In the Spring of 2108, Australian Defence Minister Aub Ryman resigns from his post, committed to an alternative system for determining the sovereignty of nations that would end warfare forever. In order to lead this transformation he must first marry Queen Katie of Kamchatka, whose many fans throughout the world have given her the power to approve or remove governments to achieve her objectives under a system known as The New Game. Before he can assume his role as King, however, The Island Prince must first convince The Queen’s Ministers and the prestigious Kamchatka Parliament that he is indeed the right choice. On the ice, and with the world’s eyes upon them, they express their love for each other and reinforce their message for world peace.
MY FAVOURITE PROTAGONISTS
My favourite fictional protagonist would have to be Number Six from the 1967 TV series The Prisoner, which provided the inspiration for both of my books ‘The Island Prince’ and ‘The Island of Dreams’.
Number Six was a determined character who was forever incited to rebel against those who sought to suppress the freedom of the individual. At the end of the series he earned the respect of his captors as the ultimate revolutionary – one of a different kind from any that had gone before – to the point where he was invited to lead this mysterious organisation, the head of which (Number One) was never truly revealed.
The Prisoner still has a fan club today in the memory of Patrick McGoohan, who played this contentious character and provided the input for many of the ideas encapsulated in the series. The fan club meets annually in Portmeirion in North Wales where the series was set, and which features on the cover of The Island of Dreams, providing the backdrop for The Island. It was of course also the setting for the fictitious Village featured in The Prisoner.
In real life my favourite protagonists – if you could call them that – would have to be William Edwards Deming and Joseph Moses Juran. Both are now deceased, but their legacies have been carefully woven into both The Island Prince and The Island of Dreams.
Within the world of Quality Management both of these ‘gurus’ have been referred to as the twentieth century’s most unsung heroes, following their remarkable contribution to one of the world’s less well-known revolutions, namely the Quality Revolution that transformed Japan in the latter half of the twentieth century. The main reason, perhaps, why this revolution has fallen into obscurity is because it was neither fast nor violent, but carefully sustained over several decades. It was a highly constructive revolution, the results of which can still be seen today. Modern day Japan did not happen by accident. At the end of the Second World War Japan had nothing left – except for its people, who were desperately poor. The role of Deming and Juran in leading the transformation that followed is well documented, but sadly is not widely recognised outside academia and the Quality profession. Their teaching needs to be more widely promoted and made known to future generations.
The Island Prince and The Island of Dreams therefore combine the real-life concepts of Deming and Juran, and the idea of a slow-moving, almost imperceptible revolution, with the determination and tenacity of Number Six and his desire to lead change, which is revealed during the course of the seventeen brilliantly compiled episodes of The Prisoner. The character Aub Ryman therefore retains aspects of the character of Number Six, albeit with a different objective. He too is a protagonist of an unusual kind, throwing a different perspective on the one party state.
A Kamchatskiy Silver Shadow limousine conveyed him swiftly through Perth’s northern suburbs to the airport. “Good luck Prince Regent,” said the chauffeur as he alighted at the terminal building, his suitcase now in his hand.
A pathway had been planned for him to by-pass airport security before boarding the supersonic plane otherwise known as the Hebden Three, that would convey him to his Atlantic destination. This, however, did not stop two less informed security officials from approaching him.
“Excuse me sir,” one of them said to him, “You cannot go there. There are no flights from gate six today. I’m afraid you must return to airport security at once.”
It was just as well, therefore, that he was able to remove from his jacket the small case that his bride-to-be had given to him a year before. He opened it and flashed the bright gold on blue hologram of Saturn at the guards. It was so bright that it almost dazzled them, but, more importantly even these two ill-informed guards, who had somehow managed to miss that this sole passenger was scheduled to proceed to gate six without hindrance, knew without hesitation that the authority of this badge was not in question. It could only belong to one person.
“I’m so sorry. This way Your Royal Highness,” replied one of the guards, who then directed him along a short deserted passageway to the awaiting plane, which was parked discreetly by gate six.
The plane was one of a fleet of thirty, but this one was special as it was owned by the girl that he was soon to marry, twenty-three-year-old Queen Katie of Kamchatka. It was sky blue and its tail bore the same Saturnian logo as his hologram badge. Inside it was much the same as the other first-class only Hebden Threes, only with a few more luxuries, as one might expect of a royal jet.
As the aircraft took off it followed a north-westerly path before reaching supersonic speed some one hundred miles northwest of Perth. From there it followed a more westerly trajectory as it headed towards South Africa before following the west African coastline northwards towards its final destination, The Island of Dreams, a small eightmile-long island to the north of the Azores, yet a place that had recently gained enormous worldwide significance.
On The Island, from her sanctuary of The Great Dome, the slim, dark haired forty-one-year old Prime Minister Joanie Carmichael prepared to inform The Queen that her Prince would be touching down on The Islands beach runway, two miles northwest of The Town, shortly after two o’clock local time. The royal train, hauled by the aptly named steam locomotive Prince, would then bring her from her Royal Palace to meet him.
On board the aircraft the petite Korean hostess Su Lin greeted him first with a commemorative bottle of Prince Regent lager, on the label of which was an imprint of his face, and then with a document, which he scrutinised carefully.
He noted that the form had the effect of transferring ownership of the aircraft from The Queen to himself.
“What if I don’t want to own the plane?” he asked.
“Then too bad. Queen will transfer it to you anyway,” replied Su Lin.
“So the form is meaningless?”
“No. Form very important. It show Queen that you respect her wishes.”
“I see. Then I suppose I had better sign it.”
Born in Lancashire, England, in 1962, Gregory James Clark is a former Quality Management correspondent, trainer and presenter. Having written on the subject for over thirty years, he has recently branched into fiction, publishing The Island of Dreams in 2017.With an interest in ice skating he is now in the process of utilising a unique combination of knowledge to develop a new theory of political economy based on the principles of Quality that it is hoped will one day end poverty and warfare by providing a realistic, credible and fair alternative to capitalism. The Island Prince provides a fictional context to present the ideas, along with some interesting scientific concepts.