“Ghost in the Machine” takes place in a near future where Democrats and Republicans are minority parties, and the Sons of Liberty control the White House and Congress. Third-party politics, torture bans, and a mysterious “Ghost Program” conspire to change the course of the nation.
“GHOST IN THE MACHINE by Jerry Gordon, from the Spring 2012 issue of Shroud magazine. This is my first experience reading a Jerry Gordon short story, and I’ll be back for more. (I’m more familiar with Jerry’s work as Maurice Broaddus’ co-editor on the DARK FAITH books.) In “Ghost,” Jerry takes a shot at modern politics in what seems to be a slightly dystopian near-future. We don’t get many details of the world: somehow San Diego has been destroyed and in the aftermath, both Democrats and Republicans have fallen in favor to a new party, the Sons of Liberty. The public isn’t aware of the use of mind-reading spies to keep various politicians in line .. but our main character, John Wexler, knows just how well they work. Especially once he becomes a target himself. Gordon introduces the concept so subtly that at first I thought he was talking about regular spies (with lines like “well, let the ghosts do their work…”), until the realization hit that these are, in effect, psychic hit-men. I won’t give away the twist the story takes, but I will say it was highly satisfactory.”
~365 Short Stories