Every so often, a writer has a brilliant idea that gets spoiled by current events. This is mine. It’s only the first few paragraphs of a novel that I’d put on the back burner due to time constraints, but even those touch on some subjects that are a little too sensitive now.
And I don’t think politics makes for very good writing – at least not the kind that gets an audience before the author dies! What I tried to do was take both liberal and conservative ideas and show just how easy it is to give away our freedoms with good intentions. Even worse, the leader of this great nation, Usonia? Yeah, I had a charismatic blonde guy. Oops!
And while I had so much anticipation for this book with the active camo, futuristic weapons, awesome helicopters, and rebellion theme stolen from all great dystopian novels, I’m putting this one in the “let it rest for a decade” folder. I just can’t figure out how to rework the plot without falling into another political quagmire, so I just won’t bother.
Begun November 2014 – A Dystopian novel by Auryn Hadley, title to be determined.
It didn’t happen over night. It didn’t even happen over a decade. It took well over a century for people to vote away their freedoms, and it started small, like these things always do. Someone hijacked a plane, so we restricted who could travel by air. Someone used a gun in a school, so we restricted who could own them. Someone organized all of it through email, so our digital privacy was removed. The arguments always made sense, and they were always in response to fear.
It was so easy to claim we were protecting ourselves. We built fences around the country so that foreigners couldn’t sneak in. Next, we added military to secure it. Soon the states made their own fences, isolating themselves even further. When morality was blamed, religion was mandated. Then parenting became the scapegoat and reproduction was controlled – every woman would have exactly one child. A national language was chosen and specific topics were prohibited from open discussion. No longer could we rant about race or religion, and politics was only discussed in agreeable tones.
It didn’t take long before the government was making all of our choices. In 2154, the citizens of the Republic of Usonia voted to let aptitude testing determine our future profession. We were assigned to jobs so that we no longer had to worry about unemployment. Our wages were automatically deposited in our government issued and protected bank accounts, our taxes automatically taken out. There was nothing left to worry about. Our lives were made simple and predictable. We didn’t have to bother thinking or planning, we just had to follow the steps.
My name is Sloane Maddox, and I’m a journalist for National News. When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer. I was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway. I hung on every printed word in a Dr. Seuss book, and devoured anything by C. S. Lewis that I could find. Douglas Adams and George R. R. Martin shaped my most formative years. I wanted to delve into the fantastical and make it come alive for others. Instead, I write just the truth – but only in the way management wants me to interpret it. You see, in the twentieth century, they called it “propaganda”. In the twenty-first, it was “spin”. Now, in the twenty-second century, they just call it “truth”.
It’s bullshit, and I want my freedom back.
Tonight, while looking for something else, I once again stumbled upon this file and thought I would share. Maybe I’m mourning it a bit. Maybe I’m just trying to procrastinate. I honestly don’t know. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to get it back on track. A new villain is just the first step.