Joseph Goebbels: “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
Canada’s Kent Commission, 1981: “In a country that has allowed so many newspapers to be owned by a few conglomerates, freedom of the press means, in itself, only that enormous influence without responsibility is conferred on a handful of people.”
The son of a B.C. educator who became a professor at the U. of Chicago, I’d been named a “national merit scholar” in the U.S. competition. After graduating from Chicago I hoped to become a writer, and my first novel, Daddy’s Darling Daughter, did well in Canada as a mass market paperback. Wanting to break new ground, I entered a period of experimentation. Nothing worked, so I abandoned myself to life. Getting an old fish boat was huge for me, as was becoming a longshoreman.
In 1994 I went back to school for a year, and completed an accelerated journalism course at Vancouver’s Langara College. The program hammered the rust out of my system, got me back on track with writing, and opened my eyes more to current events.
Now retired, I’m fairly immersed in the life of the mind. My writing site, williamalanthomas.com, is ready for people to look at, and the two sites are now linked to make it easier to go back and forth.
My recent sci-fi novel, Return of the Convict, ranks with the best things I’ve ever done. Set in 2143, the future vision of Vancouver B.C. is optimistic in that it’s not “On the Beach.” People still flourish here, and there have been major advances in science and technology. Also though it’s a cautionary tale, because it’s post-apocalyptic. Major disasters have occurred.
The sequel to this story takes place on Mars. It’s a frontier society, taking root in tougher conditions than ever seen in America or Australia. As with Return of the Convict, it expresses my basic belief in humankind’s limitless potential.
I’m still not quite finished the rewrite of my thriller, Dangerous Vision, which was written when I was still working at the docks. It’s exciting in a different way, because it ventures into the paranormal.
The purpose of this blog remains to provide the sort of insights our newspapers no longer give. I want to pull back the curtain a little and let in the searching light.