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Monday, February 27, 2017

"The Janitors of Terra Mainframe" ~ The Truth Behind Conspiracy Theories


The Janitors of Terra Mainframe was originally written for an anthology prompt about secret societies. I had an idea to overhaul a previous story, but a new idea jumped out at me -- what if all the mad conspiracy theories currently circulating online were somehow true?

I have very few guilty pleasures because there's not much I like that I feel guilty about. But one of those few is my love of following conspiracy theories that people actually buy into. I'm not sure what it is. It's entertaining to me to see just how far they'll go, I suppose. I listened to Coast to Coast AM and read Weekly World News all through high school. (If you're a reader of Yuusha Hime Kalibourne, you'll see some of that influence in the minor character of Bob Harken -- named for a character from my uncle's play Men of the Cloth inspired by the same set of factors.)

My question, though, has always been: why, if these puppet masters have so many people fooled, do they not have our vigilant informants fooled? It seems like a pretty big mistake, just letting people go on YouTube and AM radio and tell the world at large that we're all in a simulation or we all died on Thanksgiving 2015 or whatever.

So that was my story basis: in what scenario would an actual secret group controlling society actually let someone give away their secrets? That's the question one caller asks late-night radio host Barry Hanks as he continues to insist that he has the true story behind the Janitors -- the people who "clean up" after mistakes on Earth by rebooting the planet.

Though the anthology I originally submitted to was cancelled, the story found a home over on Thoughtful Dog, where you can read it right now (as well as a mini-interview with me!). If you want to see what happens when the Mandela Effect meets the simulation hypothesis in a world that may or may not be present day -- off you go, then. And let me know what you think.