Forge Of The Elders by L. Neil Smith

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Capitalist Monsters from Outer Space!

Just when the 21st century thought it was safe to throw Marxism on the ash heap of history once and for all, a worldwide economic collapse suddenly made freedom seem less desirable than security, and the Total State turned out to be the comeback kid. In the US, where the power elite had long shown heartfelt affection for collectivism and making the trains (nationalized, of course) run on time, communism had a second coming. Which meant that Earth was now the Red Planet. The few holdouts and counterrevolutionaries would be dealt with in good time.

Of course, collectivization only made the worldwide depression worse. But then the People's Astronomers noticed an asteroid with unusual spectrographic properties, seemingly a treasure trove of valuable minerals that might rejuvenate the Earth's economy. So three aged NASA shuttles were pulled out of mothballs. crewed by a team of handpicked misfits whom no one would miss, and sent to the asteroid.

However, someone else was there first, under an airtight canopy made by genetically engineered trees. And they weren't human, even if they were from Earth. The Elders were ''nautiloids,'' like intelligent giant squids in Volkswagen-sized shells, from a parallel universe where they were Earth's dominant species. Worst of all, they were CAPITALISTS!

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About L. Neil Smith

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L. Neil Smith is the two time winner of the Prometheus Award for Best Libertarian Fiction for his novels Pallas (1993) and The Probability Broach (1980). As founder and National Coordinator of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, publisher of the on-line magazine The Libertarian Enterprise, and a Life member of the National Rifle Association, Smith is renowned for his prominence in the Libertarian movement, of which he has been a part of for more than thirty-five years. Author of more than twenty books, Smith has been hailed for his ability to combine adventure, humor, and rivetingly original political concepts to create more compellingly than any other writer, novels that embody Libertarian concepts. He currently resides in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife and daughter.
Published April 1, 2000 by Baen Books. 640 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In an alternate world where Marxism triumphed, astronauts from the American Soviet Socialist Republic and their Russian colleagues explore space and encounter dinosaurs, giant capitalist cockroaches, robots, nautiloids, talking dogs, etc.

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Publishers Weekly

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While periodic minor plot developments propel the action, the overall narrative proceeds at glacial speed on the questions of which Earth nation will wipe out the others and claim the asteroid for its own, and of whether Thoggosh & Co.

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The Best Reviews

Marxism was considered as dead as its originator, a failed economic system that also took away basic freedoms.

Apr 03 2002 | Read Full Review of Forge Of The Elders

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