Load 1984, Kryten.

Exhibit A:

INQUISITOR: Sorry to disturb you, sir. Reality Control.

‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ […] It was quite simple. […] ‘Reality control’, they called it.

Exhibit B:

INQUISITOR: Your life and all memory of you will be wiped from history.

KRYTEN: Best guess: we are being surgically removed from time. Every memory of us, every action we ever performed is being dissolved. Our lives are being undone.

Posterity will never hear of you. You will be lifted clean out from the stream of history. […] Nothing will remain of you: not a name in a register, not a memory in a living brain. You will be annihilated in the past as well as in the future. You will never have existed.

Exhibit C:

KRYTEN: “Be a government informer. Betray your family & friends. Fabulous prizes to be won.”

“Who denounced you?” said Winston.
“It was my little daughter,” said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. “She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit anyway.”

Exhibit D:

LISTER: Remind me a little. What do we do at the Ministry of Alteration?

One did not know what happened inside the Ministry of Love, but it was possible to guess: tortures, drugs, delicate instruments that registered your nervous reactions, gradual wearing-down by sleeplessness and solitude and persistent questioning.

The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, […] the Ministry of Love with torture.

Exhibit E:

COP: You…change people, sir.
LISTER: In what way?
COP: You change them from being alive people to being dead people.

We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.

To quote Thomas Pynchon, “Orwellian, dude!”

8 Responses to Load 1984, Kryten.

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  1. …and I *finally* get the reality control reference.

    Excellent.

  2. The thought occurs that the scholarly among you might want page numbers. I can’t provide these as I didn’t include them when I was making my notes, but you can search the entire text of 1984 online at http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

  3. Excellent, Phil. I really should read that book.

  4. I reviewed that book for GCSE English. In the end I gave up and re-wrote a handy 13 page prologue into the cultural significance of 1984 someone had written for a re-issue.

    I much preferred his porn material.

  5. I really liked 1984; I thought it was quite well-written.

    The “reality control” bit is fairly early in the book so re-reading it now it reminded me, of course, of Dwarf. Then I noticed how much Grant Naylor’s explanation of being erased from history matched Orwell’s. Thought it was pretty cool.

    Also, I don’t know about UK editions, but the new US addition has an absolutely excellent foreword by the fantastic genius Thomas Pynchon, which is why I began reading it again in the first place.

  6. I read 1984 *ages* ago, and loved it then. I’d probably love it even more now. I must dig it out.

    I should do a lot more reading, actually. Proper reading of actual books, not just reading SFX and shaking my head.

  7. That was excellent. It’s been years since I’ve read 1984, though, so I’ve clearly forgotten most of it.

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