“The Pearl Diver” — Caitlín R. Kiernan

Caitlín R. Kiernan is the author of seven novels, including Silk, Murder of Angels, Daughter of Hounds, The Five of Cups, and The Red Tree, the last of which has been nominated for the World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson awards. Her short fiction has been collected in Tales of Pain and Wonder; From Weird and Distant Shores; To Charles Fort, With Love; Alabaster; A is for Alien; and The Ammonite Violin & Others; in spring, Subterranean Press will release another: Two Worlds and In Between. Her work has also appeared in my anthology By Blood We Live and in Lightspeed Magazine. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Privacy issues have become some of the paramount concerns of the 21st century.  Facebook leaks its members’ interests to everyone in their networks.  There are RFIDS in our credit cards, passports, and $100 bills.  CCTV usage is on the rise, companies are monitoring their employees Internet use.  Wherever you go, someone is paying attention to what you do, say, and buy. 

Our next story places us in a society where the government and corporations have tag-teamed to control the work force, and they have the surveillance powers to make sure you’re behaving.  Your email isn’t private.  Your home isn’t private.  What you do and say behind closed doors might as well be happening out in the open, for all the world to see.

Here, Big Brother isn’t just watching you—he’s reporting you to your boss.