Many people put down Canadian literature as "boring", "preachy", or "blatant ripoffs of superior original foreign works". One sadly-underappreciated Canadian science fiction book, Saxon Hermes' 2003 novel "A Wireless Scanner Darkly", breaks this stereotype with its quintessentially Canadian portrait of a dystopian future of undercover Human Rights investigators who cross the sanctified line between fighting online hate and promoting it. It paints a picture of a bleak future where conservatism and American-style right-wing freespeechery have taken grasp of all media outside of the regulatory apparatus of the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission -- a future where it has become almost impossible to tell the respondent from the complainant.
In the future "seven years from now", Canada has lost the war on online hate. A highly addictive and debilitating conservative online forum called SubstanceH.com, distilled from small dead animals, has swept across the country. In response, the Human Rights Commission develops an invasive, high-tech surveillance system and puts in place a network of informants and undercover investigators.
Posted by Mike on Friday, May 02, 2008