I mentioned this word last year in my Cold War post, but figured this would be a good opportunity to revisit the topic. Perestroika literally means reorganization in Russian, and was introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s to try to reform the command economy in place in the Soviet Union at that time. It went hand in hand with Glasnost–openness–and, arguably, contributed to the failure of the Soviet state.
The interesting thing that I’m realizing as I move forward with writing the final installment of the Red Slaves series, is that these concepts, via the setting that is the genesis for them, have contributed a significant thematic undercurrent to my stories. Some of that comes from the natural fear and suspicion that’s par for the course in a population accustomed to continuous, intrusive oversight, but there are pieces to Anne’s evolution that mirror the theme in ways that make me feel like a genius in hindsight.
It’s one of the bonus elements to writing a longer story: The way the various threads play out reinforce both the character arcs and the story arcs and add resonance to the tale. I’m glad my first series decided to set itself in a time and place that offers such rich background–and that I have the opportunity to share some of this background information in this kind of format, for those who are interested in learning more. 🙂