Anyone who has read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four should have been troubled by the ability of the Ministry of Truth to take in all forms of documentation (newspapers, books, movies, music, etc.) and remake them to fit whatever the new narrative needed. (Being troubled by this probably didn’t extend to aspiring dictators and other politicians, but I’m talking about more civilized human beings who don’t believe in lording it over their fellow man.)
This was an interesting concept back in the day, but even now would be incredibly difficult to achieve. Unless you languish in some totalitarian hellhole like North Korea, anyplace with even a modicum of privacy would allow for the hiding and archiving of past hard copies of all of this. It would be impossible to retrieve all of the previous versions of anything.
Of course, Orwell’s Oceania was such a hellhole. People were spied on in a number of manners, through two-way monitors, microphones, raids, and informers (including state-educated children taught what to watch for so they could keep an eye on their own parents.) We’re not there yet, although we do have a lot of ideologically regulated and politically correct social ostracism going on, some of it even with the power of law. The thought police are on the grow.
So where are we today?
Music and movies are more and more often streamed. Paper magazines and newspapers are on the decline – many have already ceased physical publication in favor of going electronic. Websites, emails, tweets, texts – there’s nothing to stop an individual from saving copies of these things when they want, but there are encryption and other techniques being pushed to try putting a stop to it. And then there’s government hacking and spying to see what’s on your hard drive.
Go to any news site, and the miracle of live electronic media is apparent. Stories and videos appear and disappear. Articles are instantly updated and amended, so that even though you read the same piece 10 minutes ago, it’s not the same piece. I ePublish my own stories, and I can change them anytime I want to; it’s not what I want to spend MY time doing, but it is doable.
(I refuse to vote electronically. How do you KNOW it hasn’t been tampered with? And I’m not some fearful Neanderthal – I work in IT.)
Electricity flows, and electronic memory is more fluid than human memory (which isn’t exactly etched in stone, either.) Rewriting history wasn’t easily doable in 1984, but what will things look like in 2084? Will anyone have the resources to truly know the truth?
This week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Mutiny on the Star-Bound”:
How would you like to be shanghaied to the stars? Does whether you’re human or not make a difference?
Martin Henshaw, a digital mechanic is tricked into a job with Transgalaxian, tending cybers far from home. But when he finds himself in the middle of a mutiny on the Star-Bound, Martin begins to wonder: who’s rebelling against whom?
This one started in my head with the opening scene, and it was fascinating to see where it took itself; a fun WRITE & a fun READ. Use coupon code YF28L to get 72% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until June 18th. Here’s the link:
“Mutiny on the Star-Bound” is also available in the collection – Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get Out of My Mind.
Still not sure what the July 1st release will be. I sent “Mating Rituals” out to another prospective publisher, “Obsolete” is still out at another. My favorite choice would be for Jimmy #4, but I’m still waiting to hear back on it, too. Stay tuned…
William Mangieri’s writing, including More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri