Heretic is set in a dark dystopian future, an Orwellian world in which saying the wrong thing can get you sent to a re-education camp for mandatory sensitivity counselling, and possessing books not approved by the government is a criminal offense.
Intellectual courage in the face of official censorship.
It follows the story of Jack, who is raised by his mother to be a loyal citizen of the New Regime. The Regime 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.
Libraries are no longer for making books available to the public, but for burning them. Anyone in possession of a book not approved by the Regime is expected to drop it off at the nearest library. The librarian makes sure they get properly incinerated.
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 Regime. Jack risks everything to look for his father, and soon finds himself in a deadly race against shadowy agents of the New Regime who also want to find the missing scientist.
Orwellian censorship & free thought
The novel that George Orwell wrote – which gave rise to the term ‘Orwellian’ – is 1984. He was inspired by the autocratic regime of Soviet Russia for its cruel oppression of the common person, who had their personal freedoms stripped away from them. Orwell’s books were subsequently banned in Russia for its criticism of Stalin’s methods (and ironically by some states in the US).
Heretic is about intellectual courage in the face of censorship by the government and official media.