I was reading some posts earlier today on our sister site Worldbuilding. In particular this question which discussed how an empire could communicate between cities/communities remotely.
The question jogged a very faint memory of a story that I read around 10-15 years ago which had a similar system in use as a minor part of the plot. I know that the story I read is not from Terry Pratchett or the other authors noted in the comments, therefore I'm hoping that you guys can help me out on this.
What I remember:
- The book was a novel but a slim paperback book, maybe 200 - 275 pages.
- A semaphore system using a kind of "morse code" was used to keep the communities of this story up to date with news, events, and possibly attacks from raiders.
- The semaphore was I think usable in both daylight and darkness via using white coloured markers (during the day) or lanterns (at night).
- The communities were separated but close to each other (possibly separated by water.)
- The communities were low level technology, I don't recall any machines in the story.
- There was a main protagonist and I recall that he went on a "quest" but I can't recall why.
- The very vague recollections of the story would I think date the writing to late 1950's or 1960's.
- No details come to mind on the cover I'm afraid on this one.