QUEENS — It’s 2027 and Queens has been transformed into a “droneland.”
Fredrick is using Inkshares, a crowdfunding publishing company, which will print the book if enough people pre-order it.
In the book, drones were approved to be used by the government for domestic surveillance following a tragic attack. Fredrick's tales explore the consequences.
At first, the characters in his book, which consists of short stories that have the same theme, are willing to risk loss of their privacy “to feel more secure,” he said.
But then, Fredrick said, they realize that the process went too far and it may be too late to reverse it.
Fredrick, who is also the founder of Newtown Literary Alliance, an Elmhurst-based group that publishes a semi-annual literary journal, has set his book mostly in Queens, where he lives and works, as well as in Manhattan where most of the government agencies are located.
In his book, readers will recognize a number of Queens neighborhoods including Rego Park, Forest Hills and Long Island City, where Fredrick works as a teacher.
For example, in one of the stories a little boy is kidnapped in Bayside and driven through Woodside, under the elevated 7 train tracks, to Sunnyside.
The boy is eventually found thanks to drones, which is later “used as an excuse to move the drones program forward to become more pervasive,” Fredrick said.
The writer said his vision may not be far from reality, considering that surveillance cameras are already commonly used and “given the use of drones on foreign soil by the military and the increased interest in the use of drones here in the United States by companies and private individuals.”
Readers can “back” the book with the amount of money that they choose. As of Friday morning, Fredrick had raised almost $2,000 for the book. He needs nearly $8,000 for it to be published.