Sunday, 1 August 2010

This Doublespeak: Author's Commentary

This Doublespeak

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself."
-1984, George Orwell

I was thinking about alternate histories. The classic and most overused alternate history is the Nazis winning World War 2. I didn't want to do that, it's too obvious, but it did get me thinking... In an offhand comment to a friend I mentioned the eternally burning pyres of London and New York, thinking of the book burning. Thinking that in every country they took the Germans would have one eternally burning bonfire of illicit books, confiscated from around that country.

I didn't say it made sense...

I just like the idea that with typical English pride, the British Library would become an underground resistance movement. So while I wouldn't write a longer piece in which the Nazis won, I couldn't help but sketch the idea as micro-fiction. Twice, in fact, you'll see another in two weeks time...

Orwell probably wouldn't have written 1984 in this world, of course, and it certainly wouldn't have been published; which is why the final quotation isn't in quote marks - in their world it isn't one.


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