Politics and fiction. But which is which?

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

Do you tackle current political turmoil in your stories or avoid it? Tell us why.

The way politics is today, at least in England, most of what goes on would be too farfetched for fiction.

I’ve lived long enough and travelled enough to have seen governments of every hue and ideology. All that has taught me can be summed up in one simple truism.

Whoever you vote for, the government always gets in.

Or, in the immortal words of Roger Daltrey,

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

I don’t reference today’s political situation directly but the themes of corruption, blind eyes to corporate misdeeds and the eternal battle between the ordinary citizen and an overbearing state feature in many of my novels.

As does the possibility of a secret agenda, or officially sanctioned agencies working in the shadows. Such as The Unfortunate Accident Squad, a group dedicated to keeping those that get too close to the truth silenced, by any means. Or The Orphan Detectives, a force for good in my Steampunk world.

These are all great themes because they give the reader a basis in something they know. Conspiracy theories and plausible half-truths (like those that infest the real world) can be a familiar anchor in a story that might be set on another planet and hundreds of years away. Or in an alternate reality somewhere.

After all, it’s fair to assume that, as we start to spread out into the Galaxy, we will take all our vices with us, as well as the qualities that might be more desirable.

And we should never forget that it’s in the nature of those that we give power to that they will seek to use it to the maximum, and then some.

For example, in my Balcom series, there’s corporate corruption on a planetary scale, while in my Horis Strongman Steampunk books, those in power will use all the means at their disposal to keep it that way.

My thriller, The Hitman and the Thief features gang warfare (that governments turn a blind eye to; because it makes them rich and keeps the status quo) and an Orwellian dictatorship with an iron grip on a planet and a thirst for expansion.

When I wrote them, as with all my stories, I was trying to imitate the world we live in, set somewhere else and show that, whatever happens, some things never change.

Until next time.

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12 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      I think it’s a universal theme, almost part of the human condition, it will almost certainly feature in our future.

  1. Patty Fletcher

    I love this. I’m currently working on a book which is going to include a lot of political fiction which will show what I think should be happening in the world.

    • Richard Dee

      Politics is easy to translate to a galactic scale, all the vices and hubris can play out among the stars.

  2. P.J. MacLayne

    I suspect that what’s happening in politics has always happened; it’s just that due to the internet it gets amplified by a bigger audience

    • Lela Markham

      It’s not just that it gets amplified to a bigger audience. We can actually know about it now. Our parents’ generation trusted every word that came out of Uncle Walter’s mouth because they had no way to fact-check him. If they had, they would have believed a whole lot fewer of his lies.

      Part of that corruption is the media, which is often owned by large corporations being entangled with the government, and then them both telling us the independent journalist doesn’t know what he/she is talking about because they don’t work for one of the Bigs.

      • Richard Dee

        Very true, in a lot of ways, I miss the innocence of the pre-social media days. you couldn’t worry about what you didn’t know.

  3. Daryl Devore

    Sadly, I am guessing we will take all our human vices with us as we travel in space and then we can mix them in with alien vices. How much trouble could that cause?!?!

    • Richard Dee

      What could possibly go wrong!! The machinations of the real world have given me so much inspiration for my writing, for that I am grateful.

    • Richard Dee

      There is always hope, in whatever I write. I like to think we’ll make it.

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