Guest Post by Larry Hodges
It's out!!! You can buy copies (print or ebook) directly from World Weaver Press, or from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Omnilit.
Here's an 80-sec book trailer created by Nathan Hsu.
The SF novel covers the election for president of Earth in the year 2100, where the world has adopted the American two-party electoral system. There's also an increasingly incredulous alien ambassador along for the ride. Here's the description from the back cover:
The year is 2100, and when it comes to the planet-wide presidential election, the father-daughter team of Toby and Lara Platt are the cutthroat campaign directors who can get candidates elected by any means necessary, including the current president of Earth, Corbin Dubois. But when an alien lands outside the United Nations, claiming to be an ambassador from outer space, Dubois orders her attacked. It’s the day Toby Platt finally resigns.
So . . . what's the big idea in this new novel, and why would you want to read it in the midst of a polarized American political season?
Presidential politics has dominated the news for years, and this year like no others. Few stories are more compelling than a bare-knuckle, fight-to-the-finish political campaign, as we are seeing right now in both the Republican and Democratic races. And yet, where are the SF stories that cover this? Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions dramatizes and satirizes politics in creating a new sub-genre: campaign science fiction. It is West Wing in the 22nd Century. The underlying theme of the novel is moderation in politics; some will read it as a Moderate Manifesto.
There are two "Big Ideas" in the novel. The first, as noted above, is all about moderation, something you don't see very often in modern American politics. Why must readers always choose between two extremes? In so choosing they begin to identify with the choice they made, and so they tend to move to the extremes themselves. This doesn't make sense — but it'll take Toby and Bruce to change this dynamic and bring back moderation.
And that brings us to the second "Big Idea" — why is the U.S. stuck with two major parties? In the novel, Toby and Bruce will mount a third-party challenge — and show how it can be done. While Republicans try to prove they are the most conservative, and Democrats that they are the most liberal, Toby and Bruce are out to prove they are the most moderate — and begin to call themselves "Moderate Extremists." Along the side of the floater they use to travel the world are the words, "Extremism in the Pursuit of Moderation is No Vice."
Why is there an alien ambassador in the novel? The story takes place 84 years from now, and a lot of history has taken place. Readers learn of this history and about Earth politics at the same time as the alien, whose eyestalks often stare at each other in disbelief. But just as the alien—– Twenty-two — sometimes has to put on his "Stupid" hat (actually Bruce's pet, an iguana with a brain that's half cat) to truly understand the absurdity of human politics and the two-party electoral system, so will you!
Here's what Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Quantum Night, wrote:
Larry Hodges is an insightful political commentator and a kick-ass science-fiction writer. A dynamite novel full of twists and turns; this futuristic House of Cards is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
Larry Hodges, from Germantown, MD, was going to be a math professor (bachelor's in math), but science fiction writing and table tennis (yes, ping-pong) sidetracked him, and now he writes (and coaches the latter) for a living. He is an active member of Science Fiction Writers of America with over 70 short story sales. Campaign 2100: Game of Scorpions is his third novel, and combines three of his favorite things: science fiction, politics, and table tennis. He's a graduate of the six-week 2006 Odyssey Writers Workshop and the 2008 Taos Toolbox Writers Workshop, and is a member of Codexwriters.com. His story "The Awakening" was the unanimous grand prize winner at the 2010 Garden State Horror Writers Short Story Competition. He's a full-time writer with ten books and over 1600 published articles in over 140 different publications. He also writes about and coaches the Olympic Sport of Table Tennis, is a member of the USA Table Tennis Hall of Fame (Google it!), and once beat someone using an ice cube as a racket. Visit him at larryhodges.org.
World Weaver Press
Publishing fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction.