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

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chasing phantoms in one's dreams

Excursus
Baen expanded to history books. I wonder if the covers are still embarrassing. I could just imagine a Baen history book depicting a giant-breasted Queen Victoria in a bikini.

This stuff is very dry and leaden, but hilarious in its own right.

Elizabeth's dead by 2015. Yeah right. She's the Fidel Castro of the monarchy. You know, I'm going to eat my words by then. Elizabeth dead and no hoverboards.

Boston, LA, and Kansas City were nuked. Kansas City? That's like getting your revenge on Burma by blowing up Ava.

The bombs in Chicago and New York degrade over time and don't explode, Houston and Washington get the defective bombs. How convenient. And four million Americans and one million English die. The ones that didn't work were North Korean and Russian. Somehow, one that actually detonated was proven to be Pakistani. The other two, no clue. However, their locations are rather convenient, don't you think? Well, I think so, anyway. Russia blamed terrorists and gave oil and gas as tribute.

Professor Chamberlain, no subtlety here, and yes, I'm aware that I liked A Princess of Roumania and there's a Nicola Ceausescu and general Antonescu in that but there's a good reason for that, so don't bother pointing that out. Anyway, he says something about Jews controlling America because he's a liberal stereotype.

Pat Buckman, a clone of Pat Buchanan who's so obvious I'm just going to go with my instinct and type Buchanan from now on, starts a populist party similar to the Tea Party. He says motherfuckers on live TV and gets away with it too. The UK becomes an absolute monarchy as a result, breaks off from the EU, and somehow, everyone's happy. I couldn't imagine a Celt supporting that in a million years.

Buchanan wins in Massachusetts because Boston's gone along with one million people (this probably means Cambridge, Newton, Quincy, Somerville, and Brookline went too). Kratman's blissfully unaware that Lynn, New Bedford, Fall River, Worcester, and all of western Mass still vote democrat, not American Nazi Party. This all reeks of conspiracy. In fact, I wrote something similar.

Buchanan says we have to put our own house in order. That means most crimes are federal now. Chamberlain was killed by the only survivor of a family in Kansas City. An ex-democrat, of course. The killer is pardoned, as are the killers of two Supreme Court justices and many a congressman, newspaper editor, and academics.

Dearborn becomes the Warsaw Ghetto, all Muslims are interred no matter their citizenship, and the dissenting member of the Supreme Court is assassinated.

The King of England is described as sane. Somehow. Buchanan isn't sane, but I have the feeling Buchanan is the necessary kind of insane.

Females are sent to the upper Silurian rather than the early Cambrian to prevent pregnancies, and they both have to resort to making members of their preferred sex out of dust and dead brachiopods.

Actually, that would be too clever. Nope, unlike political prisoners in Hawksbill Station, they're just sent to segregated concentration camps. Some of them are allowed to leave to the Muslim country of their choice.

That wouldn't matter for long.

Political prisoners are kept in integrated camps and Buchanan took a hint from the Sri Lankans, calling the camps save zones. Most of them went to Canada anyway.

The UK merely sent their Muslims to France. Let those cheese eating surrender monkeys deal with it.

Since there was a labor shortage, Indians were imported as labour. And unlike in real life, no Hindu committed an act of terrorism. Because, yeah, this was written in 2006. Buckman invites Indian guest workers to the point where Dinesh (D'Souza?) and Aishwarya began to compete with John and Jennifer. Funny, that, Jennifer hasn't been popular in years. Then again, Dinesh and Aishwarya aren't the most popular Indian names, and that makes me very happy to say the US didn't import Chinese people, very happy indeed. He'd probably call them Ching Chong or something.

As for people named Ava, they probably all got purged.

I think Dinesh and Aishwarya are the only Indian names he knows.

Mexicans aren't allowed in. In fact, all the Hispanics are deported to Mexico. Why they go through all this effort just to import Indians, I do not know.

Mexico, by the way, is right-wing speak for everything south of the Rio Grande, all the way down to Tierra del Fuego and possibly even Victorialand.

Buchanan declares war on Islam itself. He broadcasts a message to the 32 (there are actually 47, but I'm sure Buchanan felt the Maldives and Bahrain are too insignificant and The Gambia will just go when Senegal does) Muslim majority nations. Plus he has plans for destroying North Korea and Canada and the Martians and maybe even Tuvalu. Well, everything is nuked except for a few major oilfields, where the Americans send everyone to the Empty Quarter to die except for a few important people, replace them with their own, milk them until the oil runs out and they lose all their hair from radiation sickness, after which they nuke the ruins for good measure.

I'll talk about a different book right now: Carl Sagan said a war of this magnitude would affect a lot more than just the middle east. Ever heard of fallout? Crops will wither and die. The human immune system will falter and plagues will sweep across the planet. Coastal cities will flood. Grasslands will turn to plains, plains to deserts, forests to swamps. Owls will deafen us with their incessant hooting.

All in all, 55 cities were destroyed, including the entire Nile valley, and 800 million died. I'm not sure if those 800 million are all Muslims*, or if there are significant numbers of other religions. Leaving aside the whole ecological collapse, what of Israel and Serbia and India and other bordering nations? I understand Israel; the real Pat Buchanan doesn't have high regards for Jewish people. But he is pro-Serbia as long as there aren't any Serbians in the US, maybe. For all I know, he's like the average Christian zionist: his xenophobia extends to Serbs as well, he just hates the Bosnians, the Albanians, and the Kosovars more, and if any of that radiation shall happen to fall upon Serbia, so be it. Those Serbs probably didn't even assist with the genocide.

*Kratman says it's 800 million Muslims, an unknown number of non-Muslims unfortunate enough to be caught in the blasts.

For that matter, are these only the people in majority Muslim nations, or does this include places like Dagestan and Chechnya and Xinjiang as well?

America invades Canada. After all, Buchanan let the concentration camp escapees live there and Canada made the mistake of allowing in two million refugees in.

Buchanan invades Mexico because his reign caused chaos there, and invades Cuba because he has a grudge against Castro, who's presumably still alive.

Chapter 10
He goes to South Africa. You know what that means? That's right, even more exposition! Christ on a pogo stick, we just had an entire chapter of nothing but exposition! The Boers (not Gadaffi's wife, she's not even a boar, she's a warthog) have taken over the entire

Before the Boers took over, the commies (read: blecks, yeah, you have to say it in a South African accent) were in power because the west abandoned South Africa to the blecks once the threat of the Soviet Union was gone. Then AIDS wiped out a sizable chunk of Africa and caused societal collapse, financial strains, and a high orphan population. In fact, they were so inherently corrupt that they denied HIV caused AIDS just so they could steal more in foreign aid. Whites from Europe settled Africa again, and, yeah, Tom says they aren't interested in nepotism masquerading as affirmative action* and were highly conservative. Civil war broke out and the Zulus once again play their role as the Kalmyks of Africa and aid the boers. Like the French, they rule through the locals. Whites rule all of Africa aside from Zululand. I don't know if it includes countries with a lower prevalence of AIDS, like Madagascar and West Africa. Introducing diseases could solve that, I guess.

*In real life, their nepotism masquerades as other things

So, yeah, he's racist too.

It looks like the Europeans razed the Arab world and the Arabs had no choice but to move to Europe.

Bongo, which is probably the most stereotypical African name I can think of, even if it is short for an actual name in South Africa, blames Pat Buchanan for fucking everything up. I think he's right.

I think he's bothered by free Muslims in South Africa.

Future Zulus still use spears. Apparently, they're Gurkhas too, and massacred an entire mosque and then killed anyone related the imams for daring to preach against an obviously fascistic Boer Empire, and then sold about 50,000 into slavery. If preaching against a resurgent apartheid empire is wrong, I don't want to be right.

The caliphate has slavery, yes, but they get most of their slaves from Africa. Sold by the fucking Boer Empire.

This is supposed to make me hate the Muslims, mind you.

Mahmoud becomes a born-again Christian who thinks that blacks in America are better off than whites in Europe. That's pushing it, even if you include Macedonia and Moldova.

I was wrong, he's no Quisling, he's an Occuria-damned Tiso.

Chapter 11
Shouldn't Sands have a French-Canadian accent? Compare Raocow to someone who's actually from France. Exposition! Exposition! Exposition!

Meara wheezes. Everything about them comes from the Ayn Rand School of Character Design, aside from their names. I don't know if Meara is supposed to be a reference to anything, but at least it's not Wesley Mouch.

The Caliphate is on to them. Instead of just taking the bribes, they take the bribes and then search their stuff. What a bunch of Police Chief Wiggums.

Bongo says they own someone in the Caliphate. If there's a Caliph, it's a giant holographic head of Bat Yeor.

Am-Munch AKA Munich AKA seriously, Kratman, look up the sun and moon letters, looks like Dan Simmons' Calcutta (here's where I confess I've never read Song of Kali and probably never will). We get one paragraph saying it's run down, depressing, with garbage everywhere.

Women can't drive. Huh? I thought Saudi Arabia was nuked. Why did only the most conservative strains survive? Did they spend most of their efforts on purging the Shi'ites when they took over Saudi Arabia?

Hans still identifies as Christian, which means his thoughts when he prays are in Latin and not in Arabic.

There are signs in three unspecified languages and one of them is likely to be English for no good reason at all, and all the art has been purged. Apparently, Kratman thinks Islamic architecture is all in the Bauhaus or International style. Either that, or taste in art is the one thing they took from the Scandinavians. No, I'm never going to get over what the Norwegians did to art nouveau.

Hamilton gets attacked by Hans.

A description of childbirth that is about as painful for me to read it as it is painful for Gabrielle. There are no atheists in birthing beds. Or breeding factories, for that matter. She names the baby Amal, like having a middle-Eastern name is unusual. There will probably be at least three girls named Ava in her class, provided they don't get purged by a government hearing voices from gods less benevolent than the Occuria.

And excuse me if I call Amal he at any point. Amal is a unisex name and her gender is only alluded to once. I get confused with the names I use too.

Chapter 12
Martin Luther* hated the Turks almost as much as he hated the Jews. Look, you can make the Muslim characters anti-semites all you want but don't quote an actual anti-semite and expect me to agree with anything he says. He echoes the sentiments of this novel, even calling anyone who runs to the Turks because they think the Germans are savages crazy. Well, let me tell you something: Martin Luther proposed the Holocaust. Who's the crazy one?

*Martin Luther King was pretty cool, though. And Adolf Lu Hitler Marak seems sane, even if he is a member of the Indian National Congress.

This is what I mean by the glossary being unnecessary: dialogue explaining what a jizya is, but not why Europe had so much trouble against a few million Muslims rotting from the radiation sickness.

Hans wipes his ass with a page from a Koran and then flushes it. If I was willing to pay for a copy of Summa Elvetica, I'd probably do that. Fun fact: At the time I'm posting this, Vox Day made a post on blackgate.com about how clever his novel was. Remind me once again why they keep him around on that site.

Ling says she's genetically engineered, but gigantomastia and albinism happen. Maybe not often and even less often do both of them happen at once, but they happen.

Mahmoud isn't so fallen that he can't see the greatness of Boston. Considering where most of her knowledge about the country comes from, I'm surprised Gabrielle isn't aware people refer to the commonwealth as the People's Republic of Massachusetts. I'm sure Kratman is aware, he's the one who used the term to begin with.

I've never seen German food in Boston, but then again, I've never looked. Same with Korean, though I've had something from Korea that I thought was Hungarian and I thought it was decent. And if there's an Ethiopian place, it's hidden well. There are a few Arabic restaurants, a bunch of Thai places and the occasional Cambodian restaurant, a Persian place called Moby Dick for some reason, and many Italian. And lots of seafood.

I don't think she'd like Thai. Not enough cheese. Anyway, Mahmoud spouts some jingoistic garbage, some German reverts or whatever try to blow up some Germans but don't do a very good job of it and all the Germans worth blowing up are in South America anyway.

Burning Question: What's the most beautiful language?
Burning Question 2: What's your favorite artistic movement?
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