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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
A Meeting at Corvallis is the final installment of S. M. Stirling's riveting alternate history trilogy that began with Dies the Fire and The Protector's War. The story is set in the world that the island of Nantucket left behind in 1998's cult classic Island in the Sea of Time, an Earth devastated by a mysterious storm that caused modern technologies of all kinds -- electricity, telephones, combustion engines, etc. -- to simply stop working.
It's been ten years since "the Change," and while the majority of the population is dead or dying, there are pockets of humanity that have adapted to their primitive world and begun to create new societies from the ashes of the old. In America's Northwest, three very different groups have managed to thrive. Former Marine Michael Havel and his Bearkillers have created a successful military-inspired culture. Folk musician and Wiccan priestess Juniper Mackenzie has established a peaceable pagan clan based on ethics, ritual, and hard work. But former history professor Norman Arminger (a.k.a. the Lord Protector) has dreams of building a sprawling neo-feudal empire, and nothing -- and no one -- will stand in his way…
Fans of high-end alternate history sagas like Robert Silverberg's Roma Eterna and Eric Flint and David Drake's Belisarius sequence should definitely check out this wildly thought-provoking Stirling trilogy, which features elements of postapocalyptic thriller, military-powered fiction, and sociological speculation. How much does technology define who we are? What really is the basis of our civilization? Readers may or may not agree with Stirling's vision, but one thing is guaranteed: hours and hours of lively discussion afterward. Paul Goat Allen