Sunday, May 13, 2012

Science Fantasy Romance 10 - Kritarchy

Available at *
Kobo * Sony * Diesel
Barnes & Noble

Collected in
A Future Darkly

For much of an Earth without nations, the roaming Judge-Ships of the Kritarchy are the only law, and Judge Lightner is one of the best. But when a vicious marauding fleet sweeps through the Kritarchy, the Judge finds out just how much the law is worth as he is forced to make one of his own.

before reading
I remember this story as being really, really dark--hence the excellent cover art--the story of a tragic fall from a just society into tyranny in response to outside attacks. Yes, that’s political. Yes, I’m a political scientist. Yes, I was depressed. I also remember that this story got very mixed reviews for content, and that, as a consequence, I avoided reading it. Well, I’ve got to now...

after reading
This story is not just dark, it’s brutal. From the opening to the ending, it does not let up. Violent, tragic, emotional, despairing...nobody wins. I’m reading it, and I’m thinking I was channeling “King Lear” into a very well-constructed (in political science terms) alternate history. But I can definitely see, now that I have an emotional distance from it, where the mixed reviews came from. This is the story you get when a political scientist is pessimistic. This story is not for it for you?

Next Week
Science Up Some Love

Thanks for reading!
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