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:
It is the year 2100, and the world has adopted the American two-party electoral system. The cutthroat father-daughter team of Toby and Lara Platt ran the successful 2095 campaign of the Frenchman Corbin Dubois for president of Earth. Toby soon realizes it was a horrible mistake.
An alien ambassador lands outside the United Nations, sparking a crisis. Inspired by the ambassador, Toby resigns from the campaign in protest of Dubois’s corrupt politics—but his daughter Lara takes over. Toby decides to challenge the two major parties—one conservative, one liberal—and run for president himself with a third-party moderate challenge. He vows to put his daughter out of a job.
The alien ambassador tags along on the campaign trail as she learns the violent history and eye-opening politics of 2100 Earth. The campaign for president of Earth takes us to every continent as father and daughter battle for electoral votes and clash over the ideas and issues facing the world of 2100 in this bare-knuckle, fight-to-the-finish political campaign.
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.”
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