Wednesday, January 25, 2012
High Tech Space Wars
I couldn't decide whether this belonged in my writing blog or over in my more politically-oriented blog, Mad Maxisms. But, since this is basically two book reviews in one, it's here.
Over the holidays I read a pair of books, Space Wars: The First Six Hours of World War III and its partner, CounterSpace: The Next Hours of World War III. These are works of fiction, but will scare you silly if you pay attention to the story as depicted.
The authors are not novelists. They don't pretend to be. They are editors and writers of factual material. What they tried to do in these two books is make you think about what might happen if the world gets any more dangerous.
The essence of both books is a cyberattack on the United States from a rogue nation, but not sponsored by that nation. Turns out a drug cartel leader with more money than he knows what to do with builds a device that blinds many US satellites. GPS, communications, spy satellites are all turned off. Other attacks follow, including one nation setting off a nuke in near outer space. Makes a mess out of everything electronic for too long.
If you've read anything in the papers lately about Iran rattling its sabers in the Straits of Hormuz, you'll see these books could happen. Might not be Iran. Could be North Korea. Or Russia. Or China. Or a guy with more money than he knows what to do with. We could be one step away from the 19th century, as the writers postulate.
"Ripped from the headlines" is such a Law and Order cliche. In this case, it works. The books are uneven in the way the story is told. It's not really shown, as all of us who try to write fiction have beaten into us. I wanted more dialogue. At first this put me off, until the story itself took off. I only put the first book down to pick up the second.
These are worth reading if you are at all concerned with what could happen. I'm glad I invested time in them.