Sunday, January 07, 2018

What is Ada Palmer reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Ada Palmer, author of The Will to Battle: Terra Ignota (Volume 3).

Her entry begins:
Right now I’m reading John Milton’s Areopagitica (1644), one of the very earliest works defending freedom speech and the importance of a free press. The tail end of 2017 is a powerful moment to revisit our first articulation of the value of free expression. Milton addressed the book to Parliament because in the 1640s lots of people in England supported tightening control of the press, largely in response to Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1641) which was so hated and feared that by itself it sparked a widespread call for more censorship. Publishers hoping to make money from controlling intellectual property were also—contrary to what you might expect—in favor of more censorship since it meant more control. We tend to assume that that notions of copyright have existed since time immemorial, and that censorship tools like the Inquisition existed throughout the Middle Ages, but in fact both developed into their mature forms only in response to the spread of the printing press after 1450, and of the Reformation after 1517. So Milton’s book...[read on]
About The Will to Battle, from the publisher:
The long years of near-utopia have come to an abrupt end.

Peace and order are now figments of the past. Corruption, deception, and insurgency hum within the once steadfast leadership of the Hives, nations without fixed location.

The heartbreaking truth is that for decades, even centuries, the leaders of the great Hives bought the world’s stability with a trickle of secret murders, mathematically planned. So that no faction could ever dominate. So that the balance held.

The Hives’ façade of solidity is the only hope they have for maintaining a semblance of order, for preventing the public from succumbing to the savagery and bloodlust of wars past. But as the great secret becomes more and more widely known, that façade is slipping away.

Just days earlier, the world was a pinnacle of human civilization. Now everyone—Hives and hiveless, Utopians and sensayers, emperors and the downtrodden, warriors and saints—scrambles to prepare for the seemingly inevitable war.
Visit Ada Palmer's website.

The Page 69 Test: Too Like the Lightning.

Writers Read: Ada Palmer.

--Marshal Zeringue