Thursday, 14 April 2016

Street Politics

We do not see a lot of street politics in science fiction. In Poul Anderson's A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows, ychani (Merseians) march on the Dennitzan Parliament, concealing Dominic Flandry and his fiancee among their ranks. In Jerry Pournelle's and SM Stirling's Go Tell The Spartans, Peter Owensford and his colleague deride the slogans displayed on placards held by members of a large demonstration. The clear implication is that all such slogans are absurd. In my experience, slogans of demonstrators can range from the inoffensively moderate through the increasingly militant to the indeed mad.

Owensford also sees clear signs of an incipient riot:

a quasi-uniform of crash helmets and gloves;
solid hardwood staves on placards;
gang colors.

Are all demonstrations incipient riots? No. Is this one? Yes. The reader already knows that the protest movement is cynically manipulated by conspirators who use terrorism and who deliberately spread (what they know to be) disinformation. The scene is set for a military clash between mercs led by Owensford and those whose aim is not the public good but mere regime change.

We have already enjoyed military sf by Anderson, Pournelle and Stirling so now we check out Pournelle & Stirling.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Sometimes a change of regime is not so "mere." Too often, in our timeline regime which was pretty decent has been replaced by nasty ones.

  2. Replies
    1. Sean,
      I am eating breakfast over here. How about you?

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      At the time I send my first note above, I was getting tired enough to go to bed. I'm about five or six hours behind you on the clock! It's now 9.12 AM US east coast time. I got up too early, really! (Smiles)