Political Machinations
Political interests masquerading as a contest of principles


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1984
by George Orwell (1949)


To Winston Smith, a young man who works in the Ministry of Truth (Minitru for short), come two people who transform his life completely. One is Julia, whom he meets after she hands him a slip reading, "I love you". The other is O'Brien, who tells him, "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness". Winston rebels against the ruling Party and its almost mythical leader Big Brother.





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Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury (1953)


Near-future 'firemen' are charged with the responsibility of burning all books in order to wipe out dangerous and subversive ideas. Wall-to-wall TV satiates the masses, while fireman hero Montag secretly reads books. He finally flees the city and takes refuge with a group of people who memorise books. Hits hard at the threat of book burning in the United States during the McCarthy era.





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Roadside Picnic
by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky (1972)


Russia's Strugatsky brothers penned this oblique story of aliens who stop-off on Earth for a picnic and trash the place with technological litter. What remains behind is six 'Zones' scattered around the Earth, that fearful governments and the U.N. have declared off limits. Zone 'Stalkers' face madness in search of artifacts to peddle in the thriving black market in the alien products.





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Lucifer's Hammer
by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle (1977)


Earth is on a collision course with a huge comet. For millionaire Tim Hamner, the comet he helped discover is a ticket to immortality. For filmmaker Harvey Randall, it's a chance to redeem a flagging career. And for astronauts John Baker and Rick Delanty, it's a second chance for glory in outer space. There is a nice bit of US/USSR cooperation when China launches a nuclear attack on Russia.





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Judas Unchained [S2]
by Peter F. Hamilton (2005)


The Prime are the Commonwealth's worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. If that's not bad enough, for more than a hundred years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resisthas secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth.





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Leviathan Wakes [S1]
by James S.A. Corey (2011)


When rebel sympathiser Jim Holden and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. Detective Miller is looking for a girl, and the trail leads to the Scopuli. Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations... and the odds are against them.





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Embassytown
by China Miéville (2011)


Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the native Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset.





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Starshine [S1]
by G.S. Jennsen (2014)


Alexis Solovy is Earth Alliance royalty, her father a fallen war hero and her mother an influential military leader. But she seeks only the freedom of space and has made a fortune by reading the patterns in the chaos. A chance encounter with a mysterious spy leads to a discovery which will thrust Alex into the middle of a galactic power struggle and a darkly sinister conspiracy.


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