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The Unincorporated War by Eytan Kollin
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The Unincorporated War

by Eytan Kollin (Author), Dani Kollin (Author)

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1054114,970 (3.39)2
Member:Vvolodymyr
Title:The Unincorporated War
Authors:Eytan Kollin (Author)
Other authors:Dani Kollin (Author)
Info:New York : Tom Doherty Associates, First Edition, May 2010, c2010 Hardcover, First Printing
Collections:Your library, 1st Editions
Rating:****
Tags:scifi, science fiction, personal incorporation, AI, artificial intelligence, post-apocalyptic, space battles

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The Unincorporated War by Dani Kollin

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In the world envisioned by this story, not only are corporations people, but people are corporations. They buy and sell shares of one another and pay dividends to their shareholders in a capitalist dystopia. It’s an interesting premise for a soft science fiction story, and it is why I picked up this book at the local public library last week.

The Unincorporated War begins with the Alliance (essentially all human colonies in the solar system that are beyond the orbit of Mars) in a lopsided war with Earth, which has more people, more money, and a much better logistics position. The cause of the conflict is primarily economic ideology. The Earth is for incorporation, the colonies not so much. The Alliance is fighting for survival against superior forces, but through skill by their leaders and incompetence by their opponents, they capture warships and drag the war out for years. And it does drag. The military actions are written well, but they become repetitive. After the third example of tactical brilliance by Alliance Admiral Black, the reader gets the idea. She’s clever and brave. Got it. But she’s fighting incompetents. The spaceship captains Earth commissions, former corporate executives and political toadies, are not her equal. (I should mention that Black herself was a former corporate lawyer, so how she instantly became a tactical genius is something of an unexplained mystery.)

In any case, Earth needs a commander to match Black and they get one just in time to save their incorporated assets. They guy they find, Captain Trang, is one of the book’s more believable characters. He’s not a bad guy. He believes incorporation is best for humanity and he’s willing to spend millions of his soldiers’ lives to ensure its continuance.

There are some real bad guys, though. Hektor Sambianco, newly elected president of the Earth government, is one. Now I love a bad guy I can really hate, and this guy is a good one -- I mean bad one -- I mean he’s despicable. But the fact he has no redeeming qualities makes him unbelievable. You do have to appreciate how manipulative he is, though. He would literally murder to get ahead. Lying is simply good business sense. Brain-washing, rape... yes, he does all these. He’s a flawless dark gem of an inhuman being.

And this is pretty much how I felt about the other aspects of this book. Everything is just a bit off.
•The attempts to bring a ‘hard science fiction’ element into it fell short of believable. The asteroid colonies and spaceships did not sound like they would work as described, although I admit I’m no engineer and don’t really know.
•The economics don’t make much sense. There is no ‘fiat’ government currency (like the dollar), so how are peoples’ shares valued, traded, and what kind of system could possibly track ownership of them?
•The subplot with artificial intelligences living in a virtual world was intriguing, but I think it detracted from the story. Without it, the ‘deus ex machina’ ending would not be possible -- which would have been a good thing.
•The politics didn’t quite work either. Before Sambianco maneuvers himself into the presidency, the government is described as essentially ornamental. The most powerful corporations run everything. So, what keeps the corporations from eating one another?
•Some of the cultural/sociological/psychological/religious (soft science fiction) aspects had me scratching my head. One that most struck me was a sudden and unexplained resurgence of religious belief within the Alliance. Admirable Black becomes ‘the blessed one,’ and every religion, cult, and mystical system known to history suddenly has new believers somehow. This suggests that the war between Earth and the Alliance over economics will escalate into a religious conflict in future books. Religious wars make bloody history and good fiction, but the addition of that aspect wasn’t needed for this particular story, and, in fact, detracts from the theme up to this point.

The premise remains intriguing, but the story is lost in the details. I stopped caring about two-thirds of the way through and did not enjoy the rest of the book. I can’t honestly recommend it.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Disappointing. Took too long to slog through. All the characters have the same manner of speaking, so I got tired of the dialogue. Too many details of space battles- book should have been half as long. ( )
  DanTarlin | Sep 5, 2014 |
Kollin brothers have done it again – introduced something new, noteworthy and exciting, only to completely abandon it in the following volumes.
What shocked me most was how the core ideas of the fitst volume The Unincorporated Man were neglected and forgotten by the authors starting with this second volume.
Nothing more on the virtues and dangers of the incorporated system. Nothing of substance about the motivations and rationelle of those that oppose such system.

What saved the book from failure, though, was a complete change of pace and style, where the Kollins artfully led an initially confused reader by the nose into the throng of space battles and systemwide geopolitics.

This is a book of superbly exhilarating military sci-fi! ... and yet, sadly, the authors did betray everything they established in the first volume :(

As for the plot – we see that the conflict brings about religion to seep out of the hidden shadows and into the spiritual vacuum of that world. Although authors present it as a good thing, as a sort of "Enlightened Religious Renaissance"; where people of many religions, most notably Islam and Judaism, and to lesser degree Christianity and others, wisely work together as a cohesive whole, putting all the past prejudices and sins of their predecessors far far behind(notably emphasized through the voice of a spiritual leader); they do not dwell on this development to any depth, choosing instead to concentrate on the space battles...

It's also important to note that nucleus of the world is still presented as long-secular and nonspiritual, where people can't tell the difference between the long forgotten religions, or which prophet is associated with which one. (This is something that got "forgotten" by the authors later on).
Another thing that is absent from anywhere in this world, is indication of ethnic differences – the world is cosmopolitan, and such things are long forgotten relics of the past, where people, again are unable and uninterested in identifying their ancestry. (This, again, is brutally disregarded by authors themselves later on).
And of course, it is important to note, that majority of the people under the rule of the main antagonist Hector, were lied to, manipulated, and finally forced into serving the war effort, ..., and then thrown to death in their millions – in other words, made victims.(This too is cruelly dismissed in the last volume, by the very same authors...)

The AIs - who supposedly have centuries of experience, do start to seem all too human, and surprisingly simplistic and caricature-like.

And finally – the character portrayal of the main antagonist begins to deteriorate here as well. He is starting to look more like a typical "bad guy" (which later will come down to the cheapest caricature of a madman you've ever seen).

I suppose it could be read by itself as a stand-alone work, for those who like military sci-fi action, as an entertaining read, but nothing else.
And I was entertained, and give a solid 4 star rating.

As I mentioned in the review of the first volume and earlier in this one, the following books (parts 3 and 4 of The Unincorporated Man series) only deteriorate in quality, and discard all the good points of either of the first two. ( )
  Vvolodymyr | Nov 25, 2012 |
For new authors, the second book is often the critical book. Did they use all their ideas in the first book and quickly dash off another book while their career was hot or did they have more stories to tell and more tools to tell their stories. The Unincorporated War is definitely in the second category. This book is much better written than the first, with deeper characters and more intricate plotting. In fact, if some one is looking for a David Weber type of war story with graphic details of armament, tactics, and strategy, this is not the book for you. Instead it is the tale of the psychological, economic, and personal costs of war from both sides of the conflict.

I would have rated this book five big stars except for one incontestable problem. This book does not end. The first book, although written with sequels in mind has a satisfying ending that ties up the major plot points while leaving room for the planned sequels. As I read the last dozen pages of this novel I knew that all of the major plot points would be left unresolved with no date to expect the last (?) book in the series. ( )
  kd9 | Jun 15, 2010 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dani Kollinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kollin, EytanAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Seeley, DaveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to

Sgt. Eric M. Holke of the California Army National Guard

7/11/76–7/15/07

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765319004, Hardcover)

The Kollin brothers introduced their future world, and central character Justin Cord, in The Unincorporated Man. Justin created a revolution in that book, and is now exiled from Earth to the outer planets, where he is an heroic figure.

The corporate society which is headquartered on Earth and rules Venus, Mars, and the Orbital colonies, wants to destroy Justin and reclaim hegemony over the rebellious outer planets. The first interplanetary civil war begins as the military fleet of Earth attacks.  Filled with battles, betrayals, and triumphs, The Unincorporated War is a full-scale space opera that catapults the focus of the earlier novel up and out into the solar system. Justin remains both a logical and passionate fighter for the principles that motivate him, and remains the most dangerous man alive.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Exiled hero Justin Cord works to outmaneuver a power-hungry corporate Earth society that has launched an interplanetary war in order to regain control over the outer planets.

(summary from another edition)

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