Books read: S.M. Stirling’s Changeverse trilogy

Books read: S.M. Stirling’s Changeverse trilogy

Melanie and I have just finished reading a trilogy by S.M. Stirling: “Dies the Fire”, “The Protector’s War”, and “A Meeting at Corvallis”.

You might call it science fiction or maybe alternate history, although I don’t know if it fits neatly in either genre. The premise is that global cataclysmic event occurred on March 17, 1998 during which the laws of physics were changed to render incapable all non-organic high-density energy technology: no gunpowder, no internal combustion engine, no steam engine. All that was left was mechanical power and hydraulics. The first result is massive death, which occupies a good chunk of the first book, “Dies the Fire.” Without communications or transportation, governments collapse, civilization itself collapses, and 98% of people in the world die of hunger, disease, and murder. It’s not pretty and the first half of the first book has a pretty bleak quality. Yet, the story focuses on three groups of folks in Oregon’s Willamette Valley who do survive and begin to rebuild the first bits of civilization: A former Force-Recon Marine who had been flying a wealthy family to their vacation home in Oregon who gathers like-minded folk about him as they travel back to Oregon; a Wiccan coven that moves into the hills and takes up a very Celtic clan-style of life; and a madman who welds together biker gangs and the Society for Creative Anachronism to form a medieval kingdom based on feudal system of knights and castles and fiefdoms. Other groups survive as well, including Corvallis, Oregon, centered on the folks of Oregon State University; and Mt. Angel, a Benedictine Abbey.

Would you survive?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli