The Powers of the Earth – Aristillus(with praise from John Carmack !)

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The Powers of the Earth – Aristillus(with praise of John Carmack !)


Earth in 2064 is politically corrupt and in economic decline. The Long Depression has dragged on for 56 years, and the Bureau of Sustainable Research is hard at work making sure that no new technologies disrupt the planned economy. Ten years ago a band of malcontents, dreamers, and libertarian radicals bolted privately-developed anti-gravity drives onto rusty sea-going cargo ships, loaded them to the gills with 20th-century tunnel-boring machines and earthmoving equipment, and set sail – for the Moon.

There, they built their retreat. A lunar underground border-town, fit to rival Ayn Rand’s ‘Galt’s Gulch’, with American capitalists, Mexican hydroponic farmers, and Vietnamese space-suit mechanics – this is the city of Aristillus.

There’s a problem, though: the economic decline of Earth under a command-and-control economy is causing trouble for the political powers-that-be in Washington DC and elsewhere. To shore up their positions they need slap down the lunar expats and seize the gold they’ve been mining. The conflicts start small, but rapidly escalate.

There are zero-gravity gun fights in rusted ocean going ships flying through space, containers full of bulldozers hurtling through the vacuum, nuclear explosions, armies of tele-operated combat UAVs, guerrilla fighting in urban environments, and an astoundingly visual climax.

The Powers of the Earth is the first book in The Aristillus series – a pair of science fiction novels about anarchocapitalism, economics, open source software, corporate finance, social media, antigravity, lunar colonization, genetically modified dogs, strong AI…and really, really big guns.

John Carmack, founder id Software, lead programmer of Doom, QuakeThis is a wonderful, sprawling, action-packed story with interesting characters, complicated conflicts, and realistic treatment of what a small colony faces when confronted by a hostile planet of nine billion slaves. Think of this as Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress done better.   I devoured these books and give them my highest recommendation.

John Walker, founder of AutoDeskYou’ve achieved something I’ve been hoping for decades someone would pull off – a book that is at once an affectionate tribute to and criticism/response to “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”.The Aristillus books are very strong.