Page 209. " From the rear window the golden arches of Papa Song's receded into a hundred other corp logos. "

Golden Arches
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGolden Arches - Credit: Shamil Khakirov
The clown like figure represented by Papa Song, the awarding of stars to employees for time served, the ruthless corporate obsession with efficiency, profit and expansion and now the golden arches! One can't help but feel Mitchell has a particular international chain of fast food restaurants in mind... 

Page 211. " 'Hans river,' the driver told me, 'Sōngsu Bridge.' "
The Han river as it runs through Seoul
Creative Commons Attribution The Han river as it runs through Seoul - Credit: Bobbie Johnson

Many of the landmarks in this section of the novel are fictitious, the Han river however is not. The Han river flows through Seoul and drains into the Yellow Sea. At Seoul it is in places more than 1km wide.

Page 217. " he was even lobbying for Juche boardmanship until his son soiled the Kim's family's market value. "

See notes for bookmark 236.

Page 220. " but I succeeded with two Optimists translated from the Late English, Orwell and Huxley; and Washington's Satires on Democracy "
George Orwell (1903-1950)
Public Domain George Orwell (1903-1950) - 'Big Brother is Watching You' Credit: Branch of the National Union of Journalists
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
Public Domain Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Aldous Huxley and George Orwell's seminal dystopian texts, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-four,  predict a world hauntingly similar to the Nea So Copros reality.  As the democracy loving George Washington never penned anything that subverted his beloved cause, we can assume that Orwell's and Huxley's texts have been perversely altered to champion rather than censure forms of plutocratic or totalitarian rule. Such horrifying tactics are deployed in Orwell's novel in which the Ministry of Truth, a propogandist government department, rewrites the historical records to produce a 'reality' that perpetuates the rule of the elite. Most if not all Western dystopian texts are conceived in the shadows cast by Orwell and Huxley: Mitchell's An Orison is no exception. Similarities with Brave New World include: a genetically based caste system; a reliance on state sanctioned drugs to maintain the status quo and a society predicated on the values of mass production and consumerism. Similarities with Nineteen Eighty-four include the state manipulation of language to influence behaviour and thinking, and the state's pervasive use of technology to influence and monitor behaviour.


Page 225. " Boardman Mephi inspcted the lab, sniffing at the neck of the Soju bottle. "
A Soju bottle with glass
GNU Free Documentation LicenseA Soju bottle with glass - Credit: Geoff Martin
Soju is a traditional South Korean drink brewed since the 1300s. Soju translates as 'burnt liquor'. It is usually colourless, has an alcohol content of between 2o-45%, and is traditionally made from rice. It tastes a little like vodka, though a little sweeter.