Book Review: A Desert Called Peace by Tom Kratman
Caveat: If you're a staunch liblepr (liberal-leftist-progressive-red) the odds of you're getting through the series without suffering a fatal case of exploding brain pan are, at best, fifty-fifty. This is hilarious, too, because the main character, in the course of creating a one export economy for a small country - the export being highly trained formations of military auxiliaries - finds that he had inadvertently done what most single export economies end up doing, creating a partial "socialist workers paradise." Nonetheless, every time someone buys one of my books a liberal, somewhere, cries or screams. And remember: Every time a liberal cries or screams, an angel gets his wings.
I wrote the series to discuss a large number of different things and I wrote it to work at different levels, for different readings, by different people, at different times. At one level, the first two volumes concerned how the current campaigns should have been fought and why everything has gone to shit. Note that I predicted that before it happened, well before. These were also books on revenge and on how one tends to become much like ones enemies. They also discussed, incidentally, with the Cheng Ho disaster, the failed first attempt at colonization, the likelihood or lack thereof of a colonization attempt that mixed culturally incompatible peoples.
At still another level - and it's a shame, you'll agree, that "literary fiction" is invariable [sic] concerned with mere style and never with sophisticated thought - we have something very like the world of today - called with deliberate lack of imagination, "Terra Nova" - engaged in war against the world of tomorrow, Old Earth, a hellish nightmare of UN, EU, NGO, and Quango dominated oligarchy, to prevent that kind of oligarchy from arising on the new world. At yet another level, it's about demographic change, and what that does to societies, not merely as a result of who comes in, but also about who leaves.