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Fitzpatrick's War

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  413 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In the twenty-sixth century the world is a very different place. The United States and Canada are gone, replaced by the socially rigid, authoritarian Confederacy of the Yukon. Also gone is the electronic age-destroyed in the apocalyptic Storm Times that devastated the globe and decimated the world's population in the late twenty-first century. It is now, once again, an age ...more
Hardcover, 481 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by DAW Hardcover (first published 2004)
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August 2009

Every good student of History knows of Lord Isaac Prophet Fitzpatrick, great Consul of the Yukon, the most heroic man of an heroic age. An Alexander the Great for the twenty-fifth century, he conquered the world in the name of the Confederacy before he was thirty; though his empire did not survive him, his life, his conquests, and his tragic death have been memorialized in the official histories, from Dr. Jonathan Gerald’s The Age of Fitzpatrick to the epic poem “From the Atlantic to
This is my stepson's favorite book, which is why I read it. I would usually not be attracted to a fantasy science fiction novel. I was wrong to the extent that this book is much more than that. Essentially the thinly disguised retelling of Alexander the Great's story but set in an electricity-free 25th century, the book is clever and well written and contains enough action, compelling characters and a charming love story to keep things moving.

The book is structured as a memoir written by the mai
Dec 15, 2008 Bill rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
Despite what the jacket said about this book, it was neither made interesting used of the steampunk genre is hovers so closely around nor was it filled with anything of interest. I had been misled to believe that there would at least be some element of subterfuge, backhanded alliances, or anything that would have redeemed a novel about a scandalous, fictitious war. Instead the novel was filled with arrogant 20-somethings whose only purpose in life was to make snide comments about 20th and 21st c ...more
It turned out to be "future history" book about a 25th century where electricity was unusable due to the machinations of an elite technocratic secret society. In fact, the elite secret society schtick gets a bit tiring in SF novels, and it's probably the weakest point of this book. Fortunately, the society is not the primary focus of this book. Instead, it tells the story of one of Fitzpatrick's compatriots, Robert Bruce. Fitzpatrick is a latter-day Alexander the Great, conquering the world at a ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
A sort of madness overcame us; we had an infinity of bullets and an infinity of Chinese before us. Every one of our men felt he was killing thousands. Our infantry fired ever round the teamsters could carry to them; they fired until the raindrops sizzled on the rifle barrels.. Death ran wild. How terrible it is, I thought, that the Yukons should be so good at this.

It is the early 26th century and the Yukon Confederacy (whose lands include North America, Australia, Greenland, Iceland and the Brit
Michael Havens
Aug 08, 2008 Michael Havens rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Stempunk fans and those who like intellectual Science Fiction
I confess to be crazy for narrative technique and experimentation. One of my favorite books of all time is Vladimir Nabokov's 'Pale Fire'. Italio Calvino’s novels also some to mind, as does any work by Raymond Federman, who I had the honor of meeting at SDSU during Jewish Week almost nine years ago, and whose works are still some of my favorite reads. Theodore Judson’s Science Fiction novel, 'Fitzpatrick's War', utilizes the annotated notes of a "professor" in the same way as Nabokov's "editor ...more
KT Howard
This is a very interesting book. Decent story, though somewhat predictable. I was sort of hoping the ending would have been bigger than it was.

I highly enjoyed the underlying feminist theme seen in Bruce's wife. She dominated him so much I almost didn't like her. Their relationship seemed very one-sided because Bruce was so submissive.

I think the Timermen should have had a bigger role. They were mentioned enough for the explanation in the end to make sense, but they had too big of a role in wor
Ben  Davis
I picked up Fitzpatrick's War with bated expectations. The book begins well enough but the pacing starts to peter out as soon a the protagonist encounters a female. Judson decided that the women in his novel would be the exact opposite of the women in reality. I have never met a women whose first words to me were "Damn I want to fuck you so bad."
Judson goes on a horn-dog binge that begins with girls (some of them adolescents) throwing themselves at Bruce and gets topped off by translucent c
Matti Tornio
I started reading the book with high expectations but came away massively disappointed. The plot is extremely predictable and dry, characters are boring and one-dimensional and much of the world and science is poorly realized. In particular the characters of Fitz and Charlotte were completely unrealistic and I found them both extremely grating, obviously for very different reasons.
Jeff Rowe
My 14 year old son raved about this so much I read it myself. It's listed as young-adult but it doesn't seem like YA in retrospect. The first half really drags. And his relationship with his eventual wife seems bizarre. In fact, the way women in general are portrayed seems strange. They totally dominate their men in private but have no role in public. And when I say dominate, I mean Dominate with a capital D where they provide only humiliation of which the men can't get enough. Weird. The second ...more
Fun steampunk novel - postapocalyptic and medieval, the world as told by a retired military engineer and edited by a mainstream historian approximately a hundred years later. The book follows a fun storyline from the academy through an interesting war. The book fails on the clarity of the technology - especially when describing the vastly improved aircraft, it wasn't clear how the planes had such a greater range and speed. Small details sometimes irk the reader, especially when Judson gets lazy ...more
Starts off hilarious and ends up horrifying - the dystopia hit me harder than your average decaying near-future conurb because it manages to combine the worst aspects of feudalism, 19th century imperial complacency and modern rapacious capitalism and overlay them all with a breathtaking intellectual poverty. (It uses the edited-manuscript narrative conceit, which I predictably loved, but every time the 'editor' put in a footnote, I wanted to punch him.) I haven't starred it because I honestly ca ...more
If you've ever sat through an hour of Fox News, forced your head through the bowl of cold oatmeal that is the National Review, or tried and failed to read a really atrocious sci-fi war story, you need this book. It's one long, often melancholy, tongue-in-cheek jab at racism, militarism, manifest destiny, and the principle that butchery of one's enemies in war is somehow laudable.

Along with 'The Forever War' this is one of the few science-fiction novels to treat war as more than a garish freak-sh
Crazy good! lots of military and engineering jargon which is cool. All of the Game of Thrones politics. Truly a brilliant piece. The footnotes might be my favorite part of this book. Charlotte is sassy and lives up to her red hair and Bruce is honorable. definitely recommending to my bookworm friends.
post-apocalyptic/steampunk. Beautifully fleshed out world. Luddites have destroyed the technological world and have established a theocratic feudal autocracy. As always, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great characters and an interesting story structure (presented by a historian many year's after the event based on a found manuscript written by the title character's associate. The historian frequently annotates the story and offers his own opinions, hinting at the outcome of the story and it ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Kirsten rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: scifi or history fans
Very uneven - the good parts are extremely cool; the bad parts are extremely dull and boring. Let's just say I skimmed a few chapters in the middle. But those cool parts really make it worthwhile. A futuristic alterna-history, in which the second-in-command to someone who wants to be the next Alexander the Great. The book is written as a scholarly version of the narrator's memoirs - and the scholarly footnotes are absolutely brilliant and possibly the best part of the book.
One of my favorite books. A mix of science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, politics and history. Very interesting the way this book is written as a novel inside a novel. Even though its fiction, it is very familiar to what is going on in our own world today and how we use history as a weapon. This was the third time I read it and I am still able to pick up on more subtleties that Judson makes in his book that parallels life today.
A student recommended this book, and when he said that it was sci-fi I almost refused to read it. It was such a wonderful book that I immediately recommended it to a friend, who still has not read it, which is sad! I especially liked the book because of the futuristic application of feudalism. It takes places in the future, but the things that happen can all be related to occurances in the past.
Love, love, love this book. It's steampunk, but not over he top at all. It's long and slow, like a good epic should be. It takes its time and lets us enjoy the fascinating world he's created here. Why was it never a more popular novel? I have no clue. It is tragically overlooked, from what I've seen.

BTW, why is there no ebook version? Curse you, publishers!
Denise Cameron
I liked this book, mostly because I found Fitz fascinating. I also liked the ending, although I feel like they could have used the Timermen more.

Charlotte was a little 2-dimensional, but that may have been because it was supposed to be written from Robert's POV, and of course he'd see his wife as perfect. I also really liked the character Buck.
This was truly a fantastic piece of historical criticism disguised as science fiction. Very slow to begin but the set up is worth the payoff. The added 'footnotes' by the official historian criticizing the guilt-ridden tell all format of the supposed hero's companion is both unique and interesting. One of the best books I have read in a long time.
When do you just give up on a book? I made it through 195 pages of this book, and completely lost interest. Yes, I wanted to love it! Yes, I was hoping it would blow my mind. However it did not excite in the least. I haven't completely given up, but the more distance I get from it the more unlikely I am to want to revisit it.
Fun alternative history. Sadly, as racist and colonialist as the early 20th c Anglos Judson idolizes. People of color show up as pitiful wretches in need of rescue, irrational savages, or incompetent fools. Strong conservative subtext here. Clearly longs for the 19th c, and all the good and bad that went with it.
Marc Dorval
A science-fiction historical novel that delves into the nature of leadership, historical revisionism, fate, religious power, and politics. A very good read, it managed to nicely illustrate the machinations of power and politics of human affairs. Recommended.
I love the literary device of placing this text in a fully-formed faux biblio-ecosystem of other texts, works, authors, and ideas. Also love the dual point of view, with the editor/historian interrupting the memoirist/protagonist/engineer via footnotes.
Incredible. A tremendous tale of moral choices in a future neither Utopian nor Dystopian. Not only is it a great read, it helped me pass the time through the seven-hour lay-over I had in O'Hare the year it was published. I recommend it unreservedly.
The wannabe historian in me loved this pseudo-history of a "future" tyrant who has passed into legend by the time the author is able start. Held my attention like the first "Dune" book and it's complicated world-building.
Lianne Burwell
An interesting concept of a future empire with a secret society engineering events like wars in order to preserve the overall stability of the world. The characters were thin, and the violence, at times, made me queasy.
Hannah C
A hard-hitting work of speculative fiction. Got me thinking of a lot of "what if"s. And yet so much of the brutality and power-mongering in this book echoes back to the present.
Chris Doane
I really enjoyed this book. It kept up the pace with a minimum of lag time. It was a little predictable but I think that was due to its style of writing.
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