Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-30-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
GlenBarrington
Cheese Whiz
GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GlenBarrington's Avatar
 
Posts: 985
Karma: 3212609
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Device: Droid Bionic, 1st Gen Kindle Fire. All Sony's Retired
Without Warning by John Birmingham

An interesting and well written alternate history/Science Fiction novel set in the VERY near past.

Just before G.W.Bush's invasion of Iraq, a mysterious force field settles over the North American continent and turns every primate on most of the continent into a puddle of goo. All that remains of the North American nations and the USA, are the western half of Canada, Mexico, south of Acapulco, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the N.W. part of Washington State, Hawaii, and Alaska. That and the roughly 5 million Americans in other parts of the world for various reasons at that time. Presumably, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are fine, though they play no part in this story.

What's worse, the force field remains functional and shows no indication of leaving anytime soon; so the thought of being able to use North America's incredible agricultural capabilities to continue feeding the world seems unrealistic at best.

What this means is that most of America's military power remains intact but with the entire line of succession dead, there is no controlling civilian authority. However, with 2 and a half viable, albeit hungry and overcrowded states, and an additional 5 million expats scattered about the world, and the US military poised for war, the USA is in the ultimate constitutional crisis. Does the USA continue to exist or not? Will the rest of the world want to pay the US military to continue to exist? Is that even ethical on the part of the US military, or on the part of the rest of the world?

It is refreshing that this story line doesn't take the easy and obvious paths. Often, the greatest evil is perpetrated by well meaning people who just aren't up to the job or whose personal or group survival needs are at odds with the rest of the world. And sometimes small acts of kindness will flower into great good.

This is NOT some new age utopian book. It is dark and at times it is incredibly violent. It was interesting to see people wrestle with the variety of moral dilemma's this situation presents them.

This book is NOT about what would the world be like without the USA, but one about what would happen if the US just suddenly stopped, "Without Warning" doing the stuff the USA has been doing.

I think it's a well thought out book with perspectives I hadn't thought of.

The author appears to be Australian, and a few phrases coming out of the mouths of American characters don't always sound all that authentic. (Calling a shotgun a 'shotty', for instance, Americans would just say shotgun or refer to it by its gage - 12 gage, a 410, etc.), but on the whole the author has either lived in the US or done some very good research. The American characters are pretty believable and are not Hollywood stereotypes. (No one hates Americans the way Hollywood does!)

If you like speculative fiction, this is worth investigating. . .

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 08-31-2010 at 04:10 PM. Reason: ARGHHH I need an editor!
GlenBarrington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 01:55 AM   #2
mrsquash
Connoisseur
mrsquash will become famous soon enoughmrsquash will become famous soon enoughmrsquash will become famous soon enoughmrsquash will become famous soon enoughmrsquash will become famous soon enoughmrsquash will become famous soon enough
 
Posts: 78
Karma: 648
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: USA
Device: K4-NT, Sony T1
Thanks for the tip. Looks like a good read. I just went to buy it and noticed that a sequel, "After America", was released last week, and is available as an ebook. Thought I'd mention it to you on the off-chance that you weren't aware of it yet.
mrsquash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 10:46 AM   #3
GlenBarrington
Cheese Whiz
GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GlenBarrington's Avatar
 
Posts: 985
Karma: 3212609
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Device: Droid Bionic, 1st Gen Kindle Fire. All Sony's Retired
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsquash View Post
Thanks for the tip. Looks like a good read. I just went to buy it and noticed that a sequel, "After America", was released last week, and is available as an ebook. Thought I'd mention it to you on the off-chance that you weren't aware of it yet.
I wrote this . . . "Book Report?" before I had completed the book.I was about 30 - 40 pages from the end. I was a little disappointed in a couple of the story lines (the book contains 5 story lines set in different parts of the world.)

I thought a couple of the story lines felt. . .condensed and artificially truncated. Not as satisfying an end to the story line as I thought they deserved. It may have been in an effort to set things up for the sequel.

That relatively minor flaw aside. I enjoyed the book very much and do not regret having read it. I will definitely get "After America"
GlenBarrington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
some call me tim
Enthusiast
some call me tim doesn't littersome call me tim doesn't litter
 
some call me tim's Avatar
 
Posts: 42
Karma: 130
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Seattle
Device: PRS-505
I've read the first two books of his "Axis of Time" series and enjoyed them. Also an alternate history story, basically the US Navy of 2020 (or so?) uses an experimental weapon which takes part of the fleet (literally, as some ships are bisected by the spherical nature of the of the effect) back in time to WWII. Ships are scattered all over, some landing in 1942's US Navy, some in Japan, some in other places of the world.

I haven't gotten around to book #3 yet, but the first two were very interesting, seeing the technologies clash, alliances form, and seeing the cultures of two eras butt heads against each other (e.g. how sailors of 1942 would find it unthinkable to receive orders from a black woman as a superior officer).

I'd never read any alternate history books before, but Birmingham has gotten me interested--very intelligently written and plausible. I'll be sure to check Without Warning out at some pont.
some call me tim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 06:03 PM   #5
DixieGal
Hi There!
DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.DixieGal ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
DixieGal's Avatar
 
Posts: 7,473
Karma: 2930523
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ft Lauderdale
Device: iPad
iBooks is nearly $12

Amazon $6
DixieGal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2010, 09:24 PM   #6
GlenBarrington
Cheese Whiz
GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.GlenBarrington ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
GlenBarrington's Avatar
 
Posts: 985
Karma: 3212609
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Device: Droid Bionic, 1st Gen Kindle Fire. All Sony's Retired
Quote:
Originally Posted by some call me tim View Post
I've read the first two books of his "Axis of Time" series and enjoyed them. Also an alternate history story, basically the US Navy of 2020 (or so?) uses an experimental weapon which takes part of the fleet (literally, as some ships are bisected by the spherical nature of the of the effect) back in time to WWII. Ships are scattered all over, some landing in 1942's US Navy, some in Japan, some in other places of the world.

I haven't gotten around to book #3 yet, but the first two were very interesting, seeing the technologies clash, alliances form, and seeing the cultures of two eras butt heads against each other (e.g. how sailors of 1942 would find it unthinkable to receive orders from a black woman as a superior officer).

I'd never read any alternate history books before, but Birmingham has gotten me interested--very intelligently written and plausible. I'll be sure to check Without Warning out at some pont.
I'm on the 3rd book of the Axis of Time series. I really like how Birmingham presents many little things that are different between our 'now' and their 'now'. For instance, how up-timers seem more cold about killing even the innocent if they threatened the mission than the 'Temps' and how even the most battle hardened and self centered 'Temps' find this attitude most unsettling. Or how women of the two eras generally walk and carry themselves. Or how California smog that caused the 'Temps' problems still seemed like fresh air to the uptimers!

None of this stuff really moves the story along, but it raises the feel of realism for the reader (at lest for THIS reader!)

As for this being your first Alt. History book, you are starting at a pretty high quality. You might find yourself a bit disappointed in some other authors. But take a look at Harry Turtledove and Robert Conroy.
GlenBarrington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2010, 09:42 PM   #7
leebase
Karma Kameleon
leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.leebase ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
leebase's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,504
Karma: 4070107
Join Date: Aug 2009
Device: iPad, iPhone 4S
Sounds VERY interesting.

Lee
leebase is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mystery and Crime Birmingham, George A.: Priscilla's Spies v1 20 mar 2009 mtravellerh IMP Books 0 03-20-2009 05:23 AM
Mystery and Crime Birmingham, George A.: Priscilla's Spies v1 20 mar 2009 mtravellerh ePub Books 0 03-20-2009 05:22 AM
Mystery and Crime Birmingham, George A.: Priscilla's Spies v1 20 mar 2009 mtravellerh Kindle Books 0 03-20-2009 05:20 AM
Mystery and Crime Birmingham, George A.: Priscilla's Spies v1 20 mar 2009 mtravellerh BBeB/LRF Books 0 03-20-2009 05:19 AM
Birmingham drops apostrophes HarryT Lounge 22 01-31-2009 06:44 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:00 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.