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  1. #11  
    TANSTAAFL. asdf2231's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I see that my Potter collection is incomplete. :D

    Explain the Draka series.

    Origins
    The world of The Domination diverges from our world at the time of the American Revolutionary War, when the Netherlands declares war on the UK, resulting in the loss of its Cape Colony to the British. After defeat in Revolutionary War, the Loyalists who historically went to Canada are instead resettled in the new Crown Colony of Drakia (named after Sir Francis Drake) in South Africa. The Crown Colony of Drakia (later, the Dominion of Draka) is an aggressive militaristic slave-owning society reinforced over the course of the 19th century by Icelanders, French royalists, defeated American Confederates and other reactionary refugees. Its capital is known as Archona, on the site of our own world's Pretoria
    The Eurasian War
    The first book of the series Marching Through Georgia is a war story set during the Eurasian War, the Domination timeline's equivalent of World War II. In this war, the Nazis utterly crushed the Soviet Union, with only a Siberian rump state beyond the Urals surviving under a junta led by Marshal Timoshenko. The Nazi success derives from the Soviets suffering two recent, devastating civil wars, and needing to defend a long southern border with the Domination. Additionally, the Lend-Lease between the United States and the Soviets was rendered ineffective by Nazi U-boats effecting a powerful blockade in the Atlantic, Japanese naval hegemony in the Pacific, and the Domination's refusal to allow lend-lease supplies through its territory.

    The Domination entered the war just before the Nazi invasion of Russia and conquered Italy with the Nazis' tacit consent. The Draka then attacked the Third Reich in the Caucasus region, attempting to cut off a large part of the German army. Much of the story is told from the point of view of the Draka centurion Eric von Shrakenberg and the American journalist Bill Dreiser.

    The German Wehrmacht is somewhat more advanced than historically, with a fully mechanized supply train and Panther and Tiger tanks used as standard rather than the older Panzer IV. The Waffen-SS units facing the Draka Citizen Airborne unit the novel centres around are also in possession of numerous 'hybrid' armoured vehicles made from German and captured Soviet parts, but they are still no match for the Draka army. The Draka citizen soldiers, female as well as male, are honed killing machines, each equal to several of their enemy on the battlefield. The Draka also have superb weaponry, including 14,000 Hond III tanks with armor, engine size and gun caliber approaching those of the actual present-day M1 Abrams, and a ground attack aircraft similar to the A-10 (albeit without jet power). By 1944, all sides are widely using nerve gas, jet- and rocket-powered fighter aircraft and ballistic missiles.

    The United States is forced into the war when the entire Pacific Fleet is wiped out at Pearl Harbor. Japanese forces occupy the U.S. States of Hawaii, the Philippines and the Panama Canal Zone. Additionally, Japan occupies northern Australia, raids California, and the Imperial Japanese Navy shells Acapulco. Consequently, the United States cannot open a second front in Europe. Alliance with the Nazis against the Draka is also impossible, due to the influence of the Jewish lobby and a Draka threat to supply Japan with nuclear weapons-related materials in the event of U.S.-German peace.

    In 1943, the Alliance for Democracy is formed—comprising the military alliance, free trade area and monetary union. This Alliance includes the Americas, the United Kingdom, India and unoccupied Australia. The United States turned the tide against Japan with victory in the Battle of the Sea of Cortez, in which jet fighter-bombers armed with guided bombs played a crucial role. Hawaii was liberated in late 1943, and half of the surviving Imperial Japanese Navy was destroyed in a nuclear cruise missile attack on the Truk naval base. In late 1944, Tokyo was destroyed by a nuclear cruise missile—killing over 150,000 people including the Imperial Family. A fanatical military government takes over Japan. The Draka overrun Europe as far as the Pyrenees, with the decisive blow made with five atomic bombs against the industrial areas of the Ruhr. One of the most powerful and horrific aspects of "Marching Through Georgia" is that many readers may actually feel sympathy for the Nazi regime, which attempts in vain to defend Europe against an enemy whose atrocities dwarf that of Hitler's Third Reich. Adolf Hitler himself, it is revealed in later flashbacks, was assassinated by a cadre of generals in 1942. Without his meddling, the German Wehrmacht puts up much more stubborn and effective resistance than it did historically against the Soviet Union, but the memory of Hitler means that the rest of Europe is loathe to unite behind the Germans to halt the Draka. Numerous Draka characters credit Hitler's memory as a key factor in ensuring Draka victory in Europe.

    In 1945, the Draka completed its conquest of Europe by using its remaining stockpile of 12 atomic bombs to force the Pyrenees—finally defeating a communist Spain (following a different outcome to reality's Spanish Civil War). The United Kingdom remained free and was inundated with refugees. The Draka then turned its attention to the Far East, attacking Japanese-occupied China. Despite the rapid Draka conquest of Eastern China and Korea, the loss of the remaining Japanese naval units in the Battle of the Philippines, the nuclear destruction of Osaka, and the Alliance invasion of Kyushu, Japan continues a bitter resistance, only surrendering to the Alliance in July in fear of a Draka invasion of the Home Islands.

    The Eurasian War claimed some 200 million lives, over three times the death toll of our own World War II. The liberated South-East Asian Federation and Indochinese Republic become members of the Alliance for Democracy, as does a reconstructed Japan in 1954. The Domination and the Alliance thus control the entire world between them.
    (Continued after the break)
    Last edited by asdf2231; 07-18-2008 at 11:02 PM.
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  2. #12  
    TANSTAAFL. asdf2231's Avatar
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    Europe under Draka rule
    The second book, Under the Yoke, is a horrific vision of Europe under Draka rule. Tanya von Shrakenberg established a plantation in formerly-French Touraine Province. Her slaves include Marya Sokolowska and Chantal Lefarge, formerly a Polish nun and a French Communist respectively. (Note that Skłodowska is the maiden name of Marie Curie; it is not clear whether the fictional character is intended to be an alternate-history version of the chemist, but from the description of her intelligence, it seems likely). Chantal Lefarge is raped by her master, and impregnated with twins. Later, she escapes to the USA on a submarine. In New York City, she gives birth to Fred and Marya Lefarge (named after her rescuers), who will later become key intelligence assets for the OSS during the Protracted Struggle.

    Fred Kustaa, agent for the Alliance secret service (the OSS), attempts to keep a resistance movement alive in Europe. He smuggles weapons to guerillas in Finland, and later attempts to smuggle the German professor Ernst Oerbach, who has vital knowledge on nuclear fusion. Marya Sokolowska is Fred's contact in this second mission. Fred Kustaa's American perspective on precedings in the Domination cuts through the pretenses of Draka rule much more effectively than the occasional, self-aware and arrogant statements of Draka characters and brings home to the reader the sheer horror of Draka society, especially in regard to the blinkered and mildly sociopathic mindsets of the serfs who wish to simply get on with their lives, the resistance characters are an intense breath of fresh air as the minds of both Draka and serf become more and more alien to the reader.

    Eventually, the Draka ruthlessly crush all resistance in Europe. Finland is almost completely depopulated (by 1947 the Finnish guerillas estimate that there are less than 250,000 Finns left in the entire country; many having died by their own hand rather than let the Draka use them as hostages) and, in 1952, when a rebellion takes over the city of Barcelona, the Draka respond with a thermonuclear bomb. Ukraine suffers a massive population loss in the wake of the initial Draka invasion, not because of a deliberate policy of genocide, but because the civilian population means nothing to them until they're properly 'domesticated', along with the typically Draka calculation that many of the survivors will be more likely to accept The Yoke if that's the only way to get fed. This total disregard for non-Draka life carries through as the Draka advance further into Europe, with mass-starvation everywhere behind their lines leading to the deaths of tens of millions. By 1945 Europe has been reduced to the kind of barbarism that the Draka are specifically experienced in exploiting, and the task of breaking the will of the survivors begins in earnest.

    Under the Yoke contains a deliberately horrific description of the impalement of several guerrilla soldiers, disgusting even the Draka who ordered it—who nevertheless considers it a necessary means of impressing upon the slaves that resistance is futile. Thus, they will obey more willingly, making it possible for the Draka to be less harsh—giving rise to even further willingness to obey. The Draka have been slavemasters for two hundred years, and have applied modern science to the problem of breaking human wills; they are extremely good at it. Indeed, this feeds further into their ideology of the Draka as a master race, capable of enforcing their will with no other tool than raw willpower.


    The Protracted Struggle
    The third book, The Stone Dogs, tells the story of the Protracted Struggle — the ultra-nasty Cold War between the Domination of the Draka and the Alliance for Democracy. There is a far more intense space race in this world, with pulse-drive interplanetary spaceships and colonies and military bases established on the Moon, on Mars and in the asteroid belt. Over a period of several decades, the Alliance secretly constructs an antimatter-driven starship for transporting 100,000 people to Alpha Centauri. The Draka employ the policy of "No peace beyond Luna," leading to frequent skirmishes in the inner solar system. The third book also details the life of Eric von Schrakenberg's niece, Yolande Ingolffson. Eric later becomes the Archon during the "Final War."

    The conquest of India
    In the 1970s, there is a major setback for the Free World. An OSS covert operation, designed to discredit a Hindu nationalist party and keep India in the Alliance, backfires. As a result India secedes from the Alliance — and is conquered and enslaved by the Draka within weeks (except Burma, which counter-seceded back to the Alliance). After the 'Indian Incident' the Alliance for Democracy is formally converted into a single superstate. During the Draka conquest of India, Marya Lefarge is taken prisoner. She becomes a serf to Yolande Ingolffson, who after torturing her repeatedly with a neural weapon, forces her to become a "brooder" (i.e. a surrogate mother) for her offspring, Gwendolyn. Yolande also swears vengeance on Fred Lefarge after he kills her lover, Myfwany Venders, during the Indian Incident.

    The much larger free population of the Alliance gives it an edge in physics and computer technology, while the Domination gains the upper hand in the biological sciences allowing them to perfect their genetic engineering techniques by using their slave population as test subjects. They finish the Human Genome Project and are performing significant genetic alteration on mammalian organisms, including humans, by the mid-1970s. Both sides develop super-weapons with which to launch the first strike of the inevitable final war. However, both sides recognize that the long-term trends are in the Alliance's favor. Due to its much-larger economy and free population the Alliance's lead in overall scientific progress slowly grows, with the stagnant Draka increasingly dependent on espionage and Alliance defectors for new innovations.


    Draka victorious
    The war finally breaks out in 1998 when the Draka, about to lose the secrecy of their superweapon, decide to use it preemptively instead. Drakan advantages in bioscience allowed it to create a bio-psychological virus, "The Stone Dogs" (implicitly derived from HIV). This virus lies dormant but causes the host to go violently insane when activated by precisely modulated radio waves. The Alliance counterpart, a computer virus designed to disable Draka systems, works well but is not as effective at disabling whole military hierarchies. Information technology is generally not as well advanced as the real Earth's, and so the computer virus works relatively slowly.

    Due to the Stone Dogs virus, Draka forces ultimately succeed—if barely—in wiping out all significant Alliance populations and military forces in the Earth-Luna sphere, suffering approximately 15 percent total casualties; they also succeed in wiping out the government of the Alliance via the same virus. Some Alliance populations on Earth survive this assault (The Stone Dogs mentions the Draka facing partisan resistance upon starting to "pacify" North America); however, others destroy either themselves or Allied targets (such as London); Japan bombs itself and Korea. Alliance forces prove victorious in the asteroid belt. What could be a standoff is defused by the Archon, who offers Draka citizenship to spaceside Alliance survivors (though without voting rights for themselves, though their descendants will be fully equal). As part of the deal, the holdouts are able to launch their starship. This will allow the Draka to concentrate their resources on pacifying and rehabilitating Earth. Ultimately, the Solar System belongs to the Draka. The war itself proves to be devastating to Earth. The planet's ecosystems were pushed nearly to the breaking point, with a nuclear winter lasting for several years (there are references to ice forming in the Adriatic Sea)—despite the near exclusive use of 'clean' fusion weapons and kinetic weapons.


    Near-extinction of "Homo Sapiens" on Earth
    At some intervening period, before the next book in the series, the Draka produce a genectically altered new serf race, Homo Servus, which is psychologically incapable of rebelling. Thus they can dispense with the brutal repression needed earlier, and entrust serfs with sensitive positions such as theoretical physics. The "right" of Drakas to have sex (both heterosexual and homosexual) with any Homo Servus which catches their fancy is taken for granted; such sex cannot lead to pregnancy, since Draka and serfs are now two separate species, specifically designed to be incapable of propagating offspring together.

    There is no mention of how the "changeover" was managed - presumably, either by the sterilization of male serfs and impregnating female ones with genetically engineered Homo Servus embryos or by sterilizing the old serfs of both genders and producing the new ones in laboratories. By the standards of our timeline, both would count - even if the "Old Model" serfs were allowed to live out their lives - as a huge act of genocide.

    Of Homo Sapiens, only a few scattered "feral humans" survive precariously on Earth, mainly in North America, having been quite literally bombed back into the Stone Age and being hunted "for sport" by the Draka.
    There are still story collections published now and then set in the Draka Dominion universe, but I really believe that they would NEVER get a publisher to put out these books from scratch these days.

    Racist genetically pure white ubermensche being opposed by a Mom and apple pie America. Slavery and depredations, Democracy fighting for freedom and survival against the forces of darkness.

    I don't think Stirling could sell the series these days.
    Last edited by asdf2231; 07-18-2008 at 11:58 PM.
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  3. #13  
    Gone with the Wind. It's from the pov of those on the South's side of the Civil War.
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  4. #14  
    Senior Member DarkScribe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    Bethany's Sin, The Stand, and Swan Song.

    Each of these books treat good and evil as factual - not relative. Each examines the male/female dynamic closely and not in a PC way.
    I am impressed you've read a relatively unknown McCammon novel like Bethany's Sin, Ginger. But are you sure those would never "see the light of day" today? Have you read McCammon's Sings the Nightbird book yet? It was released as a two-part book, and while it definitely delves into male/female dynamics it is set in the Salem witch trials era so it would not be a comtemporary-set novel.
    "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." H.P. Lovecraft in Supernatural Horror in Literature
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  5. #15  
    Senior Member DarkScribe's Avatar
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    What about Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho? Certainly not an "easy read" by any stretch but as disturbingly violent and just generally whacked-out as it was, it was brilliant. And NOT PC...
    "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." H.P. Lovecraft in Supernatural Horror in Literature
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  6. #16  
    Junior Member mourningdove's Avatar
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    The Devil's Advocate by Taylor Caldwell
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  7. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by mourningdove View Post
    The Devil's Advocate by Taylor Caldwell
    I've read Caldwell but I'm unfamilar with this one. Summarize the plot for us, please. :)
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  8. #18  
    noonwitch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanie View Post
    Gone with the Wind. It's from the pov of those on the South's side of the Civil War.

    Yet, Margeret Mitchell was not a racist. I always thought that the book is not racist, because it is obvious that the story is being told through the eyes of a very shallow white woman.

    The movie reflected much of the attitudes of the 1930s. Butterfly McQueen said that the only white person in the entire cast and crew who talked to her and the black cast members on the set was Clark Gable.
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  9. #19  
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    How about this one?

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