Monday, January 19, 2015

The Little Green Book ... by Brian Herbert ***

The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma by Brian Herbert is set in 2061 where the most radical environmentalists have conquered the corporations and taken control of the western hemisphere. These are activists who believe that planet Earth is more important than people. As a result, people are confined to reservations and the remainder of the land is greenformed to back to its pristine origins. If you imagine this can not end well, you might be right.

This is science fiction in the classic style: sexist, libertarian, and sexist.
LSD, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroine, and more-in the form of food, injections, or pills. All in colorful packages ... held by a pretty female servant.
"Give him some of the women in your harem, Rahma," ... "maybe that serving wench."
But maybe she was too outgoing, too friendly. If she was that way with him, she was undoubtedly that way with other men, and he didn't like that.
If you have been pining for the SF of yore, this could be the retro-novel for you.

In the honored tradition of SF, many fantastic ideas are introduced, including vanishing tunnels where huge transports move through the Earth at high speed by liquifying everything infront and solidifying everything behind, a glidewolf created through genetic engineering - marsupial, flying mammal, with room in her pouch to carry several people, and a greenman who is part plant and has many super powers.

For all its SF aspirations, the novel also receives the Parsec Award (in honor of the Star Wars quote: "It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.") for asserting:

... the satellite in geostationary orbit over our northern continent ...
when physics requires all geosynchronous satellites to be over the equator.

 This novel is noteworthy from a writing point of view. One of the most popular advisories to writer is "show, don't tell." This novel contain several examples of why this is important.

A key turning point in the plot happens like this ...
We've made a major breakthrough. It turns out we were closer ... That pilot didn't die in vain. ... he saw something ... it turned out to be the key.
... and I'm like what just happened? What was the key? Show me!

A more trivial example ...
Joss heard Bim Hendrix telling stories, and Kupi laughing. The driver was a wellspring of humorous anecdotes.
... Really? What kind of stories? Tell me one. Show me!

Unfortunately, once the reader realizes that the details that give a story life and depth are not forthcoming...

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