- File Size: 2145 KB
- Print Length: 694 pages
- Publisher: Create Space; 1 edition (January 10, 2010)
- Publication Date: January 10, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003R0LPEA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,973 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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If you're looking for a quick read, Withur We is not for you. Science Fiction is, by its very nature, necessarily lengthy. (Therefore, don't fret the occasional typo). Detailed pictures must be painted, with words, describing places and things that don't (yet) exist. Alexander is a verbal artist with the soul of a poet.
Reading the following examples one has no trouble picturing what he's trying to convey. ..."eyes were shot with blood"; "...like a cloud that recalls a castle"; "...filling in the quiet spaces like mortar between bricks"; and my favorite: "Almost immediately, a line of naked prisoners jogged out of the exit portal and down the ramp. It looked as if the ship were leaking some mottled liquid forming an ever expanding puddle over the ground. Eventually, the drainage stopped, the portal doors closed as the exit ramps were retracted and the ship fell upward." I would deem an imagination hopeless if it failed to respond to such imagery.
Though equally masterful, descriptions of parallaxes, light years, and the physics of black holes (to name just a few), bent my mind in directions it's not accustomed to going, and for good reason. I'm the kind of gal who, when asking for the time, doesn't care to know how the watch was built or when asking for directions cares not about latitude and longitude. But undeterred, with the hope of high adventure ahead, I bravely ventured on through the technical jargon that Sci-Fi devotees will definitely appreciate. I wasn't disappointed.
Through the eyes of protagonist, Alistair Ashley 3nn, I've experienced the deteriorating future of a largely apathetic populace fearing retribution from a corrupt, cronyism government. Seven centuries into the future, progress has been so thwarted that basic needs are perceived as a luxury. The Libertarian philosophy woven throughout the novel was greatly appreciated and most evident as Alistair Ashley, a convicted rebellion upstart on his home planet of Aldra, is sentenced to life on the prison planet, Srillium. His struggles to bring Libertarian-style law and order to the dog-eat-dog prison planet are met with both success and failure. Beyond this you'll get no spoilers from me.
Suffice it to say that at the heart of Withur We is a story of human strengths and weaknesses, hope and despair, loyalty and betrayal, love and hate, anger and grief, and disappointment and joy. Ultimately, it is a story of mankind's inherent instinct to survive as a free man.
It really captures how lonely it is to be someone who truly reveres freedom. Nearly everyone else in or out of this book is pro-freedom up to a point. But he wants some govt in some quantity. It's as if habit or tradition or whatever cause him to close his mind to the possibility of a govt-free society (calm down, I didn't say a lawless society. Libertarians are all for natural, mala in se law.) He has a religious, dogmatic attachment to the idea that someone must be in charge. As if there's anyone who's truly better than whomever is currently in charge. As if anyone should be trusted with the power to, as our constitution grants, tax and regulate. Think of that! They can take your money by force. And they can force you to do or not do whatever they want. Oh, I'm only forced to do what a democratic majority wants? Oh, you're right, that's much better!
People talk about suspending disbelief regarding a book or a movie. 90+% of the world are in a perpetual state of suspended disbelief when it comes to the nature of man and his trustworthiness with the kind of power over others entrusted to him by our constitution. For that 90+% to blithely go on with life each must believe the preposterous idea that the govt man is somehow superhumanly altruistic. And that, unlike anyone else he (the 90+%er) knows, the govt man isn't self-interested. The govt as a whole isn't self-interested. That's how the govt achieves its god-like status. That and the abundance of covetousness and laziness present in every man...except govt men?
Anyway, in the book, this idea of revolution is shared by many working-class, underclass types and others. But nearly all of them but the protagonist simply want to replace the current govt with a new one...with them, the revolutionaries, in charge. So, if they succeed, history will repeat itself as it has 1000s of times and nothing will get better. "I can, and will, do it better than the current *&%$# govt.," the revolutionary says to himself. We're all tempted that way. And we'd all probably be corrupted into something evil if the power were given to us. And so it goes.
The protagonist, Alistair, is truly a romantic hero; in the league of Hank Reardon or Francisco D'Anconia. But as I said, he stands virtually alone in his principles. As does every libertarian.
The major difference between this and atlas is this book's anti-war themes. Coincidentally, that's the same gaping gulf between conservatives and libertarians. "Force is for defense, only." Sounds good. But for that 90+%, there is a point, a certain set of circumstances at which initiative force is just fine. And that's the problem.
Again, great, sympathetic characters all around abound in this book. Yes, the libertarian themes are there, as are numerous history lessons. If you hated atlas for those reasons, you'll hate this one. Hell, maybe you hate freedom. But I'll emphasize again that this is a great story; a story that is far from window-dressing or a beard for libertarian preaching. I'd say it's actually much more readable than atlas. I mean, atlas is, well, it's ATLAS! But, behold, this is WITHUR WE!