WRITER Dylan Byford who lives in Skipton says he was inspired to write his latest novel following a spell on jury service.

Set in the near future, Airedale takes place in West Yorkshire and the Dales. In the book, Keighley and Shipley are highly-urbanised, post-industrial landscapes with dilapidated meat-growing factories and warehouses.

The warehouses are hot-beds of bio-hazard while the underfunded police struggle to keep control of the restless public.

Otley born Dylan spent the early years of his life in Ilkley and has also lived in various places across the country and the world. It was in Australia that his love of science fiction, and especially of the near-future cyberpunk novels of William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, first took hold. After a prolific and award-winning period as a playwright in his 20s, he spent a time focussing on his career and family, before returning to writing and moving into novels.

He says he was inspired to write Airedale after attending jury service and being struck by how the future of police detectives could increasingly become dependent upon the work of analysts.

His main character, Haz Edmundson, is a ‘digital analyst’, who interrogates data mountains as well as suspects, in order to catch the criminals. He has also been thinking about how developments in vat-grown meat could replace farming in a new industrial revolution.

He said: “I loved creating this future world in my head and then on the page, imagining how things might change over time, building industrial strata on top of the places I know. I still left in some places that people would recognise if they lived in the area. But the Airedale of the book is a very different place to one you’d know today.”

Airedale, published by Northodox, is available in paperback and Ebook at: https://www.northodox.co.uk.