I'm writing a sci-fi novella about a scientist named Steves living in the 24th century. I'm mostly using the typical past tense to narrate the incidents happening to the protagonist. Whenever I'm talking about things in general though, I tend to switch the tense to present. And all the while, I'm writing a book which is set in the future!
Is this appropriate? I also feel that I'm using my tenses wrongly at times. This is my first draft, by the way. Mistakes ought to be there.
Sample of the piece:
He was stuck. Simply.
The shutters had closed. There was no escape. The robots on guard would never let anything, or anyone for that matter, in or out of the room. Even a tiny mouse cannot escape it. This wasn’t a possibility by the way, since the place was super hygienic. Not a single speck of dust lay on its shiny, polished floor. The room was adequately taken care of. Or I better say, excessively so.
Steves couldn’t believe his eyes. The shutters had had closed. His heart sank. He was fuming by now. Why the heck did he agree to take the responsibility of managing the MAINS ROOM? He knew he still wasn’t that qualified to handle that flaming room.
DOOM’S ROOM more like, Steves muttered to himself with a chilly smile. He was given to play with words. And with science, which was exactly why he was here. He is one of the scientists at Revolution Tech (RT) – the leading innovative tech research institute of the 24th century. It has been founded on January 1, 2301–the very beginning of a new era of science and technology–with the mission to conquer every impossibility and make brilliant scientific discoveries that will change our world forever. (And I dare say they have been quite successful.)
Steves is a young, talented and dedicated scientist. He’s fairly new here; it's barely his first year at RT. Nevertheless, it hasn’t taken him much time to blend in.
Given that the narrator is telling the story 1 year later and things are pretty much the same, could I still use present tense in some places?