ACCESSIBLE WORLD PRESENTS THE SCIENCE FICTION DISCUSSION GROUP by J. R. Westmoreland

For this month, we shift focus from the far away in space and time to the very near
future America. The book we're reading for the next meeting is Empire by Orson Scott
Card.
This one's available from Bookshare at:
http://www.bookshare.org/browse/book/30304
and as a digital download from BARD at:
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.nls/db.66281
Here's the NLS synopsis:
Unknown assailants attack the White House, killing the president and vice president
and plunging the American Empire into a second civil war. As Right battles Left,
a small group of special ops officers set out to reunite the country and find the
saboteurs.
Here's a longer description from Booklist, taken from Amazon's page for this book:
Some video-game developers asked Card to write a scenario for "an entertainment franchise
... about a near-future American civil war." They came to the right man and held
off on releasing the game until he completed this relentless thriller, which couldn't
be timelier and is, for all its hyperactivity and flip, Hollywoodish one-liners,
heartfelt and sobering. Its heroes are two special-ops army officers who keep their
oaths to defend the U.S. against all enemies when far too many of their ostensible
colleagues have decided to abandon theirs. A rocket hits the west wing of the White
House, killing the president, vice-president, and secretary of defense. While those
directly responsible are Arabs, the next day, 14-foot-tall, bulletproof, armed globes
on mechanical legs, backed by shooters on individual hovercraft, seize New York City
by killing anyone in uniform. None of the new attackers looks anything other than
American. A "Progressive Restoration" administration is established in the city,
and it encourages other cities and states to join it to restore government as it
should have been but for the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004. Intriguing plot wrinkles
come fore and aft of those basic developments, there are many deftly shaped supporting
players, and major shocks explode in a split second (no Stephen King slo-mo for Card!).
Moreover, all the action doesn't obscure the author's message about the dangers of
extreme political polarization and the need to reassert moderation and mutual citizenship;
indeed, it drives it home.

J. R. Westmoreland, Group Facilitator
Email: jr@jrw.org