A friend of mine once asked, “What would Jack London do with his thriller, The Assassination Bureau. Ltd., had he lived in the beginning of the 21st century?”
Jack London wrote a thriller? I was stumped. So I rushed to my local library to read it. “The Assassination Bureau, Ltd.”, is an unfinished novel by Jack London, later completed by Robert L. Fish. The idea of an agency devoted to “extirpating” socially detrimental characters was fascinating, alas, the novel left an unsatisfactory feeling in my reading taste.
My friend’s question has haunted me for over a year, when at last world events set a spark in my writerly imagination. What, indeed, if a novelist set out to write a thriller in a similar vein, in the age of WikiLeaks, the Occupy Movement, and the general discontent with the World Order, that we witness today?
In the age of crowdsourcing – a collaboration of countless minds from across boundaries – the idea of a single person (Ivan Dragomiloff in London’s novel) deciding arbitrarily who ought to be assassinated (“extirpated”), seemed incompatible. A collaborative effort, on the other hand, was much more alluring.
It was, thus, natural that in the time of social networking the people should decide who is detrimental for the wellbeing of society.
WikiJustice was born.