Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

Black Sheep (What is My Novel About)

So you have a book coming out with Prime this year, Black Sheep? What is it about and will I like it?

Black Sheep is my dystopian novel. It's set in a vague future world where the planet's population has been divided into three 'mass race' categories, African, Asian, and Caucasian. This has resulted in each city the world turning into a walled ghetto repeated three times. So there exists, now, an Asian-Sydney, and African-Sydney, and a Caucasian-Sydney, for example. The biggest crimes of this world are wanted to cross the walls into other cities, and to also be considered multicultural, which is what happens to the narrator, Isao, a Japanese born man who immigrates to Australia with his wife and child.

The punishment for being multicultural is Assimilation, which is Australia's own invasive, violent punishment that strips the Isao of his personality and skin colouring. He is left, after this treatment, with pure white skin and an identity that is only a number, and a job where he drives around a government sponsored taxi, taking people from one place to another.

It was a book that I began writing in response to the idea of racism. Racism just fascinates me for the sheer stupidity of it. I mean, how can you hate someone for being from a different culture, or because they have different skin colour to you? It's just the most idiotic thing in the world, really, and I was trying to get my head around the idea of what a world run by racist people would look like. That world is in this book. It's a world of paranoia, hate, where being patriotic is the default setting of everyone, and where the police have been named Segregators, and where politics are conservative, and fashion and the consumable culture within each race's city ensures that no one has any individuality.

It's called Black Sheep because it's the story of a man who is, in his culture and time, a black sheep, but it's also called that because I think speaks not only for the book, but for the kind of author and person I am, though I only realised this long after the title was suggested to me.

The Ben Peek Show.

(Come on, like I wasn't going to put this up here. It's my novel and it will require your love and money.)
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