Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fallen Angels

I've been reading an interesting book, one amusing enough to pass on to
the 3 or 4 folks who schlump by here on a daily basis.

It's called Fallen Angels, written by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle & Michael Flynn. The novel deals with a future where the Greens and the PC police have taken over the United States. It's a very different America than you and are used to. Nuclear physicists are lynched. Technology is frowned upon. Being able to build a computer or program code is seen as 'elitist'. Speculative fiction is taboo, since it "serves no useful purpose". Therefore, sci-fi buffs are treated as pariahs, and often forcibly "re-educated".

Oh, and the world is in the grip of a new Ice Age. Glaciers cover Cananda, and are moving down into the U.S. It seems that 'Global Warming' took off in a different direction than the tree-huggers expected. There's a small space colony barely ekeing out an existence, but they lose two of their pilots on a nitrogen-skimming mission to a U.S. missile.

The pilots survive the crash, and need rescuing. Who better for a rescue of spacemen than the local sci-fi fan club!

It's an interesting look into the world of the hardcore skiffy fans. What most people tend to forget is that underneath the nerdy and antisocial exteriors lie formidable brains and plenty of engineering talent.

It's a fun read, due to many many inside jokes and book references. You do have to endure a dose of filking (my personal pet peeve, and the reason I avoid sci-fi cons), but as farfetched as it gets, there's still a core of "this could happen" to the book.

I was greatly amused to learn that one of the fellow attendees at the Texas Blogfest, Susan from New York City, had read the book. I was too hammered on primo scotch to properly discuss it with her, but we both agreed it was a lot of fun.

Anyway, give it a try. You don't need to buy it, though you may want a copy later. It's online courtesy of Baen Books.