While I was writing Tim, and touring around schools and libraries and bookshops promoting my debut novel The Black Tattoo, I asked the young people I met a particular question: 'Which famous London landmarks would you most like to see destroyed in a story?'
As you can imagine I got a variety of highly enthusiastic responses (HEE HEE HEE!) And you know what? In Tim I managed to pulverize pretty much all of them.
Here's a selection of pics I've taken to help you imagine the carnage as you read…
This is Trafalgar Square shortly before its utter annihilation on around page 35 of the book. I included a lot of sky so you can imagine the size of the creature responsible. :)
This is a night shot of the BT Tower …
…and here (above) is a nice widescreen panorama I took from the 29th floor of nearby Centre Point Tower (which, incidentally, you might know from Black Tat!) I think it gives one a pretty good idea of the difference it would make to the London skyline if the BT Tower was to be, say, dissolved into its component atoms…!
Here, as a sort of companion-piece to this awesome illustration by artist Dan Dos Santos, is a pic of The London Eye looking spectacular as ever, with (of course) Britain's Houses of Parliament in the background. It's a crying shame what happens to everything in this picture: Oh dear, oh dear… [HEE HEE HEE HEE!]
Here's the scene of the climax of the book, namely the world-famous St Paul's Cathedral. As you can see, it was already under attack by another giant monster when I took this pic. What can I tell you? London's a busy place.
…Oh, all right! This gorgeous spider is actually Maman, a stunning 30-foot-tall sculpture by the amazing artist Louise Bourgeois. But it made a good pic, you've got to admit. The St Paul's website is terrific, so do click on the link to check it out if you're curious. The virtual tour (under 'Visit St Paul's') is particularly beautiful. It almost makes me sorry for what happens to the place in Tim. Almost. ;p
Next up, something exceptional for this page – a London landmark in Tim that doesn't get destroyed. I'm talking, of course, about the British Museum. Here's a shot of the front entrance, looking impressive as ever…
And here (below) - albeit rendered into patented ‘WonkyVision(tm)’ by a certain ham-fisted author-photographer! - is the museum’s Great Court.
The relevant passage of the book occurs on page 11, and goes like this:
‘On a summer’s day it would have looked spectacular, with streaming shafts of sunshine making the marble floor gleam and the whole room seem to dance with light. But this was not a summer’s day. The gloom from the leaden London sky above made the Great Court feel a bit like an oversized fish tank - and one that hadn’t been cleaned properly at that.’
Well, the sun was shining so I didn’t time this quite right for you I guess. But the eerie Matrix-style green cast this pic seems to have developed might help give you some idea of the scene, at least! ;p