söndag 28 april 2013

Review: Greenies by Al Steiner

"So what do you think?" she said at last. "It's certainly a risk, I'll be the first to agree. But it's a risk worth taking and I think that together we can pull it off."
"My God, Laura," he finally intoned. "What you're suggesting is... is..."
"I know what it is," she told him. "The question is, will you help me?"

 I was introduced to the works by Al Steiner by a friend who thought his first work; A Perfect World would be right up my alley. He introduced it as "Heinlein meets Fifty Shades of Grey" and while I love the former; I have my doubts about the latter. Well, me and half the Internet who probably like me never read it. The story is about a police officer who is reawakened in the future. A simple plot on the surface but surprisingly complex. What may deter it to many people are the many sex scenes who are graphically described, and somewhat commonplace. However, A Perfect World has gained a cult following; with many who has no interest in reading the smut just skipping those parts.

Al Steiner wasted no time in writing another story in the same world and it is that one we shall cover today. This is the story of the Martian people and their rules from the united nations of the Western Hemisphere; as well as in lesser part the nation of the Eastern Hemisphere. This story however seemed to be aimed at the many people who enjoyed A Perfect World but did not want graphic smut with their science fiction. The result is simply put amazing.

The Greenies universe is very interesting; both on the surface and in detail. A Third World War has been fought with China, India and Japan on one side against the rest of the world. Having almost succeeded in this goal, foiled only by the first laser weapons who turned a quick victory into a bloody stalemate and then victory, Mankind - now composed of the Superpowers of WestHem and EastHem - has to take to the stars for the resources they need. Cue a few centuries later and the planet of Mars; One Women, a politician gains an idea. Laura Whiting is about to redesign the solar system and change the fate of the planet forever.

It is clear that Steiner is a very good storyteller. The details are complex and thought provoking in battles and politics alike; and it is clear that Steiner seeks to make a good point with his stories. The written word is not perfect, but it is more then adequate for the task of telling said story. Details are almost never more descriptive then they have to; the story has different tones of humour and they make you think about todays society, all at once.

The Characters is however what makes the story so compelling. All the characters have their motives and reasons. Some are good, some are bad. Most of them are intelligent, and others just happen to be in the plot point at the moment. This may however also show a stark contrast to the other characters who are mentioned briefly or whose actions are shown without us knowing the whole person behind them. This goes double for Earth Politicians who seem both vain, stupid and corrupt. While this is certainly true, it is done in almost an ludicrous extent in order to prove the point Steiner is trying to get across. We get it, thank you!

This said, this is a more then good story to read should you find yourself on the Internet with time to spare and no kitty videos in sight. I can do nothing but recommend it!

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