The Unincorporated War

The Unincorporated War

3.8 31
by Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin

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The Kollin brothers introduced their future world, and central character Justin Cord, in The Unincorporated Man. Justin created a revolution in that book, and is now exiled from Earth to the outer planets, where he is an heroic figure.

The corporate society which is headquartered on Earth and rules Venus, Mars, and the Orbital colonies, wants to

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The Kollin brothers introduced their future world, and central character Justin Cord, in The Unincorporated Man. Justin created a revolution in that book, and is now exiled from Earth to the outer planets, where he is an heroic figure.

The corporate society which is headquartered on Earth and rules Venus, Mars, and the Orbital colonies, wants to destroy Justin and reclaim hegemony over the rebellious outer planets. The first interplanetary civil war begins as the military fleet of Earth attacks. Filled with battles, betrayals, and triumphs, The Unincorporated War is a full-scale space opera that catapults the focus of the earlier novel up and out into the solar system. Justin remains both a logical and passionate fighter for the principles that motivate him, and remains the most dangerous man alive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Fans of SF as a vehicle for ideas will devour this intriguing debut. Brilliant 21st-century tycoon Justin Cord is brought from cryogenic storage into a 24th-century society where people own stock in one another, safeguarding each other's welfare only out of economic self-interest. This is anathema to the defiantly individualistic Cord, who soon becomes a danger to the corporations that control the world and a symbol of freedom to the downtrodden penny-stock people. Cord's conversations with friends and enemies fill most of the book, alongside lectures on the mechanisms of the incorporated culture. The Kollin brothers keep the plot moving briskly despite the high proportion of talk to action. Their cerebral style will especially appeal to readers nostalgic for science fiction's early years. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

After the world's economic collapse, civilization requires the incorporation of every individual at birth. Most people spend most of their lives gaining control of the majority of their own shares. The arrival of a cryogenically preserved man from the 21st century-who's obviously unincorporated-creates a social anomaly. The Kollin brothers' first novel, chosen as a Sci Fi Essential Book, recalls the emphasis on freedom of the early works of Heinlein and the cutting-edge social commentary of William Gibson and Fritz Lieber. A good choice for most libraries.

—Jackie Cassada

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Tom Doherty Associates
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Unincorporated Man , #2
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The Unincorporated War

By Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2010 Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-3536-4


Calm Before the Storm

Justin Cord drifted on his back, arms clasped loosely behind his head, admiring the delicate mist moving slowly above. It was through these thin wisps of vapor and the eerily warm water flowing quietly beneath him that he would, on that rare occasion, find solace in a lake so big he would have called it a sea. He'd long gotten used to the fact that the horizon line curved upwards instead of down and that instead of a clear blue sky his vista was that of a magnificent mountain range above.

The inverse horizon was just one of the many oddities he'd had to struggle with by virtue of his forced exile to the belt. He couldn't help it. When he thought "asteroid," "small" came to mind. After all, Ceres was only a quarter the size of Earth's Moon. What he failed to realize was just how huge the Moon actually was. Of course Ceres had changed quite a bit as a result of the planetoid's first meddlesome settlers. Its orbit had been altered to match that of Mars in order to bring it into the elliptic plane along with all the other major bodies in the solar system. On top of that, the Cerians had dug down deep and were still digging. They'd hollowed out a two-mile-wide cylindrical hole through the center and then gave the rock spin for gravity. The early inhabitants had also taken abundant advantage of the fact that their home had miles of frozen water spread evenly beneath its surface. In fact, it had more H0 than all the freshwater on Earth. This meant that Ceres had lakes, lots of them, with some as big as seas.

And so drifting aimlessly a hundred meters from shore, staring down into the planet, Justin Cord could almost forget that there was a ceiling "behind" him holding in the massive body of water and that the power of centrifugal force ensured that it stayed that way.

For most born in the belt and accustomed to subterranean life, the idea of a sky was unnerving to say the least. Justin had heard stories of some belt-born with agoraphobia so severe that they wouldn't dare venture outside on Earth unless they were safely confined within the sterile-aired, cumbersome embrace of a space suit. Since he'd never seen such a thing, he chalked it up to talk. Still, after being on Ceres for a little over a year he could certainly relate. In space you weren't safe until you had a secure roof over your head, and even then you'd always check for leaks. For an off-worlder visiting Earth for the first time, the whole damned planet leaked.

With the new President of the Outer Alliance, the feeling was just the opposite. Try as he might, Justin couldn't help but feel closed in. He hid it as best he could and took long walks in the great city parks where the "roof" was far enough overhead that he wouldn't notice the absent sky. Time permitting, he'd sometimes wander into the forest where the trees were so tall and crowns so thick that he could imagine he was in a forest somewhere on Earth. But the thing Justin best loved to do was swim. He could forget where he was, forget all his problems as well as everyone else's. Arm over arm, head back, Justin would sometimes think that if there were a heaven it had to be an endless ocean he could spend eternity swimming in.

But as usual, heaven would have to wait. Justin could make out the all-too-familiar hum of a hover disk approaching in the distance. It was a sound that elicited an almost Pavlovian response. The President sighed, continued his poor backstroke, and waited patiently to open his eyes until the craft was practically on top of him. It had gotten to the point that he no longer bothered to swim back to shore. He knew something would always happen that would necessitate a disk being sent out to get him. One day, he decided, there would be no emergency at all, no crisis, no feathers to be unruffled, and on that day he would probably drown. But that day was not today. After another hundred yards of backstroking to put off the inevitable, he gave up, stopped, and opened his eyes.

Omad was smiling down on him.

"You know I wouldn't have come out if —"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let me guess," said Justin. "They found a monolith floating around Jupiter. Alien contact perhaps, no, maybe Mars revolted and joined the Outer Alliance."

"No monoliths," answered Omad, "not for lack of looking, mind you, but none yet. And any aliens smart enough to get into this neck of the galaxy would probably be smart enough to get out. And if Mars decided to join us," Omad said, looking out into the distance, "it wouldn't make sense to call us the Outer Alliance then, would it?" He then looked back down to Justin. "We would just be the Alliance, don't you think? Mars is a core world after all."

"Not in my day."

"You're a really old fart, Justin. Nothing is from your day."

Justin laughed. "OK, Omad," said the President, noticing his friend's pained expression. "What is it this time?"

"It's Eris, friend. Everyone's waiting back at Cliff House."

Justin was suddenly tired in a way that had nothing to do with the miles he'd just logged in swimming.


Omad nodded sympathetically and then extended his hand, first making sure to get a good grip on the strap in the center of the disk. The machine tilted slightly as Justin got on, but no more than three or four degrees. Omad tossed his friend a towel and without another word sped off toward the shore, where the world Justin had only recently created sat waiting.

"OK, listeners, this isThe Clara Roberts Showcoming to you live from Ceres for the first day of the provisional congress. By mutual agreement, no press or recording devices are allowed into the actual hall, but the delegates are always coming and going. Why, here's Tyler Sadma of the Eris Colony about to enter the hall. Let me see if I can just ask him to talk to us. ... Mr. Sadma ... Mr. Sadma! A few words for the ... Mr. Sadma ..."

"No comment."

"I am sorry, loyal listeners, but he pushed right past me. Seems his reputation is well deserved. Wait a minute ... here comes Karen Cho of the Titan Colony. Miss Cho!"

"Hello, Clara, love your show. We listen to it on Saturn all the time."

"Thanks for the plug."

"Well sure, you guys always have a good slant about news from the corporate core. Lots of facts without all the Terran propaganda."

"We try to keep the truth broadcasting for all to hear. You could help my listeners by telling me what's going on behind the closed doors of power."

"Clara, before we could have that power we'd all have to agree."

"Agree on what?"

"Anything; I'm not sure we can even order lunch as a congress without calling a committee of the whole, and by the time we do agree it would be time for breakfast!"

"And I thought my job was tough! Miss Cho, got time for another question?"


"Any chance the First Free will show up on opening day?"

"He says he doesn't want to interfere with the formation of the legislative branch until we're all settled in and invite him. And surely, Miss Roberts, you know the provisional President does not encourage the use of that nickname."

"It's what all my listeners call him. Who am I to argue?"

"Well, just don't say it to his face. I heard a Plutonian tried that once and got stink eyed out of the reception."

"Thanks for the advice. So beware, listeners; the President does notlike the distinction of being called the First Free. Apparently he feels it's not appropriate for a leader of free people. So no one say it in his company! Wait till he's not around. Thank you for your time, Miss Cho. If it's true you're being appointed the governor of the colonies of Saturn, good luck with it."

"One job at a time, Miss Roberts, and keep up the good work."

"Will do. This is Clara Roberts outside the newly completed congressional hall. We'll be back after this message from the Gedretar ship works. Remember, if you can't get a new booster from the corporate enslavers of the core planets, have yours refurbished — good as new — at Gedretar."

— FromThe Clara Roberts ShowAIR (Asteroid belt Information Radio) Network

Justin stood on a high terrace overlooking Smith Thoroughfare, one of three large, cavernous arteries carved deep into Ceres. Each one of the thoroughfares was a lifeblood of commerce and activity within the planetoid. Traffic, Justin could see, was unusually brisk. The first meeting of the Provisional Congress had brought the usual slew of bureaucrats, press, and hangers-on. Added to that were cadres of tourists who wanted to be a part of history. The streets were packed and the air above them was no different. All manner of hovercraft, drone, and person could be seen zipping to and fro. Justin's balcony was officially in a no-fly zone, but that never seemed to stop the more tenacious of media outlets.

The overhang he currently found himself standing on was attached to a living complex that was, like almost every other abode on the planetoid, dug deep into the rock. The apartment had three floors and forty rooms in its current configuration. Justin had initially rejected the place, feeling it was entirely too large and pretentious. But when he was made to realize just how disparate in both ideology and function the various belt bodies he was meant to lead were, he'd acceded and moved in. The move proved prescient in that he'd already had to add onto both sides of the ever-growing presidential suite now being called by most, the Cliff House.

Ultimately it had been the terrace that had become Justin's favorite "room" for the simple reason that it was the least closed-in space in the entire complex. Though he'd never admit that simple fact to anyone, anyone at all, because it belied a greater feeling that he saw as a failing in the man who was the provisional President of the Outer Alliance. Only his long swims in the great lakes of Ceres might have given anyone the slightest clue as to their President's true feelings — Justin was sick of space.

He'd last left Earth in a hurry, anxious to re unite with the woman he thought he'd lost forever, Dr. Neela Harper. Had he known then, before his ill-fated encounter with the now-deceased Chairman, that that meeting would take up his last precious few hours on Earth he might have done things differently. He might have looked up to the sky one last time, taken in the splendor of Victoria Falls, or plunged himself into the cold, salty embrace of the Atlantic. But instead he'd left that fateful meeting and immediately rocketed off into space at almost inhuman speeds without ever looking back.

And now, in almost Sisyphean fashion, he was being forced to repeat that one impulsive act in a dizzying array of takeoffs from one asteroid to another throughout the O.A. Each and every trip, much like that first one, had been spent pinned to an acceleration couch in order to take advantage of maximum g-force. All the trips had one purpose in mind — to solidify support for the O.A. If they could have figured out a way to get him to the outer planets — on the other side of the belt — and back in less than four months he would have gone there as well. But the only planet close enough to get to, given the size of the solar system and the limits of human propulsion, was Jupiter. However, if he visited one planetary system the others would have been insulted. Expecting Justin to visit absolutely every one made no sense given the laws of physics, but it made perfect sense given the laws of politics.

Although the fledgling President's domain contained only a tenth of the human race, it stretched from the asteroid belt to the Oort Cloud. And that tenth contained a little under four billion people, with about two billion in the asteroid belt itself. It was a surprisingly rural population. The largest settlement was in Ceres, with over forty million souls. That was followed by Eris, with thirty-five million, and Titan with a little over thirty. Justin would have expected these settlements, cities in his mind, to have much larger populations. After all, Ceres had the land area of Pennsylvania to work with once the tunnels had been dug. It could have easily held another one hundred million people. But, he'd learned, people in the belt usually wanted to stretch out and get their own asteroids to mine. Once away from the regimentation of corporate life they were not eager to re-create it. This attracted more settlers and miners of similar bent, and over the centuries all sorts of communities found rocks, hollowed them out, paid for the orbital slots, and lived life on the edge. Over time what had emerged was a powerfully independent and resourceful humanity but, as Justin was now discovering, a tiresome one to weld together into a cohesive political unit. "Like herding cats," he'd often told his sympathetic wife.

On a positive note — for Justin at least — everyone had agreed to the basic principles of the first new experiment in governance in over three centuries: unity, of a sort, with political and economic liberty, which meant vastly different things to different people, and a government strong enough to protect the Outer Alliance yet not so strong as to imperil those very liberties that it was supposed to protect. Previous to this newly formed government the territories that would make up the O.A. had been operating pretty much on their own, because the central government operating from the corporate core had no real means to enforce its rule. This had certainly been good for the colonists' self-sufficiency but lousy for unity. It took the corporate core government's expedited Psyche Audit Act to truly bring the O.A. together. Up until that moment psyche audits had only been used to repair damaged minds — deviants, perverts, and pedophiles. But the old government's new and desperate act had not only widened the criteria to include rebellious or disgruntled colonists but also nearly eliminated due process. What once could be dragged on for months with appeals and counterappeals now took mere hours. And it had been from that rash move that the fires of revolution had been fanned and from which Justin Cord had found himself a new job.

So now there was a new government with Justin at its head but no real means to enforce its rule. Sure, there were committees aplenty, but nothing ever came out of them except for the occasional sound bite. Justin's new government did not have vast fleets of warships or impressively armed legions ready to go forth and do battle or, more important, maintain order. Alternatively the Terran government and its chief supporter, the corporations, had spent the last year clamping down with vicious abandon on the inner systems. They'd achieved control to a degree Justin secretly envied. They'd corralled, locked up, and stifled their malcontents; Justin had an entire asteroid belt of malcontents. While he harbored no desire to treat his troublemakers in the same manner, he often wished he could throttle a few just to get them to see eye to eye on an issue — any issue.

There was, however, one great advantage to the surliness of his flock. The skills needed to be an expert miner were remarkably similar to those needed to be a first-rate soldier — expert handling of dangerous nanites and explosives, ingenuity, self-reliance, and finally determination; all taught and tested within the cold confines of space. The O.A. also had hundreds of thousands of spaceships built up over centuries of colonization. Not a one could really be used in combat; but at least, realized Justin, getting experienced pilots was not going to be a problem. Building the warships, however, would be. Ceres was starting the process of making space docks, but it would be years before they could hope to replicate the facilities in orbit around Earth. The truth of the matter was that the manufacturing facilities on Luna were far greater than all those of the O.A. combined.

* * *

A wistful chime reminded Justin that his cabinet meeting was about to begin. He turned around and there to greet him was his Chief of Staff, Cyrus Anjou, standing next to Omad. Cyrus was a Jovian who, mused the President, was actually quite jovial. The Chief of Staff's roots were almost as critical as his political ability. While Jupiter itself proved uninhabitable, its many moons — seventy in all, including the seven man-made — were rich in mineral deposits, usable gasses, and water. Cyrus hailed from one such moon and Mosh had vouched for him from the days when Cyrus was director of GCI's Jovian mining operations and Mosh was his boss. Unlike most corporate climbers, Cyrus took his majority and stayed near his native Io rather than follow the ladder back to Earth where the real power lay. But that merely helped hide the uncanny political instincts the man had. The moons of Jupiter were made up of a large and powerful constituency and there was no better person to see to its needs than the current Chief of Staff. Justin never made it a policy to ask why Mosh vouched for anyone; he just accepted it gratefully and moved on to the next task. And there was always a next task.


Excerpted from The Unincorporated War by Dani Kollin, Eytan Kollin. Copyright © 2010 Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Unincorporated War 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Unincorporated Man Jason Cord led a rebellion against the tyranny of corporations that ruled the solar system. His revolt partially succeeded as the Outer Alliance broke free of the inner planets who remain mindlessly controlled by the corporations. Jason becomes the president of the OA, but knows he will never return to earth where he is an outlaw. Fearing the rebellion widening and believing the outer planets are colonies, Earth dispatches its starship armada to destroy the breakaway alliance. Jason knows his side is in trouble as the enemy is much more powerful and feels remorse that he sends soldiers to die, but refuses to surrender. Instead he sends a counter force to battle the enemy's militia. This sequel to the Unincorporated Man is a fast-paced military science fiction. With a lot more solar system space battles and much less political intrigue than its predecessor, The Unincorporated war is action-packed throughout, but lacks the nuances of extrapolating trends from today's corporate-political-judicial (since Citizen United decision) complex. Still this is a top rate outer space thriller. Harriet Klausner
Dom-minion More than 1 year ago
I do not remember what drew me to this book, though it may have been the description. It was well written and drew me in with ease. There are familiar themes that anyone who has been into reading this kind of story will recognize; but it does not simply borrow and regurgitate. There's warfare, intrigue, deception, and more. I found it to be a very enjoyable read. And while I wouldn't give it a five star rating, it deserves a full four in my mind. The characters are believable, realistic, and quite human for the most part. A must read, no. A good read and worth the time, definitely.
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