I have often felt events in our lives are governed more by chance than by our own design. This is the main thrust of my book ‘Where Pademelons Play’.
Take my own life as an example. A science nerd at school, I believed that a career probing the mysteries of the universe would be my destiny. So I became a nuclear physicist. Having achieved this qualification without shaking down the world (as opposed to Einstein, Heisenberg, or Hawking, say), I found the only place I could continue my studies post-doc was Saskatoon. Saskatoon? Does anybody even know where the hell that is?
So fate (not me, God forbid) determined I should change fields. In 1972, I went to Newcastle as a researcher in fuel technology with BHP. In this role, I became aware of an emerging problem for the inhabitants of the earth. More and more CO2 was being released into the atmosphere as more and more fossil fuel was being burnt. Many researchers believed this would heat up the planet, so I investigated further, writing a definitive review paper in the process. Back then, there wasn’t enough evidence one way or the other, but holy dooley, there certainly is now.
At this point, chance determined my science career should come to an ignominious end. Was it chance, then, or me decided I should go on to write a novel on the influence of chance on our lives?
So, after a 5 year gestation period, I came up with Where Pademelons Play. It was something I really enjoyed doing. Really. So read it, and decide what it is that governs your life.