“You Can Leave is a work of metafiction. Any resemblance of fictional characters to persons in reality may or may not be coincidental…”
When is a suicide not a suicide? You Can Leave, a novel by Laurie Calhoun, portrays a dark, disturbing, dystopic world where dissenters are permanently silenced whenever perceived of as threats by ruthless sociopaths occupying the highest corridors of power. The narrator relays her experiences at the hands of “the new mob”, a coordinated network of operatives enlisted from all walks of life on a “need to know” basis to carry out what appear to be trivial tasks for enticing sums of money. Lost in the labyrinth of an insane bureaucracy run amok, the heroine charts her path to survival using the only available means: her capacity to think. But will that be taken away from her as well?
Where Franz Kafka meets George Orwell meets Jorge Luis Borges, the world of You Can Leave is fraught with paranoia and fear but illuminated by the light of pure reason. As the targeted protagonist uses logic alone to surmount hurdle after hurdle, she leaps in and out of the frame created for her by the author, thereby forcing the reader to confront an unsettling possibility: Could this be the world in which we currently live?
At this time in history, people are understandably more worried about the spectre of nuclear war than about drone assassination. Palgrave Macmillan is having a sale, so the ebook of War and Delusion: A Critical Examination, can be purchased through August 30, 2017, for 40% off. (use promo code PB2S17).
In War and Delusion, first published in 2013 and reissued as a paperback in 2016, I consider questions such as whether wars abroad can be construed as acts of self-defense and what we can infer from the treatment of veterans in the United States. The primary thesis of the book is that, in the modern world, just war theory has served primarily as a tool of pro-war propaganda.
In this 28-minute interview on Sputnik Radio Edinburgh, guests Laurie Calhoun and Peter Lee (a Reader in Politics & Ethics at the University of Portsmouth) discuss with host John Harrison whether lethal drones have fundamentally changed the conduct of warfare, to the point where international protocols grounded in the “just war” tradition are now being ignored.
In this 27-minute interview on Sputnik Radio Edinburgh, author Laurie Calhoun, Professor David Stupples of the City University of London, and host John Harrison discuss current and future problems with the use of lethal drones: