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The Powers of the Earth

(Aristillus #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  334 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Earth in 2064 is politically corrupt and in economic decline. The Long Depression has dragged on for 56 years, and the Bureau of Sustainable Research is hard at work making sure that no new technologies disrupt the planned economy. Ten years ago a band of malcontents, dreamers, and libertarian radicals bolted privately-developed anti-gravity drives onto rusty sea-going car ...more
Paperback, 1, 641 pages
Published July 2017 by Morlock Publishing
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Silly and bad

I bailed at the 7% mark. The characters went from bleh to background scenery for political rants of the nastiest kind.

A typical rehashing of the Texas independence movement on the moon. The introduction of one of the main characters included, making a great big rifle to keep some government from taking his stuff (it's not clear which government), he created his company all by himself (right out of a Republican Party rally) and the government stripped the corporations of their wealth
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you read Atlas Shrugged and thought "the science fiction elements of this book are pretty desultory; I wish it were more fleshed-out," this book may be for you.

If you read Atlas Shrugged and thought "that was fine, but it wasn't libertarian enough," this book is definitely for you.

A very fun low-gravity to no-gravity romp through a near future world where sclerotic overregulation has gradually choked off economic growth, and the world's remaining hackers and hustlers have decamped to a pan-et
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I gave up after reading about a third. Almost every character is a caricature intended to prove a point or shout out a particular set of values. Feels highly affected. The author's voice ought to fade into the story, not shout out from every character, dialogue and action.
Brian Dunbar
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Aristillus series is an example of the SF sub-genre 'If this goes on'. It is well-written, with plausible characters. The action engages the reader from the beginning. I can't wait to see what happens in books 3 and 4.

The bad guys are not mustache-twirling villains, the good guys are not staunchly upright Doc Smith heroes. They're just people, trying to get by.

This book contains;

Artificial Intelligence, uplifted Dogs, ridiculously large firearms, space combat, a smidgen of religion.

A plausib
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are fairly well versed with science fiction, you will know of "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress", one of Heinlein's better novels.

What Mr. Corcoran does to the concept should be a crime, because he makes it his own, cranks it to eleven, then over-clocks it, slaps on a VR overlay, then, just to rub salt in the wound, adds in the best uplifted species I've read in many years.

While TMISAHM is more quotable, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" was popularized due to Mr. Heinlein, Mr. Corc
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, for heaven's sake!

Oh, for heaven's sake! Get a proofreader! Or learn the difference between a "hangar" and a "hanger"! What's wrong with you, SiFi writers?
Cinnia Is Still Not Over Thornfruit
Since I read so little of this book, I'm not gonna leave a rating. A review, tho, is fair game.

I initially had plans to write a running commentary this year of all 600+ pages of whatever this is (propaganda? a manifesto? an extremely boring Ayn Rand sci-fi fanfic? idk), but I realized I wanted to use that time to actually better myself instead of being bored out of my mind. Also I hated all of the POV switches. Dear writers, unless you are supremely good at this style of storytelling, please st
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Exciting, well done libertarian science fiction about about rebellion of colonists on the Moon (the book explicitly name-checks Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." Cliff hanger ending, so apparently you have to go on and read the sequel. Really should be rated at three and a half stars, however, as the book has a lot of mistakes in the text -- names spelled more than one way, wrong words, that sort of thing. It needs to be cleaned up.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Purely wonderful.
I approached this book with some hostility, because it won the Prometheus Award for 2017, beating out another book I loved, Drug Lord by Doug Casey. Well hell, what can I say? They're both great books, but I've got to agree, The Powers of the Earth deserves the win. There hasn't been this much thoughtful ancap fun on the moon since Heinlein wrote The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author attempted to merge a great book (TMIAHM) with one of the worst books in print (Atlas Shrugged). Please, dear author, stop with the didactic rant preaching lecture! The tension in the tale is good but the “I’m pissed off at everything and everyone” theme is disappointing. The dogs are the sole saving grace of a one dimensional, near dumpster fire.
Tom McLean
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was gifted this book by a friend who backed it on Kickstarter and thought I would dig it. I did not. I can only describe this as 600+ pages of Atlas Shrugged In Space. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then this is the book for you.
Randy Warren
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book

I can't explain why it just made me so frustrated and ended on such a cliff hanger. I have read a ton of near future sci-fi and and this just made me angry. Editing is fine but the characters are always in such peril it's like an inverse Mary Sue.
Vincent J.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Waste of a good theme.

The protagonist is ineffectual, all his friends play him and he can't do anything about it. Earth government can't seem to make any mistakes, no matter how ignorant and obnoxious their agents are. "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" has nothing to worry about.
Derek Thornton
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great ride!

Just got through with this book and I loved it! Keeps the pace moving and characters that interest you. Can't wait for the next in the series.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good! Well written with great world-building and interesting characters. Already have book 2 loaded up.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A good first effort. Two and a half stars. There are many flaws and I'm not just speaking to the editing. The biggest problem I had was with the protagonist Mike. He is supposedly the leader of a huge exodus to start a city on the moon and yet in every scene he acts like a petulant child. Which is it? Later in the story he tries to act like a leader and simply can't pull it off.

I did like the segments with John and the Dogs they provided a much more sane dialogue on the history and times of the
Joe Pardue
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read this and the second book and can honestly say that despite the politics, I really enjoyed reading these books. The author is a self-professed Anarcho-Capitalist Catholic and preaches it through both books. I think that anarcho-capitalism is about as likely to succeed in the real world as communism and for exactly the same reason: they both, at their very core, have a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature. But rather than me preaching, I'll say that John-Galt-in-space turns out t ...more
Kevin Baker
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and enjoyable take on the lunar rebellion theme

When I began reading, I expected a near clone of Heinlein’s classic “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.” Libertarian lunar colony? Check. Oppressive Earth government(s)? Check. Self-aware AI? Check.

It’s not a clone. It’s a very different take on the theme. Characters were well fleshed out, the action was good, and it kept me turning pages.

I bought the second book the moment I finished the first.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a bad book. Just seems a bit silly to use ocean going ships to convert to spaceships and genetically altered dogs that are smarter than humans. Not to mention they pick up rocks, fire weapons, and use tablets. The dogs didn't even really move the plot along. Going to read the next one but not the best book I've ready this year.
Mike Dahlstrom
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Graham Bradley
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Libertarians in space, Galt's Gulch on the moon, a splicing AI and sentient dogs because why the hell not?

Pros: Great at tension, conflict, give&take, some really cool intermingling storylines, and tech ideas. Lots of it reminded me of the best parts of Andy Weir's lunar and Martian sci-fi.

Cons: lotta profanity, and out of a large cast of characters only a few of them weren't total scumbags, including the protagonist. The monologues and diatribes got old fast, and littered the text all throughou
Jay Sprenkle
Jan 26, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The implicit contract that the author would tell me a good story in exchange for coin was not kept.

The good:
The theory of the singularity, AI, and political theory showed thought and effort.

The pacing is fast and it keeps the tension going. It hurtles from one disaster to the next.

The bad:
This book did not end. It stopped. In the middle on a huge cliff hanger. If it were billed as "part 1" I would not be upset. I don't like oily salesmen that over promise, under deliver, and use bait and switc
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The regurgitated idea from Heinlein's "The moon is a harsh mistress" is unfortunately peppered with a bunch of cartoonish characters, some of them being incredibly implausible. The main character is (at least for me) so implausible because it seems to be focused on repeating the same mistake over and over again, hoping for different results.
This anarcho-capitalism model the author dreams about is implausible for a viable society, no matter how nice it may look. Human beings are social by necessi
Dave C
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the earth goes to hell, go to the moon!

As with most books with big cast of characters, it takes a while for everything to make sense and come together. However when it does, it does so very nicely. The sense of time and place on the moon becomes palpable as the characters come together, in the most realistic manner, to deal with the incoming threat.

A disparate part of the story, a boy and his dogs hiking across the far side of the moon, doesn’t make sense at first..... until it becomes a
Michael Jarrell
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Powers of the Earth is a good book that draws from, or perhaps pays homage to, Heinlein's "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress". TMiaHM even gets mentioned in it. It is a rather thick tome (don't be too put off by it) but the text is nice and large for us older guys with glasses. The story of a renegade society establishing itself on Luna to get away from massively authoritarian governments on Earth sets the tone for the entire book and you get to see a decent interplay of characters and their outl ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started mildly shaky, writing-wise, ended up solid. Enjoyed most of the characters. Strongly political, but interestingly so. Dogs/John/Gamma are cool. Mike isn't my favorite.

Iffyness: Some of the opposition to our heroes seems strawman-ish, like a conservative talk radio versions of 'liberals' (the president, "AAS"?). And at times the author's contempt for these strawmen is quite palpable. Contemptible strawmen aren't that interesting ;), but the other characters, plot, and interesting science
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mainly sets the stage for the sequel. The world Corcoran builds is amusing with entertaining aesthetics and a good number of his characters are fun. The main character seriously irritating but that seemed to be intentional, so for better or for worse that's a plus. I look forward to reading the next book.
Kevin Trainor
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts slow, with a large cast of annoying characters, but comes together rapidly as the American effort to conquer the libertarian city on the moon progresses. Corcoran does a good job of crossing the hard-SF and technothriller streams, and the result is a good book that makes me want to buy the sequel to see how it works out.
Jb Fenix
Poor pacing

Book has promise but the pace drags. Too much narrative and the content is spaced such that I worry the author is trying to make a 10+ book series. The best authors make a sharp point, share a clear idea, and then move on to another project. Will probably give book two a chance but if the pace doesn’t pick up significantly then will call it quits.
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Travis J I Corcoran is a Catholic anarcho-capitalist, a software engineer, and a business owner. He is an amateur at farming, wood turning, blacksmithing, cooking, throwing ceramic pots, and a few other things.

He lives on a 50 acre farm in New Hampshire with his wife, dogs, livestock, and a variety of lathes and milling machines.

Travis has had non-fiction articles published in several national mag

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Aristillus (2 books)
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