Magazine
One of my favourite post-punk bands. This song is from their 1979 album, Secondhand Daylight (recognise the title?). I’d been longing to appropriate it for some time. Cycling one morning the light came through the trees just so. It reminded me of time travel. Cut-out shapes / In secondhand daylight. A novel was born.
Things We Lost In The Fire / Low
Not a song, but an album. I always write whilst listening to music through headphones. It sets a tone, but also imports me directly back into the story as soon as the music starts (another piece of time travel). I wrote the entirety of my contribution to Secondhand Daylight whilst listening to this record on repeat.
also at Largehearted Boy:
Eugen Bacon is an African Australian author of several novels and collections. She’s a British Fantasy Award winner, a Foreword Book of the Year silver award winner, a twice World Fantasy Award finalist, and a finalist in the British Science Fiction Association, Aurealis, Ditmar and Australian Shadow Awards. Eugen was announced in the honor list of the 2022 Otherwise Fellowships for ‘doing exciting work in gender and speculative fiction’. Danged Black Thing by Transit Lounge Publishing made the Otherwise Award Honor List as a ‘sharp collection of Afro-Surrealist work’. Eugen’s creative work has appeared worldwide, including in Apex Magazine, Award Winning Australian Writing, Fantasy Magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. Visit her website at eugenbacon.com.
Andrew Hook is a European writer with over 160 short stories in print, including notable appearances in Interzone, Black Static, and several anthologies from PS Publishing and NewCon Press. His fiction has been reprinted in anthologies including Best British Horror 2015 and Best British Short Stories 2020, has been shortlisted for British Fantasy Society awards, and he was longlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize in 2020. As editor/publisher, he has won three British Fantasy Society awards and he also has been a judge for the World Fantasy Awards. Most recent publications include Candescent Blooms (Salt Publishing)—5-star reviewed in the Telegraph—which was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Society award for best collection. Find him at www.andrew-hook.com or @AndrewHookUK