Moral courage in the face of wokeism and the cancel culture.

The novel that George Orwell wrote, 1984, gave rise to now familiar terms like ‘thoughtcrime’, ‘big brother’ and ‘Orwellian’. In his novel government agencies are hard at work to cleanse society of wrong thinking, and has defined what correct thinking is. Thinking, or worse – saying or writing – the wrong thing is a “thoughtcrime” and gets you arrested. People arrested for thoughtcrime disappear.

Sounds a bit too familiar, doesn’t it?

Orwellian censorship & free thought

There’s an awful lot of finger pointing going on in social media these days. Today’s wokeism and cancel culture is making Orwell’s “thoughtcrime” a reality. In today’s cancel culture, saying the wrong thing – something not approved by the woke vigilantes and PC police – could cost you your career.

Intellectual courage in the face of official censorship.


When I first started working on Heretic a few years ago, I had in mind autocratic regimes led by tyrants, such as we see in present day Russia, North Korea – and increasingly countries like Hungary and Belarus – in which freedom of thought and expression is actively repressed. People who don’t tow the party line are arrested – especially in Russia where it’s a criminal offense to question the war against Ukraine.

Wokeism makes it a thoughtcrime to question their beliefs

In the democratic west, wokeism, political correctness and a cancel culture is managing to do in an unofficial capacity what tyrants will seek to do officially.

Heretic is set in a future that is all too plausible now, thanks to political correctness and wokeism gone crazy. It’s a future in which you can be arrested for believing the wrong thing, and possessing books not approved by the government is a criminal offense. Post something on social media that offends people – that hurts their feelings – and you get incarcerated in a re-education camp for sensitivity training.

It’s a world in which ‘correct’ thinking is narrowly defined and dissenters are arrested for thoughtcrime.

That’s not as far fetched as you may think. Recently a Harvard professor was forced to get counselling and take sensitivity classes after writing something that some found offensive and hurtful. Many people have lost their jobs for tweeting something others found “offensive”.

Intellectual Heretic

Heretic follows the story of Jack, who is raised by his mother to be a loyal citizen of the New Order. The Order has strictly defined what is acceptable to believe and think, and has banned all books that it does not approve of. Dissenters are arrested as intellectual terrorists.

Jack’s father was a famous scientist who went missing shortly after being branded a criminal for intellectual dissent. Later, his father is presumed dead in a suspicious car crash.

But Jack’s life is turned upside down when he finds evidence that his father is still alive – and on the run from the PC Police. Jack risks everything to look for his father, and soon finds himself in a deadly race against shadowy agents of the New Order who also want to find the missing scientist.

Heretic is about intellectual courage in the face of wokeism and the cancel culture.

Available on Amazon!

See book page here