John Smith Book Title

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'John Smith – Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars' is a work of dystopian fiction some reviewers have declared as important as George Orwell's '1984' and Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. John Smith is the last survivor. He is the only one left with knowledge of Earth that was, an Earth that didn't have 12 continents.

One lone reporter, such as the title is awarded by the largest newspaper in the land, circulation 5500, printed weekly, has been sent to capture and document Earth that was. Even though the token few alive now were born after the 12 continents formed, they feel something is missing. Not a physical thing, but a connection, a past. That is at least, in part, the justification for sending this reporter, Susan, out to speak with John Smith, Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars.

She arrives with a single question. “What were the Microsoft Wars?” She expects a straightforward answer, something short and concise, easy for both her and her readers to understand. Instead, John Smith decides it is time to fulfill his mission in life. He tells her she has no frame of reference with which to understand the answer to the question she asked. Desperate for an article, she agrees to take notes while John provides the frame of reference needed to answer her question.

Unable to write the story, in truth, unable to believe much of it, Susan, does the first journalistic thing of her life. She publishes the transcript of the entire interview for her readers. Fantastic claims journeying forward in time from Atlantis to the Mayans to the Druids to the Georgia Guidestones. Claims backed up by wondrous things her people have never seen. DVDs, computers, solar panels, microwave ovens and a pen that writes upside down.

When he spins his tale of a craft with people in it launched into space she both declares him mad and demands proof. When evening falls another magical contraption, called a telescope, allows her to view an orbiting station where men and women would go and stay for months on end. Having seen this, she must concede there really could have been boats which sailed underwater. Maybe there really was a Joan of Arc with a heart that remained untouched by flame? Perhaps the answer she got was the answer she really needed?

So much gets lost over time.

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Roland Hughes’s novel is intriguing and excites the imagination.

Tania Staley, Hollywood Book Reviews
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