The Revolution Will Not Be Refrigerated • 2013 • shortstory by Ian McDonald


Meta: ISFDB. This Near SF short story appeared in the 2013 anthology Twelve Tomorrows, my review here.

The story’s title is a nice reference to a popular 60s Black Power song. The song criticises materialistic behaviour and the role of television and a plea to African Americans to pull away from passive consuming and actively overcome separation.

McDonald’s story combines the idea of overcoming passive behaviour with 2010’s Arab Spring and The Internet of Things.
The Arab Spring was possible by using social media – Twitter, Facebook etc. for organising the revolution.
This story shows regimes‘ reactions – they identify main protagonists and micro-control the internet in their respective countries.
But revolutionary forces seek their way around those limitations by installing a new, uncontrolled network connecting refridgerators, toasters etc.

I don’t think that the author really got the concept of the Internet of things – connected gaming consoles, refridgerators and toasters is not that advanced; in fact, those are concepts from the 90s. It is only the combination of those themes, innovation driven by need, that makes the story interesting.

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