Julian Comstock

This is billed as a “Story of 22nd Century America!”, but the overall feel is more like a tale from some time in the 1800’s. You see, it’s post- economic and energy collapse America, and now that there is no easy access to fossil fuels, the world has reverted to steam and muscle power. Also, the stated policy of the new Fundamentalist government is that humanity was punished for the sin of pride, and that the only path for redemption is to live as they did in a simpler, more God-fearing time.

Young Julian Comstock has grown up far in the most remote northwest corner of the sixty United States of the Dominion, sent there by his mother to protect him from the machinations of his uncle Delkan Comstock – the hereditary President. Delkan has had his own brother – Julian’s father – executed on a trumped up charge of treason, but he has no heirs of his own and has become increasingly paranoid.

Julian and his friend Adam Hazzard (an aspiring writer) are caught up in Delkan’s push toward conquering all of North America when they are press-ganged into the Army and sent to try to drive the Dutch out of Labrador. They manage to keep Julian’s identity secret, but unknown to them a war reporter who has been helping “critique” Adam’s stories about the war has been simply stealing them and publishing them as his own. As a result, once they complete their tour of duty they are greeted as heros, and Julian’s cover is completely blown…

And I should really stop there before I get carried away and post the whole plot. It’s a fascinating read set in a wonderfully creepy dystopian future. One bit of advice I’d give to anyone wanting to read it: if you don’t speak Dutch or French, keep a web browser handy and point it at Yahoo’s Babelfish. It’s not vital to the plot, but I still want to go back and see if I can translate some of the incidental chatter…

Pages: 413

Total Pages: 11,989

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