1984 is fast forwarded into the televisual age as the sci-fi technology of the 21st century segues with the publicity hungry You Tube demographic to transform our private thoughts and dreams into public property. Winston Smith’s disguise has slipped to reveal David Callow, a willing victim of an experiment dreamt up by Xan Brinkley, a man whose commercial and Machiavellian traits quickly overpower any socialist intent.
Mindcast is the creation of this warped genius who the media have portrayed as a Silicon Valley supernova but hidden within the spin is a temperamentally unstable megalomaniac. Private thoughts quickly becomes a vehicle for driving a company’s bottom line as previously unexpressed feelings are demystified by an electronic chip blurring the lines between emotional and intellectual property.
Liam Brown appears to transfer the human fears that seeped through the pages of George Orwell’s cold war masterpiece into a world of live streaming and instant gratification where the Thought Police have become financial gatekeepers of a capitalist enterprise.
Xan is the new Big Brother commanding love to feed an ego that moves seamlessly from the bohemian to the slick suited businessman. He’s a psychotic chameleon who inhabits a space age world that has lost touch with people who he believes should inhabit a world driven by technology rather than emotion.
The author depicts humanity on the tipping point of forgetting what it’s like to behave and think. A life of hardware and software where virtual reality is usurping actual reality and friendships become compromised by fears of being watched or overheard. This becomes a living hell for David Callow who is caught in the eye of this automated storm with potentially nowhere to run and no-one listening.