I am looking for the title and author of a specific novel, a social dystopia that sort of takes after 1984, but takes place on the Internet where some Big Brother, controlled by corporations, watches and filters communications between people. Non conformant people get banned from all social life (social life includes education, culture, business and commercial exchanges, and is all Internet based) and must live in some kind of underground. I am not sure whether it belongs to cyberpunk scifi, but it was sort of close to it. It is possible that the original publication language was not English.

I also wonder whether a movie was derived from it.

  • This seems wildly generic and could easily fit any one of a dozen stories; tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigBrotherIsWatching
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 0:41
  • 1
    There is actually a short story - The Machine Stops - that was written before 1984 that matches your description. Except that, in that story the "rebels" live on the surface and the rest of "normal" humanity live underground.
    – slebetman
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 4:07
  • Hey babou! Any input on the short story @slebetman suggested? Is this the one or does the search continue? :)
    – Jenayah
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 18:14
  • @Jenayah I do not know it.
    – babou
    Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 19:54
  • Could it be "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow? I can't be sure as I haven't read it.
    – lolrus
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


John C. Wright's Golden Oecumene trilogy has a portion in which the hero, Phaeton, is shunned by almost everyone, leading to his isolation, and inability to buy anything, including permission to see many of the events going on in his society.

This review mentions:

For example, early on in the book Wright’s hero, Phaethon, describes the cabal of fabulously wealthy magnates who control most of the world’s industry as "monopolists".

Phaethon has now been declared outcast by his society and is thus unable to use most of the technological gadgetry on which his fellow citizens rely. Shorn of its level of VR imagery, his world is shabby indeed, full of dull mannequins and lifeless, unadorned surfaces. When computers can create anything that the user wants, who cares about reality any more?

Phaethon’s luck continues to run true because although every citizen in the world has been banned from helping him in any way, at pain of joining him in exile, there is one person who is willing to take the risk and try to save him.

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