Don’t We Sci-Fi Writers Have an Obligation to Say Something About This New “Orwellian” World?

photo of people in stormtrooper costumes

When I joined the US Army, there was still a Soviet Union. I remember the “good feelings” a segment of American society had towards the Soviet Union then, even going so far as to say the Communist state was a better and more noble nation than America. I said to myself: “Why would any rational person want to champion regimes that have killed ten times more people than the Nazis?”

Science fiction writers have used stories of parallel universes or alternative histories for social commentary and dramatic effect for ages. One of my favorites was Fatherland, a 1992 novel where Hitler and the Nazis won World War II. Its predecessor of the same theme was Philip K. Dick’s, The Man in the High Castle, 1963, which took it further with an occupied America divided between Nazi Germany and the Imperial Japanese.

Science fiction writers have used stories of parallel universes or alternative histories for social commentary and dramatic effect for ages. One of my favorites was Fatherland, a 1992 novel where Hitler and the Nazis won World War II. Its predecessor of the same theme was Philip K. Dick’s, The Man in the High Castle, 1963, which took it further with an occupied America divided between Nazi Germany and the Imperial Japanese.

From Wikipedia:

Fatherland is a 1992 alternative history detective novel by English writer and journalist Robert Harris. Set in a universe in which Nazi Germany won World War II, the story’s lead protagonist is an officer of the Kripo, the criminal police, who is investigating the murder of a Nazi government official who participated at the Wannsee Conference. A plot is thus discovered to eliminate all of those who attended the conference to help the improvement of Germany’s relations with the United States.

The novel inverts some of the conventions of the detective novel. It begins with a murder and diligent police detective investigating and eventually solving it. However, since the murderer is highly placed in a tyrannical regime, solving the mystery does not result in the detective pursuing and arresting the murderer. The contrary occurs in the novel: the murderer pursuing and arresting the detective.

The Man in the High Castle is an alternate history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. Published and set in 1962, the novel takes place fifteen years after a different end to World War II, and depicts intrigues between the victorious Axis Powers—primarily, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany—as they rule over the former United States, as well as daily life under totalitarian rule.

The Man in the High Castle won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963. Reported inspirations include Ward Moore’s alternate Civil War history, Bring the Jubilee (1953), classic World War II histories, and the I Ching (referred to in the novel). There is a “novel within the novel”, an alternate history within the alternate history where the Allies defeat the Axis (though in a manner distinct from the real-life events of the war).

In 2015, the book was adapted as a multi-season TV series, with Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, as a producer.

Consider the following of an alternate America:

  • Jews arrested at synagogues.
  • Christians arrested at churches and police taking down license plates of those going to a drive-thru church.
  • A sole paddleboarder being swarmed by Coast Guard and cited for being outside.
  • A woman arrested for being at the park with her kids.
  • Communist Chinese-made talking drones being used by police to monitor residents.
  • Police telling citizens their “rights have been suspended.”

Well, you already get the punchline. This is not America in a parallel universe or alternate reality. This is 2020 America in real life, today, as of March 2020. The stuff of Orwellian dystopian sci-fi has become reality before our very eyes. Is any of this okay with you?

“Free” America, the country of my birth, the nation I served in the military to protect, and all of Western Europe (except for Sweden because they actually respect and trust their people) decided to follow the draconian containment policies of Communist China. We followed the Chinese-style containment policies of a dictatorship where people have no rights and can be imprisoned or killed at will rather than Sweden-style measures of a free society recognizing the seriousness of the disease but where people don’t lose their civil liberties, livelihoods, and businesses in total.

This is what our health “experts” told us: We had to do this. We had no choice. We had to shut down the economy to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “Yes, yes, 30 million Americans are out of work and 94% of the nation’s 300 million are under de-facto house arrest, but we had no choice,” they said.

I violently disagreed, said so at the time, kept a diary to track the mortality numbers in America and abroad, and wrote an article too. “There would be 100,000 to 240,000 Americans dead in two weeks.” That was what we were told. How many did die in those two weeks? 31,608.

Even one death from this virus is too much. However, that does not mean we deliberately destroy our entire nation of 330 million Americans. The coronavirus is far more contagious than the seasonal influenza flu, but the mortality rate is basically the same.

I loathe hysteria and hate the political and media elite scaring people. Fear is what bad people use to control populations. That’s true in a sci-fi novel or in real life.

Here’s more context. The number of people who died in one year in America.

  • 37,000 die from car crashes annually – over 90 per day (*numbers corrected 5/16/20) – out of our 6 million car accidents
  • 606,000 died from cancer
  • 88,000 died from alcoholism
  • 83,000 died from diabetes
  • 67,000 died from drug overdoses
  • 50,000 died from suicide
  • 12,000 and 61,000 deaths from the annual flu

To be clear, my commentary (and anger) is completely apolitical. I don’t care about political party or ideology here. What I do care about is elected officials in America behaving like dictators and the media spewing forth a steady diet of fear when the science says we’re going in the right direction. “Science” meaning what we know rather than hypothetical projections based on nothing.

By late March, we knew the models used by the experts were grossly inaccurate and became clearer each day as the real numbers came in. Yet, political leaders continue to speak about infinite shutdowns rather than admit they wrongly and horribly destroyed the economy.

At the writing of this article, 80,846 have died from the COVID-19 virus. Do you know that numbers are intentionally being inflated? Someone dying with COVID-19 is not the same as dying from COVID-19. Why are these “games” being played? Health is supposed to be about facts, not political agendas or hysteria.

People are being shuddered in their homes who have little risk of getting the virus and if they do will only mild or no symptoms. But it is our vulnerable populations who make up the majority of deaths—especially nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In New York, the epicenter of virus deaths in America, the governor signed an executive order requiring these facilities to admit COVID-19 positive patients! These facilities did not have the necessary protective equipment. Results: nearly 5,000 patients dead! These were preventable deaths!

In America, healthy people are being economically destroyed, while our vulnerable populations are not being adequately protected, and those on the margins are being so frightened by the media they won’t even go to the hospital or see their doctor. When the dust settles, we will be a weaker America, but the government will be just fine and have even more power and control over our lives.

All of this seems eerily similar to my very first sci-fi book and series which my inner creative mind forced me to type after not writing a word of fiction in nearly 15 years.  Jews and Christians persecuted–oh yes, atheists too because they’re a “religion,” surveillance drones everywhere, dictatorial governments, the merging of Big Government and Big Tech. I wrote the book back in 2012 and published in 2013.

I won’t go into how I knew right from the beginning that the apocalyptic projections of death were so false as to be criminal, other than to say it was simple logical reasoning, which is what our leaders are supposed to do. Also, I’m not arguing and never argued to do nothing. But it’s not an either-or proposition. We can do both–protect our vulnerable populations and allow our economy to live with people able to work and run their businesses following COVID-19 health recommendations.

In one of my latest Liquid Cool novels from last year–BioPunk Blues, Liquid Cool #7, who are the villains? The World Health Organization. What I’m asking is does this new “reality” that we’ve been thrown into without our consent or input, using the COVID-19 as a justification (or an excuse), seem disturbingly and terribly wrong to you? Do you also feel we are now on a wrong cosmic path which will have dire future consequences for this country? My subconscious mind obviously perceived we were already on this bad path when I wrote my first After Eden novel seven years ago and all of this just brought it all into the light for all to see.  

What do you think? Are you as disturbed by this “new reality”?

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26 Responses

  1. Thank you for a well written and informative piece, very well said and sadly very true.

    It’s amazing how fast they dumbed down and divided this country. Just the fact that so many blindly believe the MSM, who have been caught in so many blatant lies recently, is mind boggling!

    Even worse is the name calling and refusal to listen to or consider what others have to say unless it fits what they want to hear.
    Using what was considered grade school math back when I went to school it is very easy to see the figures they used to demand this shut down were pure BS.
    Now with even clearer figures coming in anyone calling for or accepting a continuation of this nonsense is one of two things, a tyrant or a moron who can not think for themselves and needs someone to tell them what to think.

  2. Ok so now I just am more confused because each person saying they have the facts all have different ones. I still have a belief that the more people who follow the stay at home the less likely this is going to spread. All the people dying as a direct result of those who don’t follow the recommendations from the CDC. Which is where the fact finders say they get their information from. Yes it started somewhere and we are past the pointing finger stage and need to have people who can make hard decisions that either way nobody on the other end of it is going to like. I understand also that some people are going to lose their livelihood if something doesn’t change but it seems the CDC has been working it’s way through types of businesses and how to get them back to work safely. If they are back to work it means that people can use the services and products as safely as possible. There is no military at peoples doors threading to take away your guns. Besides we are American and no matter the game in politics our military people have family’s to and they take a vow to protect Americans against enemies foreign or domestic. They won’t just blindly fall in line with orders to take away Americans rights. Every American has these right so that’s where the government or powers that be are having issues. They are trying to protect everyone with following CDC recommendations but it goes against some things it seems. There will never be an even ground for anyone here. I just don’t like that it’s splitting Americans in half with each other. I still try to smile at everyone I walk 6 feet away from in the grocery store even if they can’t see it. I probably just look mean. Oops. I noticed that a lot of people aren’t even trying to look at each other. I like when I can walk by someone and say good morning and they say it back. Kindness is a quality we should all find no matter the state of crap right now.

    1. So here we are 2 months later and our world is crazier that anyone could have ever dreamed. I wrote 2 posts back in May on my thoughts for the stay at home and the masks. I looked back at them and I feel just ignorant for believing in a system that is totally broken and is using us Americans and the rest of our God given world as experiments. I kept thinking about this blog over the past couple months as I learned new information and as the states in the US, with democratic leaders, are being handled so much different that the proofs truly are in the results and rationale. Like allowing (demanding) patients positive with corona to be sent back into nursing homes when they are our most highly at risk. Can’t have parties or gatherings but if you want to loot and destroy you can’t get covid. Not to mention the releasing of prisoners during all the bull shit with the low life criminals already in the streets. Then there is the thing that keeps me from sleeping and makes me feel nauseous all the time, the sick ass child sex trafficking allegations that I TRULY hope is already being taken care of. Thank you Q and Q+ and enough is enough for info that I wholeheartedly want to believe that if it’s all true it’s being taken care of. I wear a mask in public now only out of respect for those working who are being forced to wear them 8-10 hours a day. I pray to my god more than I ever felt I needed to before. So again thank you for your thoughts and your gift you share with the world.

  3. When all this 1st started, I did not believe that the information being provided was accurate.
    I still do not believe it. I have read too many novels (not all sci-fi) where these ideas have borne fruit for one group or another that wished too control people or government.
    I have a hard time dismissing the idea that there is an end-game involved here that will fundamentally change how our lives are allowed to be lived.


    U.S. deaths by cause in 2019 compared to COVID-19

    ~647,457 HEART DISEASE
    ~599,108 CANCER
    ~169,936 ACCIDENTS
    ~146,383 STROKE
    ~121,404 ALZHEIMER’S
    ~~83,947 COVID-19* [2020]
    ~~83,564 DIABETES
    ~~47,173 SUICIDE


    The COVID-19 number will easily be 100,000 by June first (five months);
    that’s less than half a year, with the chart comparing a full year of 2019.

    The article is from May fifteenth. On May 18th, The COVID-19 death number for the United States (as of 4:18 am eastern) was 90,527 (on the record). We have about 4.25 or 4.3% of the world’s population but 29 percent of the world’s coronavirus deaths.

    I have a son who lives in New Zealand. They implemented a clear plan, as they have a sane and sensible leader (I don’t hold Donald Trump blameless in the U.S.). NZ is not a police state.

    And, as for where I live, people have ridden bikes and taken walks and waved and smiled all this time even while implementing distancing. If your police department is stupid, you need to reform it. That is more easily said than done in poor neighborhoods, granted. And there’s not much you can do if your police shoot you (which was happening before the pandemic — but many of the same people who are worked up in alarm now were on the side of police shooting and strangling people then). Thankfully, I don’t have any hyped up non-officers running around with guns either.

    1. The way CNBC wrote their article is similar to the way Trump spoke [on March 31, a Tuesday], potentially misleading if you don’t look very carefully at who said what and how each said what they said. Donald Trump is very sloppy (as well as manipulative) in the way he speaks. Some writers, however, try not to directly confront his lack of honorable leadership. This may be perceived as being “fair” to the president, not overtly second-guessing him.

      There were not 100,000 or more (and certainly not 240,00) deaths predicted within a two-week or even three-week timeframe. The figures were about keeping U.S. deaths down (from millions possible) over the full duration — by taking precautionary measures (such as not going to work sites… especially considering the usual hours per day in close proximity), thereby reducing spread. If one had been and was viewing the entirety of the press briefing(s) up through that day, this could be sorted out. And this article is not incorrect, indicating an expected surge over two or three weeks (which is not the same thing as being correct if the implication or unfounded assumption is that there will be no more surges or no more significant numbers after three weeks, nor that the surge had to be limited to three weeks, and, as well, is not the same thing as that immediate surge reaching the hundred-thousand mark, particularly in two to three weeks). Trump said the words he said because, first of all, he was conceding (after all) he wasn’t going to get a “miracle” [his word] by Easter [one of his then later selections].

      President Donald Trump prepared Americans for a coming surge in coronavirus cases, calling COVID-19 a plague and saying the U.S. is facing a “very, very painful two weeks.”

      “This could be a hell of a bad two weeks. This is going to be a very bad two, and maybe three weeks. This is going to be three weeks like we’ve never seen before,” Trump said at a White House press conference Tuesday. White House officials are projecting between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths in the U.S. with coronavirus fatalities peaking over the next two weeks. “When you look at night, the kind of death that has been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible.”

      The U.S. has more coronavirus cases than any other country across the globe with 184,000 confirmed infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. New York has now become the new epicenter of the outbreak in the world with 75,795 confirmed cases as of Tuesday morning, more reported infections than China’s Hubei province where the coronavirus emerged in December.


    2. [that Thursday]

      Earlier this week, President Trump struck a somber tone when he stated there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic, even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained at least through the end of this month.

      With yesterday’s death toll [that being on the first of April] in the U.S. exceeding 1,000, Covid-19 is now [article written on the second] the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

      During the briefing by the coronavirus task force on Tuesday, March 31st, a chart was positioned behind the lectern where Trump and others, such as Dr. Deborah Birx, spoke. Birx is coordinator of the coronavirus task force. The chart’s title was “Goals of Community Mitigation.”

      Everyone in America and around the world who’s been paying attention in recent weeks is aware of the curves included in the chart. Importantly, on Tuesday, figures were added to the curves showing expected numbers of deaths with and without social distancing measures: 1,5 to 2.5 million deaths without social distancing, 100 to 240 thousand deaths with social distancing measures.


      In the figure above, the dashed line represents healthcare system capacity. Besides lowering the morbidity and mortality indices, the aim of social distancing measures is to ensure there isn’t overburdening of the healthcare system.



      America must brace for 100,000 or more people to die in the coming months in the coronavirus pandemic, the White House’s response team warned Tuesday.

      “As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top immunologist helping to steer White House policy on the disaster. “No one is denying the fact that we are going through a very, very difficult time right now.”

      The White House’s coronavirus task force detailed the modeling and other data that compelled President Trump to extend virus countermeasures deeper into the spring.

      Fauci and another top physician, Dr. Deborah Birx, renewed their pleas for Americans to observe social distancing and other precautions to try to depress the rate of infections and deaths.

      “This is not a number we need to accept. We can influence this to a varying degree,” Fauci said.

      Trump, however……….

    4. I came across an article, today but written much earlier this month, where I noticed the comparative CDC data is from 2017* even though published in 2019. *Said to be the most recent data available at the time. I’m going to show causes of death further down that list.

      There is an animated chart if you go to the link.

      11. Liver Disease: 41,743 deaths
      12. Sepsis: 40,922 deaths
      13. High Blood Pressure: 35,316 deaths
      14. Parkinson’s Disease: 31,963 deaths
      15. Lung Obstruction: 20,108 deaths

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