Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Unsettling Future Settlers

Review of Pennsylvania series by Michael Bunker


I was chatting one morning at Chick-fil-A about mil sci-fi with my friend Mitch, when he asked if I had ever read Pennsylvania, the Amish science fiction novel by Michael Bunker.

Amish science fiction? 

I told him, no, why? It was because an author he attended college with, Chris Pourteau, had written some military fiction in the Pennsylvania universe. 

Military Amish science fiction. What a concept. I was intrigued, especially once I read Porteau's Tales of B-Company (reviewed earlier this month). 

So I dove into a copy of the first Michael Bunker novella, Pennsylvania 1. And it turns out to be military science fiction in its own right, a fascinatingly complex tale that combines Amish philosophy, future military and power technology, and the first really advanced networking concept I've seen in fiction. 

That the author is a member of a "Plain" community obviously gives him the time and scope to think deeply about What Might Happen. That, and excellent story-telling skills, make this an outstanding book, whether you read it as the first of a series of novellas, or get the omnibus edition and read it as the first section of a novel.

And now, I move from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma. Immediately, if not Sooner.