The Stringers

the-stringers-300dpi-3125x41672TJ Martinell’s debut novel was conceived on simple premise: What if newspapers were banned?

The result is The Stringers, a story that combines the Prohibition Era of the 1920s with the Orwellian politics of a futuristic dystopia. Taking place in the late 21st Century after Seattle has been devastated by an earthquake, The Stringers tells the story of a young journalism apprentice who must contend with the censorship whims of a federal “cybersecurity” agency. Running afoul of the law, he finds himself caught up in the world of newspaper gangs that control the modern Wild West that is Seattle.

The novel’s appeal is found in the many themes; while on the surface it seems like a coming-of-age story focusing on the relationship between fathers and their children, it also raises questions about the legitimacy of the modern State and the effect of bad laws on good people. The Stringers also examines the impact of the Internet on human relations and the social loss that comes with technological advances.

Flipping the science fiction genre on its head, it portrays a culture where people have turned to retrogression, a return to former times, as a means of carving out a life of freedom in a world where the same gadgets that make a Twenty First Century life one of comfort and ease also act as shackles on the human mind.

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