What does a senator targeted for assassination, a cargo pilot turned space pirate, a captain of a one-way colonization trip against all human government in the solar system, and a university lecturer that would revolutionize space travel have in common?
The loosely connected stories in four different generations trace Southeast Asian characters that would contribute to their country’s evolution into a planet-colonizing powerhouse.
- History and how it repeats itself.
- Nanking Treaty
- Major earthquake predicted for Manila
- How we deal with a cyclical pandemic every 100 years
- Piracy is just a symptom of a corrupt system of doing business
- Strong female characters who are tough but are still caring towards men
Quickfix vs. Longterm-fix: Betrayal talks about a nation in distress. A country too used to getting foreign assistance during natural disasters that it never bothered to develop its own disaster assistance and recovery funds. This time, it experienced a disaster beyond aid. It had squandered most of its natural resources, and any other mining resources they had underground could not access it because it would cause local civil wars that could spill nationally. The governing body is faced with a sizable drain on their collective sizable personal wealth or rents out part of their homeland to help their country recover and keep their fortunes intact. The other alternative is that the ruling rich will be forced to reconstruct the country with the government, including wealthy government officials.
Obey world rules set by the elites or face consequences: In “Bait and Switch,” we see how the global elites set the rules on their terms to ensure their interests are protected and keep the rest where they are. The story explores the possibility of “what if” we 3rd-world perceived countries decided not to follow the rules for the country’s interest, which may not be to the liking of the elites. What risks would we as a nation would be willing to face? Such issues as not taking any side in the war between China and the US? Ukraine v Russia. Is using only diplomacy to protect our water zones enough?
Political decisions overriding Scientific results: In Crank Bait, we see how prioritizing a political decision and risking lives can lead to potentially disastrous outcomes. In this story, we know the importance of working together and brainstorming. Sometimes, no matter how obscure your idea might be, its implementation may save many lives.
Rampant corruption: The story “Family” tells how rampant, systemic corruption can unnecessarily risk lives. This story connects piracy, the police, the insurance companies, and the logistics companies as colluding to exploit for personal gains the abundant benefits of space mining.
Useful Vocabulary for Analysis
“Big One” Earthquake – predicted magnitude 7-8 earthquake set to destroy manila
Space Elevator – a tether that connects an orbiting city to a location on the Earth. It would be cheaper to launch ships of tethered towns than from the ground since it would use less fuel to escape Earth’s orbit
Nanking Treaty – how China gave Hong Kong to the British as a form of war reparation for losing in the Opium Wars.
Proxima Centauri – closest solar system potentially reachable within a lifetime, from earth