Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Martian General’s Daughter- Theodore Judson

The Martian General’s Daughter
Theodore Judson
Pyr, Apr 2008, $15.00
ISBN 9781591026433

In AD 2293, the Pan-Polarian Empire, a direct descendent of the United States, rules over most of North America at a time when a pandemic nanotech plague has destroyed all hardware. However, with the recent death of powerful Emperor Mathias the Glistening, the nation is in jeopardy. His successor, his son Luke Anthony, is a psycho.

General Peter Black leads the imperial armies. He was very loyal to the competent Mathias and wants to remain so with the incompetent Luke, but has little choice as the empire begins shattering into pieces. Fearing for his family, he especially worries about his illegitimate offspring Junta who has gone from an embarrassing reminder of her dad’s weak indiscretion to his prime advisor.

This futuristic story is told by Junta who sadly chronicles a dying once glorious empire as she sees it diminishing from a cancer from within. She is fully developed and from her hero worship jaundiced perspective her father and the late emperor seem real; so does the current ruler, who in Junta’s mind is a sort of insane Nero. However, what makes THE MARTIAN GENERAL’S DAUGHTER superb is the thought provoking parallels between Pan-Polaria, Rome, and the United States; as Theodore Judson makes the case that the American Empire is dying from a cancer from within.

Harriet Klausner

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