Sam Meekings is the author of  Under Fishbone Clouds and The Book of Crows. His novels take readers on a magical journey through modern and historical China.


Sam Meekings grew up in the UK before moving to China. He currently teaches in Qatar. You can follow him on Twitter @SMeekings or find him on Facebook.

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How often do you travel through time?

Be honest. Time-travel can be something of a guilty pleasure. Guilty because so many well-meaning slogans tell us to ‘live in the present’ and to ‘seize the moment’, and yet there is something about slipping backwards and forwards in time that most of us cannot resist. We take comfort in childhood memories, in reliving perfect days that passed long ago, or else we daydream about future holidays, plans, ambitions.

This month’s short story, Deer, is about a time-traveller I met once last year. It is another one of those 5-minute stories about the strangeness of human experience.

You can read Deer on the Notes from the Underground website. NFTU is a literary and cultural magazine and production company, and it is full of exciting short fiction.

The story is about the distances we travel to reach the present moment. It asks whether our perception of time depends on the people we share our time with, and whether we have got the whole idea of memory the wrong way round.

Where do you time-travel to? Do you like to escape to the distant past of historical fiction or period TV shows? Do you often look back to younger days when things were different, or do you find yourself picking over the more recent past, and analyzing recent conversations and exchanges while thinking about the things you should have said or done differently? Or do you travel forwards, imagining all the things you’d like to do when you finally have the time or opportunity?

Check out the story and as ever let me know what you think.

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