U.N.E - a future history started with a nagging question. "Why did Brexit feel so wrong?" It wasn't just the vacuity of the arguments deployed in its favour. Neither was it the instinctive lack of appeal of its chief advocates. In truth, those on the opposite side were equally vacuous, and just as unattractive.
Nope, what it felt like was that something was profoundly out of kilter, as if the rhythm and tempo of progress had been interrupted, not by a cataclysmic natural disaster, but by something entirely man-made, self-inflicted.
So I set about trying to explain this sense of foreboding, of loss. And I found it in a passage I wrote in my first novel, Grosse Fugue. This is cunningly - ok, thinly - disguised in U.N.E. as the book where my protagonist, Édouard de Rouffignac, get his inspiration for a radical new theory of government.
A number of people have asked who it's aimed at. Well, 75% of the UK population did not vote to leave the EU so, hopefully, it will bring a soupçon of solace to them that it may all work out in the end. This comes at a moment of maximum despair for British pro-Europeans (and for citizens of the EU who see the UK's departure as one with no upsides save, perhaps, the removal of one conservative brake on greater integration). The much-vaunted deal will, as the days and weeks unfold, will be revealed for what it is - the first free trade deal in history that aims to degrade the relationship between the parties. No deal was ever going to be better than the one which came with membership.
Of the other 25%, some are already dead, others still totally committed to the idea of Brexit. Then again, there are some who - having thought about the exit deal and the chaos that came in the wake of the referendum - would like another go.
And for all of them, U.N.E. - a future history offers a picture of how the next thirty years could pan out.