On Escape Pod (the world’s best science fiction podcast) I found the following highly improbable tale: the UK Terrorism act of 2006 has made it possibly illegal to write speculative or historical fiction.
Section 1 of this Act targets the “glorification of terrorism”, meaning it can be illegal to show any kind of terrorist acts in a good light, past present or future, even in a work of fiction, if it can be judged to be “inciting” people.
So we can all go and throw out our bookshelves right away because if there is one thing authors love, it is glorification of terrorism.
For example: Nelson Mandela and the ANC; Guy Fawkes; Jesus Christ; resistance fighters during World War 2 – all these people were terrorists and (sorry for the PDF link…) glorifying them in the UK is now illegal.
And there’s no point saying that “That won’t happen – that’s not what the law is really for.” Because, as we all know, governments will ALWAYS use every law at their disposal, in the most literal way, whenever the hell it suits them. Just as they will similarly evade every law that applies to them if they don’t like it.
Governments are fucking bastards and politicians are mostly cowards in suits (or dresses, whichever you prefer). And new laws are almost never put in place to “project” us, only to protect them FROM us.
In Larry Niven’s book “Ringworld” he describes a cowardly alien race called the Puppeteers whose leader is openly referred to as “The Hindmost.” This is an honest description of the position taken by most modern “leaders”, who “lead” from way back behind the front lines, where it’s safe and warm, probably at a desk.
I suggest we apply this term to all of our “leaders” from now on. And I also suggest that you people charge to this site where you can purchase the SF anthology called “Glorifying Terrorism” and support the ongoing struggle to make us all work out for ourselves which of the following is an act of terrorism: “accidentally” bombing a market place in Afghanistan, or writing a story about a political uprising on Mars.