Red Holocaust

It is clear to me, in retrospect, that I waited too long between these books. (Of course, that’s true of most of my books, but it’s more true when the books are so very light as this, and also I’m facing a quarter-century backlog for the series.) But I have finally read the second book of the Deathlands series, Red Holocaust. When last we saw the one-eyed Ryan Cawdor, pleasantly mutated Krysty Wroth, gun enthusiast J.B. Dix, and the man of mystery known only as Doc, they had escaped vengeful danger of some kind or other into one of many Redoubts, hardened chambers scattered around America that are filled with guns, supplies, and most importantly for our purposes, teleportation rooms.

This new book starts what I expect to be a long-term trend, in which the Trader’s crew will teleport randomly from place to place, find something horribly wrong, and go about fixing it. In this particular instance, the main wrong thing is that the Bering Strait has frozen over again[1], allowing both marauders and an apparently somewhat cohesive Soviet pursuit to cross into Alaska. Since the first teleport destination is also in Alaska, you can imagine that some kind of militaristic event is about to ensue. And I think that is what I am expecting to be the most common path for the series as it unfolds: party teleports somewhere randomly, comes out to discover a situation in need of caretaking, does so, probably loses some members while gaining others, returns, and teleports randomly once more. The draw, therefore, will be the gradual unfolding of the geopolitical situation[2], revelations of character histories, and of course fragment by fragment of the secret of the Doctor, who can’t keep track of a stream of consciousness for more than a few moments, yet who has all manner of pre-war knowledge, both trivial and sublime. Most recently, for example, he revealed that the matter transporters have also been used in time travel experimentation! Dating back to 1930s!

I don’t know exactly why I lap this stuff up, but really, it’s not that big of an investment. A day or two to read a book that would work equally well as a single or two-part episode of a television series, and then onto something else? It’s more than fun enough to pay that price, and thusly I do.

[1] Thanks, nuclear winter!
[2] For example, who knew that Russia would manage to be visibly more together than the United States, a hundred years after World War III? I mean, besides doomsday scenario authors, who I believe were certain of this fact throughout the duration of the Cold War.

2 thoughts on “Red Holocaust

  1. Pingback: Shards of Delirium » Neutron Solstice

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