BOOK REVIEW: Listened to an NPR interview with Michael Bunker. He writes for a genre called Amish Sci-Fi. WOT!?! The author speaks with imagination and authority being a member of a plain community in Texas.
The book being discussed is entitled “Pennsylvania” The Complete Novel. (More about THAT later.) Setting is in Pennsylvania mid 21st century. War has visited in such a fashion that the Amish who are tech free live in five Amish Zones (AZ). The rest of the world powers evolved into one pricipal that of encouraging business. And the Amish are being relatively unmolested because they produce the majority of the food for the world. As a result, all personal travel was outlawed, all roads were dug up. All non Amish are wired into the internet in their heads and live a vastly different life as Englischers. And there is peace except for the occasional rebellion. The main prison is in Oklahoma.
Story starts out with 18 year old Jed Troyer saving up to join his childhood friend on New Pennsylvania, help him in the Amish way and eventually get his 200 acre farm for himself. Eighteen!!
This started to feel distinctly like an old Robert A. Heinlien youth adventure until everything went to Hell. Then as more characters and situations were introduced Isaac Asimov took over for five or six pages to explain in rather tedious detail exactly how the internal internet system evolved. Then the action bits kicked in here and there. My favorite chapter is “The Barn Raising” wonderful summation of an Amish barn raising and the plain and sacred aspects of the effort.
There were just enough questions raised and explained in sequential action events to explain what was going on. There is the promise of a happily ever after but we will have to wait because it is a CLIFF. HANGER. The writing of which is implied. ARGH!! This book is a keeper even if I was highly tempted to dash it against the wall.
PS: Of course there is a power struggle for Okcillium, not unlike Unobtainium on Avatar. What next Impossibilium?