Some bad ideas go back a long way, and this one goes all the way back to the original home planet: Someone’s god told them they had a right to more territory – so they figure they can take what they want by divine right. In the far future among the colonized worlds of the galaxy, there’s a war going on between the majority of civilized worlds and a colonial theocracy. Trystin Desoll grows up fighting against religious fanatics and becomes a hero, a first-class pilot, then, amazingly, a spy. What do you do if you’re a relatively humane soldier fighting millions of suicidal volunteers on the other side who know that they are utterly right, and you are utterly wrong, with no middle ground? Trystin Desoll has an idea. THE PARAFAITH WAR. New to audio this month. Great narration, free of melodrama. More like animated reportage with acted dialogue than hyperbole. Has been compared to The Forever War, but is even more controversial in that science and religion clash in what is essentially mindless unending conflict. The author clearly sides on the green side: the opposition is all about destroying the environment in order to expand and conquer. Global warming takes on a new meaning when talking multiple worlds, lit up by war. Trump SpaceForce? Not exactly. The print version was written in 2010. Getting both one star and five star reviews, depending on your politics, perhaps! Either way, well worth a listen, but not a masterpiece like The Forever War, which won every award there is in scifi, and was one of the books that influenced Avatar.
If you have a science background or a science fiction novel published, send a link to your bio to BurjReview(at)Gmail for a chance to guest edit Family Die, and win a free audiobook to boot. Open now until “The Day After” Memorial Day.
“What’ll it be, bud?” the bartender asks me.
“How ’bout a Bud . . .Light,” I say.
I pick up the channel changer from the bar and tune the overhead TV from ladies mud wrestling to a local news report. As I do a big tattooed biker in a tank top slowly stands behind me.
“Hey yourself,” I say with a wink.
The biker steps up behind me now, and I reach into my pocket and without looking back hold out a $50 bill. He stops, stunned, and takes the money. I’m still staring at the screen, where a newscaster is saying that the final vote was ninety-eight to two against line-item veto. In other news, the EPA has just banned soda, drawing fire from representatives of the Gladiator Games. As a side note, the solar powered ceiling fan business is booming in the North Dakota. Although it’s hotter here in Des Moines.
“This is bad,” I say, now watching reports from the Department of Bankruptcy & Suicide, and Immigration & Nationalization. There’s even talk in Congress of calling for a Discrimination Bureau, to cover not just animal, but also vegetable and mineral.
I give up, change the thing back to mud wrestling, drawing cheers from the bar’s patrons. The bartender sets a beer in front of me, which I sip then spit out.
“This is warm!” I complain.”
“What’d you expect?”
I lay another $20 bill on the counter and turn away.
“Hey, I can’t accept this,” the bartender says.
“Well, it’s too much. I’m over my tip limit. You want the IRS to throw me in the slammer?”
“They wouldn’t do that.”
“Wanna bet? My wife’s in prison right now. Made way too much as a waitress . . . fifteen thousand . . . she’s, ah, got big hooters. I miss her.”
“An’ I’ll bet you work for the IRS too . . . ya got that evil eye.”
I shake my head. “Can you keep a secret?” I lift my toupee to reveal that I’m bald. “I’m the President of the United States.”
The bartender laughs, thinks that’s funny. Then his eyes narrow. “Hey, if you are him, whatda ya doin’ here? You here for a drink on the House, or the Senate?” He snickers, thinks that’s funny too.
So I hold out my executive Gold Card and Presidential ID. The bartender takes it, stares at the embossed photo of me seated in the Oval Office. “I ran away this morning,” I tell him. “Came straight here. But you’d never believe why.”
“Hey, that’s you,” the bartender says.
“And I’m looking for the real President, Donald Trump. Used to campaign in this town. It was the turning point for America, he said, so he built an estate nearby. So you seen him in here, or what?”
The bartender gives me his best cheese-eating grin, then a light bulb seems to turn on behind his eyes. He lowers his voice to a whisper. “Hey, if you’re really the Prez, where’s the Secret Service?”
“Shhhhhh,” I breathe, turning away. “It’s a secret.” Now I climb up on top of the nearest table. It sways, and I regain my balance. “Hey! Everybody!” I yell. “Anybody seen The Donald? There’s a reward if you can tell me when.”