Yesterday’s book launch (No Police = Know Future, an anthology of stories about alternative forms of policing and justice) was eye opening for a number of reasons, not the least of which was an opportunity to listen to people of color discuss in raw terms what it is like to deal with the police, to know you will be treated differently than others, to know – KNOW – that an encounter with police will result in getting roughed up, let alone insulted, demeaned and humiliated, and how that alters ones interactions in society.
A fair amount of discussion was had on the BLM slogan “Defund the Police”, and the fact that it doesn’t mean (except for those with really radical beliefs) literally having no policing function in our society, but rather the idea of refocusing the role of policing and not asking them to fill roles they are ill-suited to.
Each individual author was invited by editor James Beamon to discuss their story, the alternatives they introduced, their observations and inspirations for the story. And yes, every author was trying to introduce a concept that they believe addressed an aspect of policing and/or justice. Having a point and writing a story that illustrates that point is not “messaging in fiction”, it’s the art of Story Writing, at least for anything beyond “pew pew pew” (which has its place, certainly, but not in Science Fiction that seriously engages with its twin prerogatives: forecasting the future and turning an eye back on ourselves.
The video will be up on the Amazing Stories TV channel in a couple of days.
And of course the book, in both print and electronic editions, is available for your reading pleasure.