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Hands on hips, she stood behind the counter, glaring. “No face, no service.”
“What?” I blurted, as the door swung behind me, jingling a bell.
“This is a bakery, not a bank,” she responded with all the sharpness of a knife swiftly slicing bread.
I took a few slow steps forward and shook my head in non-understanding. The overwhelming smell of fresh sourdough penetrated the polyester mask stretched over my nose, mouth and chin. The twenty-something girl with a slight German accent raised a hand mirror from the countertop. She aimed it at me.
“You look like a bank robber.”
So opens the first chapter of my forthcoming novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story – a book I hope will help derail the corona craze before it’s too late. (Note: The working titles were previously COVID-27 and Brave New Normal.)
“…politicians, governments fear books,” says Richard Evans, author of the New York Times bestseller The Christmas Box, in an interview. “Every revolution started with a book. Every single one of them — whether it is religious, cultural or political — there is always a book at the base of it.”
Alabama author Mark Childress credited Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird with having a similar impact on the civil rights movement: “I think the book really helped [white people] come to understand what was wrong with the system in the way that any number of treatises could never do, because it was popular art…”
Likewise, in the battle against totalitarianism, here are five dystopian classics:
- Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
- George Orwell’s 1984
- Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
- Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta
- Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Back in March, when lockdown began, I put down the urban fantasy novel I’ve been (re)writing for the last ten years; and picked up my pencil to write a short story set in a grim COVID future. 85,000 words later I was faced with a novel about the novel coronavirus: Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. It’s a story which seeks not to predict the outcome of the corona hoax but to prevent it.
I’ll release the novel in three parts; and then altogether as a single book. Part one is coming soon. Subscribe for behind-the-scenes updates.
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John C. A. Manley has spent over a decade ghostwriting for medical doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors. Since March 2020, he has been writing articles that question and expose the contradictions in the COVID-19 narrative and control measures. He is also completing a novel, Much Ado About Corona: A Dystopian Love Story. You can visit his website at MuchAdoAboutCorona.ca.