Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The triumph of evil

No, I'm not talking about Alberto Gonzalez, but books in which evil wins. I just finished Empire, a graphic novel in which a Doctor Doom-like character called Golgoth, rules the world (except Greenland and a few other spots.) It is a good graphic novel, but I wish it had it explored the process by which the destroyer becomes the manager and the defender of the new status quo. Or, using Qin vs. Han dynasties, or Caesar vs. Augustus, as a template, showing how he violent usurper is followed by the pragmatic reformer who creates an empire which can be maintained.

In the end, it is a book about a world ruled by evil. There aren't a lot of books like this around. Most books describe how an evil force is defeated as opposed to life under evil. William Barton's When Heaven Fell explores the moral compromises of living under totalitarian (alien) rule. The Devil's Day is another one. I suppose people would prefer more uplifting material.

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