Daniel's Bookshelf.

Author:Allen, Daniel
Position:Directive 51 - Gideon's Sword - Book review

Directive 51

John Barnes

Ace Books

The Berkley Publishing Group

A Division of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

9780441020416 $25.95 www.penguingroup.com

I started out from my early reading outset being a younger reader, and a big fan of the old fashioned 'who done it' type mystery stories. This got me reading books when I was a teenager, and a prime example was the Hardy Boys mystery series. I enjoyed that simple time of basic plots, and young men solving those crimes their own sleuthful way .That particular one that comes to mind was the Hardy Boys Tower Treasure story, which was aired on tv on the Disney Mickey Mouse Club show. They did it in a serial form to be shown that same day every week. I believe that motivated the reading bug in me to go for more of those Hardy Boy books, and then later I dabbled into my second genre' of science fiction. It started with Robert Heinlein, where I read Farnham's Freehold and Starship Troopers along with his other books laced with an added layer of social comment built into them. I restored my interest today many years later with One Second After by Willaim R. Forschen. His story gives a frightening look, if the United States was attacked with a electromagnetic pulse technology weapon. This would be leaving the country at a standstill without electricity and computers to operate the equipment, refrigeration along with cars for every day living needs. It would turn the entire population living backward into time.

John Barnes uses some of those ideas along with others to show what could happen, if in a modern-day technology was disabled. The world would be thrust it back to the 19th century, where only the crudest of motors where working or not at all. The disablement would have caused the electronic devices, motors, and machinery from functioning making it diffcult for people used to operate and live in a society without them. A plan was put into place to do this, and eventually set to bring down the system of the Federal government. This would force the nation to put into action the emergency contingency program. I selected this book to see what the story would reveal of such ideas and plotting.

The 'Big System,' alias the Federal Government moves at a snails pace while the Daybreakers move at fast one to tear down the country using nanotechnologies to destroy over two centuries of technology. The Directive was set up in 2007 so the National Security Presidential...

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