Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Command and Control, by David D. Levine

Solaris, September 2017 (in Infinity Wars:The Infinity Project #6, edited by Jonathan Strahan)

Amirthi Kandiah is a sergeant in the Indian army, fighting in a war to liberate Tibet from Chinese domination, at some unstated but reasonably distant point in the future. She and her squad are on a well-planned attack, when it turns out the Chinese are both more numerous and more aggressive than expected. They get themselves out, with losses, but also the unexpected gain of a Chinese soldier's tablet.

The one thing they manage to learn from that tablet before it self-destructs is that General Fu Jiaoyang is in Tibet, in direct control of the Chinese troops. If they can take her out, the war is probably over.

If they can take her out.

If only she weren't sitting inside a World Heritage site. If they destroy the site in the process of killing her, they'll have destroyed much of their rationale for fighting the war.

There's a really interesting interplay of character, military tactics, and future technology, which is what I would expect of Levine. It completely held my interest. We get a sense of the culture, the changing technology, and the international politics of this future era. Levine makes us care about the characters, in very little space, and with the knowledge that this is war, ground combat, and they can't all survive.

Highly recommended.