Magazine article Reason

Science Fiction vs. Homeland Security

Magazine article Reason

Science Fiction vs. Homeland Security

Article excerpt


J. Neil Schulman, author of the Prometheus Award-winning science fiction novels Alongside Night: A Novel of 1999 (1979) and The Rainbow Cadenza (1983), numbers Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Milton Friedman, and Anthony Burgess among his fans. His current film project is Lady Magdalene's, a thriller/comedy starring Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek's Uhura. Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie spoke with Schulman at FreedomFest in Las Vegas in July.

Q: Tell us about Lady Magdalene's.

A: Lady Magdalene's is a trenchant satire of everything that's wrong with Homeland Security, starting off with the traditional screening of grandma at airport security. By the time they're done, they're hot on the trail of Al Qaeda, thinking there's going to be a bombing plot against Hoover Dam. But of course they have that wrong.

Q: And where does most of the action take place?

A: Most of the action takes place in Pahrump, Nevada, which is one of the areas of Nevada where you have legalized brothels.

Q: I really feel like you're hiding the ball. So Lady Magdalene's refers to a house of prostitution?

A: Lady Magdalene's is a brothel in Pahrump. It is the fictional third brothel in Pahrump.

Q: What's your basic beef with Homeland Security?

A: They don't trust the public. They treat everybody in the public as if we're the terrorists. It's like the school teacher who says: If I can't find out who did it, you're all staying after school. Well that's what Homeland Security does. They basically treat us all as if we're terrorists.

Q: Alongside Night is your next film project. It's based on one of your novels. Tell us the plot and where the movie is in terms of production.

A: First of all, it's no longer "A Novel of 1999." Back when it first came out in 1979, it was thought of as science fiction. …

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