Brian Aldiss is known for being a Socialist who injects political statements into his writing. And by a “Socialist” I mean the true definition, not the quasi-paranoid accusation that gets banded around (and barely resembles actual Socialism) by the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. In the last ten years there has been no greater rallying call for Socialism than the mistreatment of Muslims in the west following 9/11 and on the back of it, the “Freedom for Palestine” movement.
This is the story of a science fiction writer in the near future who falls foul of an extremist regime built on Islamophobia. The writer himself is a secular Muslim who writes a satire in which a couple of drunks make off the cuff remarks about throwing a bomb into Downing Street. For this, he is arrested, incarcerated and tortured. Various evidences of his extremist point of view are thrown at him and the authorities try to break him. Continue reading