A fabulous book it is, with almost all the characters from the second trilogy on stage and doing what they do so well. Treasures are recovered, allies found - or made - sly references to previous Stirling works made, and -perhaps inevitably- an Asatru dominion found in Maine. One of these days when I'm working steadily again, this book is going in the library, because I know I'm going to be reading it and re-reading it for years to come.
A long, long time ago, when the Co$ was adamantly denying that Hubbard had ever written science fiction
Well, some thirty years later, the Co$ came to its senses and realized there was money to be made in selling Hubbard's backlist to Scilons with a taste for SF, and eventually published most of his old novels under the Bridge Publishing imprint. As it happened, I was hard up for cash at the time, so I picked up a used paperback copy of Final Blackout and eBayed the hardback, and last night I lugged the softback along on the Metro to kill time. Aside from not being long enough, it hasn't aged well. As we all know, the war didn't grind on and on until industrial civilization collapsed, and for all their madness, neither Hitler nor Tojo could quite bring themselves to uncork the bio or chem weapons, perhaps remembering better than Hubbard the sort of problems chemical weapons caused in the First World War. More than anything else, Final Blackout reminds me of the Twilight:2000 RPG, except that Hubbard has a much lower opinion of civilians (and especially politicians) than did the lads at GDW. One can understand why both Fascists and Communists were critical of the book; it does too good a job of portraying the kind of people who run those regimes. It's worth reading, dated though it is, but I wouldn't buy a new copy if I could avoid it.