June 8, 2020
The gun barely remembered being a person. The transfer process made things cloudy. Maybe that was the point. They need you to remember the training, where to aim, how to sever a spinal chord at five hundred yards, but not where you come from, or who you were before basic.
The gun helped frightened boys kill and maim. It sang them lullabies in cramped foxholes. It told them everything would be alright and soon they’d get to go home. The gun watched as the humanity seeped from their eyes, welcoming another brother into the fold.
April 29, 2020
By Force Alone
I enjoyed this immensely.
It’s like a mixtape version of the Arthurian legend peppered with pop culture references, grime, grit and clever asides.
Towards the end Tidhar then skewers the myth, exposes the bullshit of nationalism and romanticism and lets the reader watch it all bleed out.
“Yet here they are nevertheless, these conscious beings of reconstituted matter. Marching blithely along, ready to die for an idea that makes no sense if you stare at it head on. This island’s just a piece of Europe with the land bridge submerged, just another clump of dirt in the middle of an ocean, on a world that spins through space, in a universe older and weirder than anything even a Merlin can imagine. Why would you die for this? he wonders. Would it not be better to simply live?”