New Novel Reveals Instability of Knowledge in Technological Age
In Roland Hughes’ new dystopian novel, “John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars,” an apocalypse survivor is interviewed in the year 2081 about the world he knew by a young reporter who does not even know what a computer was.
As a child, John Smith was sealed inside a bank vault turned survival bunker when the apocalypse occurred. While others outside the bank vault survived the apocalypse, they did not prepare for it the way John and his family did. The Smiths saved numerous forms of knowledge inside their bunker. Since then, John has waited many years to interact with other humans who are worthy to share this knowledge, but now an old man, he realizes time is running out.
When John meets a young journalist named Susan, he decides to impart his knowledge to her, but Susan has grown up in the post-apocalyptic world and does not even know what a computer was, so she has a big learning curve ahead of her. As Susan interviews John, he imparts to her a vast collection of history, myth, religion, politics, culture, and wisdom that otherwise would be completely lost to the human race.
Roland Hughes has written “John Smith” to question the accuracy of what is known and can be known by humans as well as to show the frailty of human efforts to preserve knowledge; for example, many of today’s data storage systems would be worthless if the equipment needed to obtain the information were lost or people forgot how to use it. Comparing our present-day situation to that of ancient civilizations like the Mayans, Hughes reveals how easily knowledge can vanish and how ill-prepared we are to preserve it if faced with a catastrophic event.
“John Smith” has struck a powerful cord with readers who appreciate its message. Reviewer Susan Parkinson says the dystopian novel is “as important as ‘1984’ and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World.’ Highly recommended as a thought provoking and fascinating read.” Jeff Wallace describes it as “a well written piece of philosophy” and adds that it, “reminds me of reading Plato’s books Phaedo and Meno.” Jana J. Pruet calls the story “fresh and unceasingly timely.” And Tania Staley of Hollywood Book Reviews says it is “a unique and interesting tale from an intelligent and creative mind.”
About the Author
Roland Hughes has a degree in Computer Information Systems and is the president of Logikal Solutions, a business applications consulting firm specializing in VMS platforms. Mr. Hughes’ technical skill sets include many tools that allow him to master and improve OpenVMS applications. Being fluent in so many technical languages enables him to share his knowledge more easily with other programmers. His book series “The Minimum You Need to Know” is an effort to pass along some of his insights and skills to the next generation. The dystopian novel, “John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” is his first work of fiction.
“John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” (ISBN: 9780982358061, Logikal Solutions, 2013) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit www.johnsmith-
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Page Updated Last on: Jan 07, 2014