Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > The Peace War

The Peace War by Vernor Vinge
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bookshelves: sf

I liked this but I realize more & more that I expect more from a novel than for it to have an interesting plot premise & an engaging & quick-moving narration, etc. Supposedly this bk got the 1st of 4 Hugo Awards for the author. Is the selection out there THAT weak?!

A plot outline of this is that a device called a Bobbler is invented wch encloses threats to peace - at wch point the people inside are hypothesized to die from suffocation. A "Peace Authority" becomes the new world government of sorts & they monitor technological development to ensure that it no longer reaches a point where Mutually Assured Destruction is possible. Humanity is mostly wiped out by plagues & suchlike & humans stabilize at a much smaller population using horses & wagons, etc.. Tinkers develop cottage technology. Eventually, the Tinkers revolt against the Peace Authority's dictatorship.

Anarchy is mentioned 3 times: page 99:

"In the years that followed the great collapse, the Authority had stripped the rest of the world of high-energy technology. The most dangerous governments-such as that of the United States-were destroyed, and their territories left in a state that ranged from the village anarchy of Middle California, to the medievalism of Aztlán, to the fascism of New Mexico."

Ok, fair enuf, the description of the "village anarchy" is mostly family oriented but one cd call it organized in terms of affinity groups. However, it's patriarichal, so, no, I wdn't REALLY call it anarchist. Page 142:

"The Peace kept most of the continent in a state of anarchy."

Uh, duh, dude, the "Peace" is at the top of a hierarchy. Therefore, there is no "anarchy" given that they're in charge. By page 303, at the end of the bk, the Authority has been partially defeated:

""With the Authority gone, most of America-outside of the Southwest-has no government at all. It's fallen back into anarchy.""

Ok, Vinge, wch is it? Did the Authority keep the world in a state of anarchy or did its demise result in anarchy? Vinge has a protaganist working toward structuring the post-Authority of the world around the 'democratic model' of New Mexico. Uh.. not that long ago, New Mexico was "fascist", now it's the world's new "democratic" model!! Yes, what we have here is a New World Odor novel. Basically, Vinge is a political idiot, not a bad novelist but the politics are weak - to say the least.


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Reading Progress

April 6, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
April 13, 2008 – Shelved as: sf
April 13, 2008 – Finished Reading

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