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When push comes to shove, resistance turns to revolution–are we ready?

bab5Recently Amazon Prime started showing the series BABYLON 5. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a critically acclaimed science fiction show from the 1990s, written primarily by J. Michael Straczynski, (of SENSE8 fame).

From IMDB: In the year 2258, it is ten years after the Earth-Minbari War. Commander Sinclair takes command of a giant five-mile-long cylindrical space station, orbiting a planet in neutral space. At a crossroads of interstellar commerce and diplomacy, Cmdr Sinclair (2d season Captain Sheridan) must try to establish peace and prosperity between various interstellar empires, all the while fighting forces from within the Earth Alliance. It is a precarious command, particularly given that sabotage led to the destruction of Babylon stations 1, 2, and 3 and 4 vanished without a trace.

 

I didn’t watch it first time around for some reason, and I’ve picked up bits and pieces of it in reruns over the years. But I’m finally watching it in toto, and getting some really wild vibes, considering our current political situation.
So, early in the series, a president of Earth (which is apparently under one government in 2258) comes to power through questionable means.  He puts his friends in positions of power. He starts a campaign against aliens. When he begins receiving criticism, he starts a program called Nightwatch, where citizens are encouraged to spy on each other and turn neighbors and friends in for “unpatriotic” speech. He co-opts the media, drowning out any source that is not complimentary to him. He sets up a Ministry of Peace, which is headed by a gung-ho sycophant who, I swear, is the mold from which Kellyanne Conway is made.

As the series continues through assorted alien crises and other wars, we keep comingb52 back to the corrupt presidency. Eventually our B5 heroes stand up to the ridiculousness, violence and flat-out lawlessness on Earth and lead a revolution.

Watching it. it seems to me that those of us wanting to take our country back, and frustrated by the slow pace of the investigations (tho not their ongoing indictments) might take a lesson from this narrative. Captain Sheridan finally  breaks his wait-and-watch stance when the president orders the destruction of a ship full of 10,000 refugees. Were we less shocked at the immigration debacle, the caged children and deported parents? Or perhaps the destruction of all the protections that have been hard-won by previous administrations for our air and water? Or the even harder-fought laws that give our citizens equal rights to conduct business, marry and drink from water fountains? How much are we willing to stand?

It’s worth a watch, whether you’re a sci-fi fan or not, with lessons in moral judgment and the reminder that following illegal and immoral orders is not mandatory. We don’t have to quietly go along the path into that good night. Other characters urge waiting to handle the problem through the vote, through political manipulations and other methods. But Sheridan and his team choose resistance and finally open revolt. Where do you stand?

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Alone in the dark –SFFS for April 6

For this week’s snippet, I traveled back to my first published science fiction novel, TRIAD. (Okay, it’s only last year, but it’s about 10 published books in-between, so it feels like the Way Back Machine!!)

cvr200x300triad

TRIAD tells the story of three women commanding different factions of an area of disputed space: the Solarii, run by Trezanna Len, Dragonfleet, led by Estrella Drake, and the Khimeyr, a group that splintered away from Dragonfleet, commanded by Catava Rolon. When the Arkosian space pirates come to attack, hoping to annex all the territory belonging to these factions, they find they have to work together to defeat the enemy. But one of the leaders has her very own agenda that could bring them all to ruin.

When one of Trezanna’s lieutenants is captured by the pirates, he’s locked in a dungeon and left alone. The experience kicks him into flashbacks of his time as a prisoner of war:

***
Winston shuddered again and started over with the multiplication tables.

One times one is one—one times two is two—one times three is three….

Years before, in his days with the Western Alliance, captured soldiers learned ways to focus, to redirect thoughts, to offset brainwashing or other assaults on one’s sanity. Structure, logic, progression. One fact followed another, which followed another, to a known point. Don’t let the mind stray after that creature, the one that sounded small at first but might be larger, might have teeth, might have—

Stop.

Stop.

He took a deep breath, felt it shudder out of him. The tricks only worked so long.

***

TRIAD, a Dragonfly Publishing release, is available at Amazon.com and most other major online retailers, and can be ordered in print at your local indie bookstore! For more information, click the tab above that says “TRIAD”!

BLURB:

After five years of silence, the Arkosian space pirates are back to terrorize the sector where Trezanna Len fights to save her Solarii colony, a small group of Terran descendants settled on the planet Induna. To survive, the Solarii need assistance. And soon. Trezanna could ask for help from the neighboring group called Dragonfleet, but its cruel leader Estrella Drake has been on a rampage to annex Solarii space. Estrella would never agree to an alliance with the Solarii. Or would she?

SFFSat logoFor more science fiction and fantasy snippets, check out the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday page this week and every Saturday!

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