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.
“I try to look at the bright side of things.”
“What bright side?”
“Total war tends to be very good for the construction industry.
We’ve edited the edits and sent them back to the editor. We’re in final draft polishing mode, book cover design, and devising a marketing strategy.
By Darren Allen
The twentieth century saw four basic visions of hell on earth, or dystopia. These were:
Orwellian. Rule by autocratic totalitarian people, party or elite group, limitation of choice, repression of speech and repression of minorities, belief in order, routine and rational-morality. Control by enclosure, fear and explicit violence. Violent repression of dissent (via ‘the party line’). Erotic physicality and sexual freedom suppressed via control of sexual impulses. Control of thought by explicitly policing language (Orwellian Newspeak).
Huxleyan Rule by democratic totalitarian systems, excess of choice, limitation of access to speech platforms, assimilation of minorities, belief in emotional-morality, ‘imagination’ and flexibility, and control by desire, debt and implicit threat of violence. No overt control of dissent (system selects for system-friendly voices). Erotic physicality and sexual freedom suppressed via promotion of pornographic sensuality and dissolution. Control of thought by implicitly enclosing language within professional boundaries (Illichian Newspeak, or Uniquack).