Wednesday, September 22, 2010


If, like me, you enjoy a good alternate history yarn, I'm sure you were on pins and needles for the November 9 release of what has been touted as a total blockbuster in the genre:

Sadly, after receiving an advanced copy, I have to explode the hype. Read on but be aware of spoilers, kids.

Evidently, the plot is about a fictional President of the United States during a time of great crisis and many threats to the nation's identity and very survival. In it's one really good twist, the author claims to be this same President and is presenting the novel as a memoir. Shades of Norman Spinrad and The Iron Dream, eh?

Anyhoo, this President Bush* enters the Oval Office without winning either the popular vote and with a spurious electoral  count but is somehow magically installed by the Supreme Court (like that'd ever happen!) Immediately, he begins planning war upon Iraq, ordering his advisors to create a plausible reason for an invasion. Luckily for this President's insane desire to destroy peace in the Middle East for generations and the novel's plot, terrorists attack the United States during the President's first year in office. This gives Bush all the excuse he needs to wage unlimited war on multiple fronts in both Iraq and Afghanistan while also creating secret prisons and torture camps and ramrodding legislation through Congress designed to strip American citizens of their basic liberties in the name of freedom. Unbelievably, the Congress and the American people just go along with all of this, cowed evidently by the massive fear campaign the President creates with the help of his truly evil Vice President, Cheney. (The invention of Cheney is the one good point in this otherwise crap novel; he is  evil through and through and how the author created such a villain will forever be a mystery as his main character, himself, is as forgettable as yesterday's news).

I'm not going to give away too much more of the story, though I will tell you that amazingly (and evidently through nefarious means) this President Bush wins a second term in office. Even more amazingly, without possibility of sequel, this President Bush does absolutely nothing to capture the terrorists responsible for the original attacks on the United States! Overall, the plot is ramshackle, hard to digest, harder to believe and make it barely worth giving the book a look-see when it hits your local library, let alone buying a copy. Total fantasy - and not even a good one!

As for the style, let's just say it reads like it was ghost-written. By a real ghost.

And from our Just For Laughs Department, we present a pic of the author snapped at this year's Comic-Con where he COS-played as his alter-ego, Gorgeo the Elf-Mage. The photo is author-submitted and I'm pretty sure he had a lot of fun with Photoshop. Yikes! Who does he think he is?

* I'm wondering if the author is trying to play off the real President Bush - remember him, the guy who beat Clinton in '92 but left office in disgrace after, well, you know all about it and it's just too sordid to repeat here.


Memphis said...

This sounds pretty bad.Think im gonna stick with Ken Follett for this type of story.He wouldnt be so obvious.Let me guess,the President is a bit dopey and the whole nasty mess is run by the "Vice" Cheney...zzzzzzz never read that one before.

Nazz Nomad said...

Sounds like something that should be filed in the "fantasy" section of the library. Who ever wrote it must have had some access to some really good psychedelics.

gomonkeygo said...

I'm sure the author did, from what I've heard. There really are some amazing stories circulating about this wacko Bush, from dodging military service to transexual drug parties and homosexual orgies in the early 80s. What a freak! If only a portion of these rumors were true, nobody like him could ever get elected in the US of A! He's lucky they let him write fiction about it. (BTW, I'm not making any of the above rumors up, but to date they remain rumors only...)