“The year is 2051. CONTROL, the government of Europe, keeps everyone happy in a virtual reality. This is a world where it is too hot to go out, and where wonderful music made by dolphins gives everyone pleasure. It’s a world which is changed forever when music critic Saul Grant discovers what makes dolphins sing and sets out to free them.”
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Dolphin Music by Antoinette Moses
Tuesday 27 May, 2051. 2 p.m. Richmond, England.
‘We have been working on blue with black letters for three hours, five minutes and twenty five seconds.’ Saul Grant’s computer spoke with a Scottish accent. ‘We will now change to black and white for one hour.’
‘OK,’ Saul told the machine. He yawned and rubbed his red eyes. He had been working for too long today. His computer knew that. His computer knew everything. It knew Saul’s voice and Saul could talk to it if he wanted to.
But he did not like talking to his computer. He liked writing and found it difficult to think and talk at the same time. He did not know why, but he did know that many of the Web writers had the same problem.
Saul Grant was a writer. He was a music critic for the Central England Web Guide. He loved music and he loved writing about music. Many people wanted his job, but he was good at it and his bosses were pleased with him.
But next week he had to stop writing and do six months of community work. Saul hated community work.
Everyone had to do it. Saul knew that. There were too many people and too few jobs. Today, no one was allowed to work for more than one year without a break, except for those working for Control. Control managers worked every year. But then Control made the rules. Control ruled the Web. Control ruled everything. Control was short for Control Europe Ltd. It had replaced all other European governments.
And what Control said about community work made sense. Someone had to look after the old people. Today, more than three-quarters of the population of Europe was over seventy years old and needed someone to look after them. So all young people under thirty had to help the old people. Saul hated it. He wanted to stay at home and write about new music.
Today most new music was written by dolphins. And dolphin music was beautiful. Only five years ago they had discovered that dolphins could not only sing, but could actually write music. And now they had taken dozens of dolphins to recording studios, so that everyone could hear their music on the Web. Every dolphin had a quite different song and could write music that sounded as individual as the music written by people. But it was so much better, thought Saul. It was wonderful. He loved listening to dolphin music and enjoyed writing about it…