Saturday, May 16, 2009

Orwell was just off by a few years...

Yesterday evening I heard a noise at our door. When my husband checked it out, he found a Census Bureau  volunteer who seemed a bit flustered to be noticed. She explained she was just "shooting our door for GPS" in preparation for the next census.

With our medical records going online, our homes going into the GPS system, and our cell phones tracking our movements, it seems we're getting closer every day to the world that Orwell envisioned.

If you haven't yet discovered it, I'd recommend you read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. It's a riveting tale of government out of control and a sharp teenager who decides to tackle the system. And because Doctorow believes in the free distribution of information (and also that ebooks sell print books), he offers free downloads of his book here. Check it out.

And be on the outlook for Census Bureau people armed with GPS.


  1. Good start, Elaine. The book you mention sounds interesting and reminds me of one I reviewed for Children's Lit. in 2005. Title is Leaving Simplicity by Claire Carmichael in which life is more controlled by corporations than by the constitution. I wrote, "The story is encapsulated in a brief exchange between Barrett and Taylor when he asks if it’s against the law to criticize corporations and companies, and she replies, 'Of course there’s freedom to speak your mind, just so long as you don’t destroy the economy doing it.'" I'm a nonfiction writer but there really are times when fiction can make a point. Didn't mean this to be so long! Best with blog, Facebook, and your new book.


  2. Thanks so much, Mary. Leaving Simplicity sounds like a book I'd enjoy. Fiction gives us the flexibility to address chilling questions in a very different way than nonfiction, although I'm excited about my new NF, An Unspeakable Crime, which will finally see print in Spring 2010. Thanks for the good wishes!