Tin Men by Christopher Golden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I did like this book very much for several reasons: the device of using robots for remote interactions... or rather, full-out “peacekeeping” wars sponsored by the United States... brings up a very cool topic of responsibility, immediacy and especially morality.
When you’re more powerful than anyone and you don’t ever need to fear losing your life, there’s very little to hold you back from being a bully.
No matter your initial rationale, the slide is real. This is where the book begins, but thanks to a new kind of attack that upsets the balance of power, we get a pretty awesome Mil-SF adventure with lots of intrigue, fighting, and questions of might vs right.
So why do I only give this three stars?
I would have loved it if there had been some real and detailed locations with real political factions and real multi-layered reasons for the fighting. Instead, we just get “anarchists”. WTF. It’s like the ultimate cop-out and generic bogeyman in writing, and yet, the novel starts out with honest humanization of the people in these occupied territories. We get the idea that these Tin Men are too removed and would be better off actually understanding the people they terrorize.
It starts out so strong.
And yet, the antagonists simply devolve into a pretty faceless mob that started out with genuine grievances and end as only “The Enemy”.
Let’s save the leaders, mourn our dead, and hate the anarchists! ......
What happened to the discussion of power differentials? Bullies? I guess the anarchists killed them.
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