Eclipse Penumbra by John Shirley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The worldbuilding in this trilogy is really something else. It is near future. The best parts of it isn't what kind of tech is in it, although some are pretty cool like prolonged lifespans up to 140 if you have the riches or a specifically targeted reprogramming of memories for all the best propagandists.
No. It's pretty much our world. A space colony near the Earth notwithstanding. :)
No, the worldbuilding shines in the details and the direction everything is twisted. The first is obviously a Fascist mockup driven by the Religious Right blown up into an outright racial pogrom of a scope similar to those of the Nazis. But this time, war broke out sooner and the tools on both sides of the war are a bit more interestingly divided. Suffice to say, civilization has gone into an eclipse. And by the end of the first book, the SA, or the bad guys, HAVE WON.
Everything else is about resistance fighters, degrading situations for everyone, and getting to love a few new MCs with an expectation of getting punched in the gut. Hard. Again. Along the same lines as the first novel.
I wasn't disappointed, either.
So much racism is put on highlight here. So much truly horrible crap goes on. But let's be clear about this. My intuition says we're on the side of the angels. This is just a dark, dark time. And it's pretty epic. World War spreading out into space, nations turning on each other, exploring media, new nasty laws, injustice, and of course, misery and grief.
There are some cyberpunk elements here and the text is updated to have newer tech and more recent historical events that tie directly into the events here, but what really stands out is just how similar this world is to what we could fall into yet again.
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