“So long as there are men, there will always be bankers. And so long as there are bankers, there will always be wars. They go together, like gin and vermouth.”
“If you want something kept out of sight, who better to give it to than a blind man?”
“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” –George Orwell
“If you believe in what you’re saying and you can stay the course, you can make a difference.” -Oliver Stone
He looked around, scanning the overgrown fields and lonely, motionless, rusting agricultural machines, standing like grazing cattle, each idled by the radio flash over Eram the year before. The spaceship continued to rise…
One particular evening, a peculiar star became visible to those on earth who bothered to take notice. Increasing in brightness with each passing night, its details were soon discernible in the daylight hours. It grew larger and larger as it approached, becoming the dominant feature in the heavens as it finally settled into low earth orbit.
But because the giant thing in the sky was at first benign, and no one was instructed by the authorities to be concerned by its presence, humans carried on with their lives, becoming less and less aware of it and increasingly re-immersed in their many shiny, noisy, useful, interesting, helpful, and distracting things.
Then, out of the blue, the giant thing in the sky attempted to communicate with humanity by broadcasting messages in the form of kitsch advertising slogans. Unfortunately for mankind, the meaning of those cryptic transmissions could not be divined before world war three began.
The War to End All Wars to End War swept across the planet, and the cities and machines and screens all fell silent. Even the giant thing in the sky went dark. The survivors were scattered, and over time, their isolation, and the passing of the prewar generations, had a profound impact. The dwindling enclaves of humans were left to patch the holes in their culture and history with the crumbs left behind by the departed age of things.
Then the giant thing in the sky began to wake up…
The story is actually 3 short novellas that take place before, during, and after the War to End All Wars to End War. Although there is a smattering of commentary on colonialism, nationalism, crass consumerism, and bureaucracy, and spaceships and Nazis are prevalent throughout, the three novellas are actually love stories exploring the destructive impact of insecurity, pride, the insatiable pursuit of things, and the relentless search for a higher purpose.
The second and third novellas take place in a fictional country called Trans Amhara Oromo. It is a dysfunctional nation-state, the borders of which were clumsily crafted and imposed upon the native peoples there by colonial Belgium.
I hope you will check it out. I will send a review copy to anyone who asks for one…pdf OR paperback. Just send me a note.
Also, please check out Miguel Llanso’s excellent movie upon which this book is loosely based.
For those remaining on the surface, the scattering of survivors and the passing of a generation had a profound effect. Isolated from one another, the dwindling enclaves of humans filled in the holes of their culture and history with whatever was left available to them.
“His ignorance stems from his lack of self-awareness. He thinks men can simply be inspired by the barrel of a gun. He’s definitely not salesman material.”
It should not go without mention that the very people who suggested that “war was good for the economy” were, with few exceptions, also employed by the very same people who declared the wars in the first place.