Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weapons of Choice

If your willing suspension of disbelief has been waning, you are going to need a booster shot for Weapons of Choice. The book starts in 2021 with a multinational force attempting to prevent the new Indonesian Caliphate from invading East Timor. A new high tech weapon goes haywire and tosses the fleet back to 1942. About half the ships survive the transition, after either being destroyed in transit or scrapping with the locals. Unlike the similar Final Countdown, the future people change the past from the get go, and they have no way back.

A weaker book would have posited superweapons in a World War 2 with a similar timeline. This one complicates matters by having ships and more importantly, knowledge of technology and history, fall into all hands. After Midway, the timeline diverges mightily from our own as the actors make very different choices.

Alternative history usually avoids sociological questions. When future people interact with past people they rarely differ in viewpoints. The 1942 Americans are shocked to see black and Asian senior American military personnel and the the future Americans don't take to well to the treatment of their shipmates.

A subtler difference arises over the time. The future Americans have been at war with Islamic terror for 20 years and the book hints at nuclear strikes, air crashes and multiple brush wars. The future Americans strike the past Americans as cruel, violent and emotionless. Certainly, 2021 Navy SEALS are the wrong people for 1942 sailors to pick on in a bar brawl.

Some will scoff that the lead ship is the Hilary Clinton ( her namesake is called the most uncompromising war President in history - and apparently assassinated to boot.) Those who find this implausible should consider that Gerald Ford is getting a carrier. So pretty much you just need to be President to get one.


Brack said...

What, no link to Final Countdown by Europe? Your glam metal powers are waning, T Spot.


Tripp said...

Well done Brack, well done. I thought about using a lyric from the song in the title, but I am pretty sure no one would have recognized it.