To be fair you could (and for all I know they have) make a good film on this premise. A man compulsively edits and re-edits his own life, getting it more and more confused. People from one part of his life start to leak into others. For one thing it could illustrate how (let us say) our relation with our lovers is influenced by our relations with our parents. How school days influence work. Or how trying to 'fix' your life isn't a one-stop shop.
The reason I reacted against it was I was thinking this eagerness to get what you want with no effort is why we are burning up the planet like we are. It's part of the New Age dream too, Deepak Chopra and the like. And that reminded me of the comment that M John Harrison left following Abigail's excellent review of 'The Course of the Heart'.
(my books are) political, philosophical and--if you like--spiritual allegories. Pam Stuyvesant and Isobel Avens stand for the "flattered self" under what we have learned to call neoliberalism; a state for which commercialised fiction prepares us by teaching us to assume without question that we are the centre of a wonderful, meaningful, edifying, responsive story.
At some level every book of mine is a polemic. I think if you want change, you pursue strong rhetoric. As a result--because you have allowed them nowhere to go but to face their own complicity in acts like Choe Ashton’s “dumping” on the environment--you risk alienating that part of the audience which is determined to remain in denial. For me, escapism starts upstream of any fiction; escapist sf and fantasy occur a long way downstream of our “real” acts of escape and evasion, which occur daily and are those of neoliberalism.
In one way I disagree. I believe that taking charge of writing one's own life, and reading it like a story in progress, can be a good thing. It's not the hoping or the striving which are problems (in my opinion) I think it is only the search for a quick fix which is the problem, because if everything is easy for you - if you are like a magician in your life - then someone else is paying the price. Probably in the third world.