Just ahead of our audio Tale for Our Time, let me put in a word for our complementary (North American) afternoon entertainment: The Mark Steyn Show live on GB News. It returns tomorrow Wednesday at 8pm British Summer Time - that's 3pm Eastern/12 noon Pacific. I do hope you'll dial us up.
Meanwhile, welcome to Episode Three of our serialization of Anthony Trollope's sole venture into futuristic dystopian fiction, The Fixed Period. I might as well confess up front that my favorite bit of this next chapter is the reference to one of the characters making a roly-poly pudding. Which I haven't had in years, but which, since recording this instalment, have had an immense craving for.
Anyway, aside from the jam roly-poly (or shirt-sleeve pudding, or dead man's leg), tonight's episode introduces us to the citizen of Britannula honored to be first to meet his Fixed Period:
I suppose there was not a man or woman in the community who was not accurately aware of the very day of Crasweller's birth. We had already introduced the habit of tattooing on the backs of the babies the day on which they were born; and we had succeeded in operating also on many of the children who had come into the world before the great law. Some there were who would not submit on behalf of themselves or their children; and we did look forward to some little confusion in this matter.
Ah, yes. Tattooing the backs of babies. Don't mention it to Fauci or he'll be proposing it for the next vaccine passport.
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Episode Three simply by clicking here and logging-in.
You can enjoy The Fixed Period episode by episode, night by night, twenty minutes before you lower your lamp. Or, alternatively, do feel free to binge-listen: you can find all the earlier instalments here.
If you've yet to hear any of our first fifty-something Tales for Our Time, you can do so by joining The Mark Steyn Club. Or, if you need an extra-special present for someone, why not give your loved one a Gift Membership and start him or her off with near five dozen cracking yarns? And please join me tomorrow for another episode of The Fixed Period - a few hours after The Mark Steyn Show.
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