The Holy Land of Robert Zubrin
by Gad Nahshon
When this fails, however, the US government adopts an alternative strategy: they will try to undermine the galactic empire's support for the Minervans by rounding up all the Kennewickians they can and forcing them to live in refugee camps on the border of the Minervan occupied town.
To make the condition of the refugees even worse, Christian preachers are sent into these camps to recruit the Kennewickian children to engage in suicidal attacks on the Minervans. Having done everything they can to immiserate the Kennewickians, the US government then appeals for sympathy to the galactic empire. But when this doesn't work, the American leaders decide the only way to get the empire's attention is to send terrorists to wreck havoc across the galaxy at large in supposed protest over the Kennewickian plight.
The two principle characters of the novel are Hamilton and Aurora. Sergeant Andrew Hamilton is a US Army Ranger who is captured by the Minervans during the first abortive American attack on Kennewick, or New Minervapolis, as it is renamed. Hamilton is a patriotic American, and therefore anti-Minervan, but he is basically a common sense kind of guy who can view with horror the increasing irrationalization of American society as the government encourages the population to become ever more fanatically fixated on the Minervans as the cause for all the nation's woes.
Aurora is a Minervan Priestess (3rd Class), who, after capturing Hamilton, decides to make a study of his mind ("to determine why all Earthlings are insane") so she can earn her scholar's thesis and be promoted to Priestess 2nd Class. The two of them become an odd couple of traveling companions, having a series of Candide-like adventures in Kennewick, aboard the Western Galactic Navy flagship and in Hamilton's home town of Peekskill, New York when it becomes necessary for Aurora to travel incognito across America.
Along the way, the reader gets to see all facets of life in all three of these domains (symbolizing respectively Israel/Palestine, the advanced sector, and the Arab heartland) from the points of view of both intelligent Earthling and Minervan eyes.
The conflicts developed in the novel are heightened by culture clash and religious differences, both between the galactics and the Earthlings, and among the different galactic nations. The civilized galactic societies are all female led and Goddess worship ping, and therefore find the Earthling savage's proclivity for worshipping a "male Goddess" incomprehensible.
In contrast to the monotheistic Minervans, however, the Western Galactic Imperials worship a "Triune Goddess" composed of Minerva, Aphrodite, and Hera, with a mysterious doctrine of "Three in One, One in Three," etc. Then there are the Aphrodite worshipping Central Galactics, whose attempt to exterminate the Minervans was forestalled by their defeat by the WGE in a recent war.
The Central Galactics had to try to wipe out the Minervans, you see, because the latter reject Aphrodite and "therefore cannot love." The primary Central character in the novel is a reporter named Kolta Bruna, whose mother Kalta Bruna (Kaltenbrunner??) was the Governess of Aurora's homeworld and supervised the mass murder of Minervans there (including Aurora's family). Now tamed into WGE satellites, the formerly militaristic Centrals have become pacifists.
In her Galactic News Service broadcasts from Earth, Kolta Bruna constantly emphasizes the cruelty of the Minervans against the Kennewickians, and demands that the WGE stop supplying "the owl worshippers" with arms. Not that she has anything against the Minervans, you understand. She just wants them to be made helpless so they will be forced to deal with the Earthlings "peacefully."
Return to News ArchivesBack to Top