My first Science Fiction novel, Inside Out, follows seven travellers on their way to Triton, and mention is made of a broadcasting station, OCN (Outer Circles News), which might be highly informative, but it has little appeal to residents of the Inner Circles of the Solar System (Jupiter inwards), because they don’t necessarily want to be informed, when it comes to Outer Circles affairs.
In the next instalment, Making Waves, out now, OCN becomes more significant, though it is now renamed Ocean Waves. It aims to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but it is still faced with the same problem: how to alert people to events far away, when they don’t want to hear.
This is a state of affairs that applies on Planet Earth now, just as much as I predict it happening, across the Solar System, in 250 years’ time. We have had ample opportunities, in recent years, to learn that truth is a currency that doesn’t always hold much value. People prefer to hear the “facts” that they want to hear, even if they know them to be lies. Anything they don’t want to hear is “fake news.” And there are plenty of canny manipulators, in positions of power, willing to milk every drop of credit out of that, whether it relates to Brexit, Trumpism or “Special Operations against genocide” in Ukraine (aka imperialist bombing of civilians). There will always be people valiantly determined to tell the truth, but it doesn’t mean there will be an audience willing to listen to them.
The issue in Making Waves is that people living a relatively cosy civilised life don’t want to know about horrible things happening a long way away. It is taken for granted that an horrific event would occupy 24 hour coverage and special editions if it happened at home or at least major front page headlines if it happened in, say, France, but would be lucky to earn a two-line mention, under “Border incident,” if it happened 5,000 miles away. Some people are like us, worthy of our concern, and some people are not quite like us and easier to block out. Refugees from Russian bombing in European Ukraine bring out the best in us. Refugees from Russian bombing in Syria bring out the razor wire. So it stands to reason that unspeakable deeds several billion miles away are not going to raise much of a reaction. But Ocean Waves will do its best anyway.
Making Waves is out now.