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Posted October 22, 2002
Consider the problem of having one automatic rifle with 200 rounds, and attempting to conquer or hold off an enemy like ancient Rome. There is just you and a friend. Well you have problems. For one, a Roman legion has several thousand soldiers; many more than you have bullets. And in close quarters, like a town, you are vulnerable to enemy arrows and spears. Having a rifle does not make you invulnerable. There have been great, classic science fiction stories written starting with such a premise. For example, "Janissaries" by Jerry Pournelle, the Lord Kalvan stories by H Beam Piper, and the Nantucket trilogy by S M Stirling. In all of these, the protagonists soon realise that they must start producing firearms for their allies. And in doing so, they must start with the simplest firearms. In fact, they must recap the Industrial Revolution. This book by Podrug does not address these issues at all. Two Muslim terrorists flee back in time to the time of Christ, intent on overthrowing Roman rule, for their own aims. Their characters are cardboard - the stereotypical Muslim terrorists. Though I grant that to many American readers, that might indeed be plausible. But as far as practical implications of what they are attempting - the book says nothing. The depictions of the Roman rulers and their puppets is right out of 'I Claudius'. Perhaps the author wanted to impress us with his erudition. Or maybe he was just being slack, and took his historical backdrop straight from Robert Graves' work.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.