My mind can not stop going back to the story about Hong Kong’s missing booksellers.
Asian readers were my most ardent fans when I was a book fair attendee promoting Choosing Honor. Idea was that my little red book was infiltrating the red book covers throughout China. Just a joke to explain the ardent young Chinese students who appeared at my booth for an autograph and pictures with me in Los Angeles on the USC campus back in 2012.
Even without the personal frame of reference to Chinese readers, the idea of independent booksellers being abducted and disappearing anywhere in the world is disturbing. This also brings to mind Barnes and Noble’s flag system. When Choosing Honor came out I contacted my local Barnes and Noble to schedule a book signing. The clerk who helped me with this was very positive and joyfully opened the booking calendar to include me on it; it is Barnes and Noble policy to showcase local authors in individual stores. The clerk’s demeanor changed dramatically when he pulled up my title. Choosing Honor was flagged as too controversial for book signings, too controversial to be allowed on floor display. They would order it for readers who specially requested it, but they would not carry it for fear of public controversy. Barnes and Noble is predominantly responsible for the demise of independent bookseller business in the United States. My book is not porn! Nor is it something to fear, like yelling “fire” in a full theater. That is unless you are a Global/Corporate banker funding the world’s wars.
Freedom of the press is always in jeopardy. Wherever there is opportunity for authorities to control information outlets they will. Humanity needs to pay very close attention to the gatekeepers on our information, it appears the game is as deadly as it ever was.