Friday, June 18, 2010

Starship Troopers

Hmm... Now I see where Orson Scott Card got a lot of his background for Ender's Game. The setting is a futuristic world where only military veterans can vote. (However, while serving, military members cannot vote.) The system 'evolved' after the excesses of democracy in the late 20th century. The military put the group ahead of the individual and thus were the best to restore order to society. Military service is still optional, with no penalty for not serving (or dropping out).

The narrator of the story 'accidentally' enlists in the military, partially because he is with a friend, and partially because he runs in to a girl on the way. Most of the story is about his observations of life and the military service. In the end, some aliens blow up Buenos Aires and we get a little action as they fight the bugs.

The first person narrative is engaging and personal. The book was much different than the raw, raw fighting novel I was expecting. On the surface, it is a glorification of the military. However, the "military" that is glorified is much different than what we have today. Limiting the franchise is always somewhat arbitrary. The author presents good evidence in favor of limiting it to members that have served voluntarily in the military.

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