the room is full of ghosts (yamamanama) wrote,
the room is full of ghosts

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Chapter 4
Yeah, see, here's a quote by an Imam saying the Europeans need to shower more than once a month. I guess the difference is he's calling out white Christians for not showering enough, the character in the novel is calling out Indians for smelling like curry. At least, I think curry is what they're supposed to smell like.

For some reason, I keep typing Christina when I mean to write Christian (I fixed that second one). No, to have followers of a religion based around a nameless poet and her prophet Christina would be too interesting. Besides, this was written before I had the idea to leave printouts of that poem in a Pyongyang airport bathroom. Preferably tacked to the ceiling.

Yay, things are horrible in the Caliphate.
Yay, tech wankery. An airship can go from Fort Stewart to Manila in two and a half days because they're seven times faster than ships. Kratman thinks we need to know exactly what battalions and divisions are onboard the Retaliation, and yet I still don't know whether to imagine a giant Duff blimp or something like the Dreadnought Leviathan.

The Americans forbid access to medicine in occupied Europe.

Switzerland is still ruled by the SVP. And why wouldn't they? To paraphrase someone on the Switzerland-analogue she lived in, they'll deny citizenship for whatever arbitrary reason they want, what language you dream in and such. They control the committees that vote on whether a resident gets citizenship. The SVP is a mafiocracy, basically.

A socialist Tsardom? A SOCIALIST TSARDOM? Oh, this is too much. China's also a kingdom, I don't know if they're socialist but they still have a People's Liberation Army.

And also a Boer Free State controlling most of sub-Saharan Africa; they trade in slaves and technology that the caliphate can't make for themselves, because Muslims in Kratman-land are technologically illiterate savages who can't make anything more advanced than a sharpened stick. The Caliphate finds little redeeming about the Boer Free State, so they (the Caliphate, I mean) can't be that bad. India fragmented. Not for the same reasons it did in my project, but fragmented nonetheless. Unless someone who may or may not be Narendra Modi made the mistake of invading both Pakistan and southeast Asia at the same time while antagonizing China one too many times.

If you want proof that Tom Kratman isn't just a pen name Dan Simmons uses when he isn't satisfied with his works, here it is: Japan is an ally of the Americans. No evil mustache-twirling Japanese with buck teeth and goofy accents here, nope.

The Philippines is back to being a territory of the US ruled by a collaborationist government of dark elves. Just kidding. About the dark elves part, anyway. I think they'd be the only thing in this novel that could make it less realistic. The presence of Muslims has prevented it from becoming a full-fledged state because nobody likes redrawing borders.

The general of the Philippines is named Miguel Maglalang. I looked that one up just to see if it's a real Filipino name. It is. It's Michelle Malkin's real name. Why she changed it to a pubic wig is beyond me. His welcoming speech, the pass in review, and the march off to the barracks are anticlimactic. So anticlimactic, in fact, that no attention is lavished on them whatsoever, and we go back to Al Harv Kaserne.

Where Hans Ibn Minden… even if it would actually be Hans al-Minden… got drafted into the Janissary Corps. They're basically the stormtroopers of the Caliphate.

Then there's some crap about Petra's life just so you don't forget who's supposed to be the bad guys here and another brief segue back to the Philippines.

Bland diet? In the Muslim world? A northern European complaining about bland diet?
Fun fact: You can actually tell what parts of Europe were Islamic by their cuisines.

I'm not sure this was Kratman's intent but he actually makes the Islamic depiction of God more merciful than the Christian depiction of God. In fact, I'm definitely sure this wasn't his intent and the guy saying that was just an evil Muslim bent on destroying Europe's dick and mocking (western*) Christianity and its concept of original sin.

*Orthodox Christianity rejects the idea of original sin for the same reason the imam does. And I'm not one to defend the Mormons usually, but they reject it too. That's cool, I guess. Jews also reject original sin for the same reason as the Muslims, or rather, the Muslims reject the idea of original sin for the same reason Jews do. As if this book needs to be made any less comfortable.

And either the imam is telepathic or Kratman forgot some quotation marks.

Gabrielle refuses to believe that the Muslims hate them so much, even after listening to a strawman imam speak.

Chapter 5

And soon enough, Kratman forgets what irony is and quotes Mark Twain on the Moro Massacre.

The Americans torch a mosque along with the rest of the village and some bodies and the smoke carries the savor of long pig. Yes, that's a euphemism. Do I even want to know what's going through Hamilton's thoughts right now? One of the MPs says nits make lice, translation, execute the kids too. Instead, they're going to be raised as good Christian cannon fodder, sort of like the Janissary Corps in reverse. And they're sending out airships to level coastal cities in Indonesia and Malaysia, whether they're responsible for arming the Moros or not. America's debts grow legion.

The Independent State of America won't let the Filipinos know about any US casualties. It might give them morale. Or demoralize the dark elven elite. The people back home would get edited footage to show the brutality of the enemy. Michael Moore was hanged in 2020. Yeesh.

They're also sending Christians to settle Mindanao and purging the original inhabitants and resettling them in the ruins of Indonesia and Malaysia with only their eyes. They forced those convicted of war crimes (I thought the laws of war didn't matter, only power) in a show trial to dig their own graves. Remind me once again why these people are the heroes.

In Al Harv, a hare wanders onto the firing range, and like good imperial stormtroopers, none of the shots even come close to it and it escapes.
The same hare, apparently. Tapdancing zombie Christ on a pogo stick, Kratman.

Some theorizing about why Christians are better with firearms than Muslims, only believed by people named Yael. Really, now, if the Muslims were so inept as to shoot at things with the idea of "if it works, it works, whatever" the Europeans could have fought back. Oh, right, they're all a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

And if they're a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys and presumably cheese-eating surrender monkeys by genetics, why are they depicted as the best fighters the Caliphate has?

And isn't this what they're doing to Moro villagers and presumably Afghans?

Hodge is crippled. And then she dies from a thermobaric bomb.

Moros believe things similar to "If you do not want me to eat these cookies I have left as an offering for you, give me no sign. Done." And they have small penises cause they're Asians. Har de har har.

All Moros' DNA is gathered, and in every village they clear out, all members of those families are killed. Remind me once again why the Moro rebellion is a bad thing.

Back to 2005. And Rammstein. Mahmoud doesn't like them very much. And some neo-Nazis. Gabi counts nine of them. Nine neo nazis. Ha ha ha ha ha. *lightning* They call him the German equivalent of wog. L. Ron Hubbard's back from the dead!
You're in a fucking car. Just run the fuckers over. Mahmoud says something sensible: We need to get the fuck out.
If you ask me, Europe is more likely to be taken over by Neo-Nazis than by Muslims. I wonder if we'll ever see a novel about that. I wonder if it would sell.

Chapter 6
Yawn, more of Islamic Germany. Had this stuff been purged from the novel, and the novel was only about the Americans declaring themselves an empire and blustering into Mindanao, and everything was meant to be morally ambiguous and this was a better novel, this could have been interesting. Blandly written too, but what are you going to do? We're all about the soundbytes and buzzwords now.

In fact, I've once had someone tell me they'll stop reading if they aren't hooked by the third sentence. I hate to tell you, but if your method leads to Halo novels and Islam-takes-over-Europe thrillers, you need to rethink your methodology a bit.

Arranged marriage is about as Islamic (and Jewish for that matter) as a pork rind, bacon, and ham pizza with cheese made from sows' milk. Just saying.

The USAF airship is called the Prince Eugene, a ship in Nazi Germany's navy that was nuked. Also, there was an SS division with that name infamous in Serbia for its brutality. So bad, in fact, that the ethnic Germans would have rather served in the Croatian Home Guard, the Ustasa's military arm and the Partisans' supply depot.

The moros have been purged. Hollywood was purged too. And it's no longer the United Kingdom, it' the Kingdom of England and the province of Scotland. No Celtic Union, apparently. As for why it's necessary for the narration to tell us that scotch is from Scotland, I'll never know.

A few paragraphs of Al Khalifa's thoughts and then back to Savannah. Caruthers is deliberately nondescript, which probably translates to Kratman not being arsed enough to describe anything more this his receding hairline.

French is considered relevant enough to teach, despite most of the former Francophone world presumably speaking English, Arabic, or Afrikaans.

Fudail rapes Petra back in the world as seen on the Lifetime Movie Network after Mark Steyn led a hostile takeover.
I wonder how long it will be before I see one of the heroes rape someone… doubt it, though. This isn't Ayn Rand, it's Caliphate.

Hold on the fuck on. Kitzengen is in Georgia now? And Georgia calls itself the Federal Republic of Georgia. I'd be able to accept the latter if it was set in the future, either my future right now or Kratman's future when he was writing it, but it doesn't. It's set on March 5, 2005.

Other things
I asked this in the comments, but let's make it a proper burning question anyway
Burning Question: Why do Muslims always colonize desert planets or deserts on Earthlike planets in science fiction? Why do we never see them in lush rainforest or savannah or temperate mixed forest or what have you?

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