Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ha'penny (Book #110)

Ha'penny (Jo Walton, 2007) is the second volume of a chillingly dark alternate history set in an England that made peace with Germany after Dunkirk and has a few years later been taken over by fascist forces in a coup of sorts. Basically, the British traded liberty for safety, and as Benjamin Franklin once said, those who are willing to make that trade deserve neither.

This is a dark, dark book, the more so because it's obviously an exaggerated reflection of America post-9/11. (The key word here is exaggerated. I am not remotely claiming that 2007 America is a fascist state. We're just not cherishing and protecting our liberties and those of others quite as we ought.) When fear rules, it's too easy to let all you hold dear, all the best of who you are as a nation, slip through your fingers. There's supposed to be a third volume in this series next year, and I hope Walton will end it on a optimistic note--and I hope America will choose liberty over fear in 2008, too!

(I try not to be political, I really do. But it's hard sometimes when I have such strong opinions.)

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