“Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution?” — Genevieve Valentine

Genevieve Valentine’s first novel, Mechanique: a Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, is forthcoming from Prime Books in 2011. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Running with the Pack and in the magazines Strange Horizons, Futurismic, Clarkesworld, Journal of Mythic Arts, Fantasy Magazine, Escape Pod, and more. Her work can also be found in my anthologies Federations, The Way of the Wizard, The Living Dead 2, and in my online magazine Lightspeed. In addition to writing fiction, Valentine is a columnist for Fantasy Magazine. She is a finalist for the 2010 World Fantasy Award.

The Tupolev ANT-20, completed in 1934, was one of the largest fixed-winged aircrafts ever built.  It featured remarkable engineering features that outshone any other airplane of the 1930s.  Big and fast, it was loaded to the gills with wonders:  an in-flight film projector, its own printing equipment, a darkroom, and most importantly, the radio broadcasting unit known as the “Voice from the Sky.”  It was no ordinary airplane.  The ANT-20 was the jewel of Stalin’s propaganda machine.

Propaganda doesn’t have to be evil.  But it exists to convince people—and those who use it are often willing to skew the truth or obscure it entirely in order to create an influential product.  In the past, propaganda was an important part of the war efforts of many countries, from Nazi Germany to the United States.  But in the future, who knows how propaganda might be used?

Our next tale is the story of a new kind of propaganda, filled with a message so large it has changed the living fabric of a nation.  But is the message true?

In this grim new world, there’s no way to know.  And even if it’s not, who’s brave enough to ask?