Merge the fantastical science of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with the dystopian politics of George Orwell’s 1984 and the doomsday scenario of James Cameron’s Terminator movie franchise and you might feasibly come up with Geoffrey Cain’s The Perfect Police State, published by Hachette Book Group in the US.
But fiction be damned. Cain’s work – sub-titled an “Undercover Odyssey into China’s Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future” – is fact.
Shelleyian? Sure – the “modern Prometheus” exists, but it is a fizzing, spitting blend of electronic hardware and software rather than an electrically animated mismatch of body parts.
Orwellian? Sure – thought crime is actually being prosecuted and punished. And Cameronian? Sure – the invasive technology platform Beijing has deployed in China’s northwestern province is actually branded “Skynet,” or “Tianwang.”
It is to this restive province – beard on chin, pack on back, sanitized smartphone in pocket and voice recorder built into the watch on his wrist – that Cain takes the reader in his dense and detailed 279-page work.
Read more at Deep inside China’s perfect surveillance state