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Pennsylvania 1 Kindle Edition
|Length: 101 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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In reply, Mitch asked if I had ever read "Pennsylvania," the Amish sci-fi novel by Michael Bunker. Thinking, *Amish sci-fi*? I told him, no, why? It was because another author he attended college with, Chris Pourteau, had written some military fiction in the Pennsylvania universe.
*Military* Amish science fiction. What a concept.
I was intrigued, and got a copy of this book ASAP. And it turns out to be military science fiction in its own right, a fascinatingly complex tale that combines Amish philosophy, future military and power technology, and the first really advanced networking concept I've seen in fiction. That the author is a member of a "Plain" community obviously gives him the time and scope to think deeply about what might happen. That, and excellent story-telling skills, make this an outstanding book, whether you read it as the first of a series of novellas, or get the omnibus edition and read it as the first section of a novel.
And now, I move from "Pennsylvania" to "Oklahoma". Immediately, if not Sooner.
After years in stasis, Jed finally arrives at this new land, this new planet, of freedom where he can return to the “plain” life. But humanity can never escape itself as he quickly learns. The oppressive government agency that allowed him to migrate is even more controlling than back on earth. A determined insurgency is intent on making that government release its grip on the colonists. And caught between are a people, who like Jed, only desire to be left alone so they can live in peace.
In Pennsylvania, author Michael Bunker gives the reader what many say cannot be done. He offers a rousing tale of adventure and discovery that unapologetically is grounded in his own personal and very real worldview. Bunker doesn’t hide that he has personally chosen the same kind of life that his main character, Jed, yearns for.
At the same time, the reader is not manipulated into accepting any one view point. Jed’s brother has taken a very different and difficult path. Those intent on ensuring this young man realizes his simple and pacifist lifestyle are willing to fight to the death so that he and others like him can have it.
This is a story written on many levels. There are all the mysteries and wonders of interstellar travel, intrigue of shadowy conspiracies, and the struggle for control between competing factions. Beneath the obvious, however, is what happens when everything you know and believe is challenged at its very core.
"Welcome to the world of the English, Jed. Almost no one knows what’s real."
Go, Mr. Bunker, go! (And by the way, I have never been inspired to write a RHYMING review before...not sure what came over me.)
Now I'm gonna have to come up with $5 for the whole thing.
Seriously, this was a good, fun read that introduces ideas in which you may have limited experience(or none), and grafts them onto a comfortable genre. There are several other examples of similar thought-experiments, yes. This one has the benefit of a specific perspective that I'd not explored previously.
Of course this one is free. Social media is also an example of how well this model works.
Skip your caramel half-caff skim tomorrow. Do something worthwhile in your budget. Buy the set.