There’s not a lot I can say about this book that hasn’t been said, except that you should read it (which has
also been said, many, many times before) as soon as possible. And that I walk under trees like that every day now.

So you’re probably aware my literary world basically consists of Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction (and, more recently, all things Game of Thrones-related) and little else. Some would construe this narrowness as a weakness – I say… oh, whatever, I don’t care what the haters think! I live for excellent science fiction, and I’ve enjoyed/been horrified to see many science fictional concepts and values come into their own IRL (Mom/Dad: IRL = In Real Life).

Now I’m in a genuine Third World country (albeit a rapidly improving/modernizing one) and I’ve got a different perspective on life staring me in the face. And not only that, but Vietnam is a communist regime as well. I’m playing around with starting a series of blog posts that review/talk about books in light of my experiences in this new setting.

Of course, the HANDS-DOWN CLASSIC example of this is directly related to Vietnam, and a brutal analogy of the Vietnam war (or, as they call it here, the American War, or the War of American Aggression): The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. I recently read it for the first time, and it was SO good I might just read it again, after attending the War Relics Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels (the tunnels the Viet Cong used in the war).

Some possibilities:

  • The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin – Earth Colonists follow the 19th century style of colonization, decimating a world’s native inhabitants in the process
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes – Fictional Johannesburg through the eyes of an ex-convict, depicted as a center of corruption and decay in South Africa
  • Dervish House by Ian McDonald – political strife in Turkey after it enters the EU and is on its way to becoming a technological/political powerhouse
  • Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds – East Africa leads the space race 150 years in the future.

So, my Call to Arms: What are some great SF/Fantasy books that are analogous to or touch upon developing/modernizing countries/civilizations/peoples? None of this “Classic” utopian vision stuff – let’s get gritty!