Saturday, April 26, 2014

Freehold-Michael Z. Williamson

Freehold Michael Z. Williamson Baen, May 6 2014, $25.00 ISBN: 9781476736341 UNPF Sergeant Second Class Kendra Pacelli looks forward to the end of her short-term admin assignment providing assistance to the Logistic Support Function stationed on Mtali. Besides cramped working conditions and lousy quarters, troops on eighteen month deployments loathe short termers like her. Her old lover MP Tom Anderson calls from his personal line to hers with a warning that the UN Bureau of Security pursues those named in the conspiracy of stealing millions in weapons to include an innocent auditor who reported the discrepancy named Pacelli. She realizes she may not survive the interrogation as the Bureau of Security does not allow innocence to get in the way of insuring the government is not embarrassed or scandalized and that only one planet would not expedite her back to the UN. Thus Pacelli flees to the independent twenty-third century old Freehold of Grainne Embassy requesting asylum. Soon after her arrival, Kendra obtains permission to travel to the independent planet. There she must adapt to an entirely different culture based on very limited government intrusion into people’s lives; her new BF Rob and her new BFF Marta help her. Still with her only skill being the military, Kendra enlists fearing that the powerful totalitarian empire will hunt her as no one lives who can humiliate the government. The special edition reprint of Freehold is a fascinating comparison between two polar opposite societies. Whereas the UN is a rigid totalitarian empire, Freehold is a libertarian former UN colony. Michael Z. Williamson pulls no punches as to which side he is on as the overall exciting storyline (except for some passive pontifications) is an entertaining good and evil human rights science fiction thriller. Harriet Klausner

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