Sunday, 23 August 2015

What An Ending!

What an ending to SM Stirling's Marching Through Georgia (New York, 1991)! I had better not summarize precisely what happens in case any reader of this blog has yet to read the novel but some general observations are appropriate. Karl Marx wrote that men make their own histories but not in circumstances of their own choosing. Thus, no one can choose his starting point, obviously, but nor do we have to stay there. Marx was writing about societies but it is equally true of individuals.

Eric von Shrakenberg, who harbors no qualms about killing serfs when he considers it necessary, assesses two aspects of Draka society. Of the Citizen Force, he says:

"'...these are my people. Killers? Yes. But they have courage, and honor, and love and loyalty to one another. Those are real virtues, and on that something can be built, something can grow.'" (p. 370)

- whereas, of the Security Directorate, he says:

"'What you are is a disease, and the only thing yo'll ever produce is rot.'" (ibid.)

Eric intends to continue leading his Century against the Germans, then to write. Would it make sense for him to accompany the American journalist, Dreiser, back to the US, where Eric has already sent his daughter by a concubine, there to warn the American public and politicians against the threat posed by the Draka? Maybe that is asking too much. However, I said earlier that the Draka seem naive, and needing to be shown a better way, so I am pleased to see that Stirling has moved the narrative marginally in this direction.

Draka Vol 2, Under The Yoke, is en route from the US.

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