Chapter 5
Illustration by Haylee Bolinger

Johnny Appledrone vs. the FAA

Outraged by the rise of the Mediasphere, a heavily surveilled and sanitized network controlled by the government and corporate interests, dronepunks seed the skies with flying routers, creating the Drone Commons, an unregulated mesh network propagated by masses of outsiders, rebels, activists and the unrepentantly strange. Arun, a recently graduated social media consultant struggling to find his place in an increasingly mechanized workforce, stumbles into the employ of the legendary Johnny Appledrone, spiritual father of the dronepunks.

Lee Konstantinou is a novelist and scholar of post–World War II U.S. fiction. He serves as associate editor for fiction and criticism at the Los Angeles Review of Books and is an assistant professor in the department of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. Lee is the author of the novel Pop Apocalypse (2009) and coeditor of The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (2012).
  • Response to “Johnny Appledrone vs. the FAA”

    Written by Sri Saripalli
    Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration; Director, Autonomous Systems Technologies Research and Integration Laboratory, Arizona State University

    When I first encountered the story, I was expecting it to be very futuristic – to happen maybe a hundred years in the future. But it struck very close to home. These are things that I think will happen in the next decade.

  • The Drone Commons

    I believe that the most important question we face about the future of the Internet is who will win political and economic control over the networks, platforms, and software upon which we increasingly depend.

    Lee Konstantinou
    Writer, English Professor
    Read the conversation >>

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