Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel.W.Drezner

41Iz6VvALgL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I have learned a great deal about Zombies; wish I could say the same about International Politics.

Intention behind reading this book, and the book as well, was to make International Political theories interesting for a casual reader, under the pretext of hypothetical apocalypse involving flesh-eating ghouls. Author demonstrates rigorous scholarship in defining zombies, using movies and social science literature as data source on events akin to an attack of the undead: pandemics, disasters, bioterrorism, and so forth. Book then proceeds with variegated predictions of different international relation theories at the wake of outbreak, with references and footnotes from Romero’s Night of the Living Dead to World War Z, which had me fuming with pride over my reading choice.

Author tries his level best in using contemporary movies like Shawn of the Dead and Resident Evil as reference material. But he easily falls short on the same and ends up finding solace in George Romero flicks, which readers of my age might not easily relate with. As for political theories, zombie contagion is considered with cross-border relations, military tactics, evacuation logistics, refugee policies, homeland security measures and all other jargons that you can include in etceteras. Though the book discusses psychological response quite well, things turned a bit apprehensive with responses from anarchist, realist, liberalist, neo-conservatalist, constructivist povs in domestic and international scene.

International politics and zombiesZombie culture has got this infesting nature much like zombies themselves, from Fallout to Call of Duty to Pride and Prejudice, which make it an ideal parable premise to go cold turkey on complex theories. But even with such an ambitious theme, this is just another non-fiction book, trying its level best to look cool.

Mindsawp by Robert Sheckley

mindswap

Books like these are the reason I read.
Mindswap evoked a familiar, Lem or Douglas Adams feel, but this is one rare weird sci fi gem with a combination of meta realism and humour so unique of its own.

Marvin Flynn, a casual vacationer from hinterlands of Earth with innate small-town conservatism goes all wanderlust and decides to see the vastness of cosmos at minimal disposal of funds. He then Mindswaps with one Martian, a logically unsettling, but cheap process that allows individuals to swap minds with people light years away in mutual consent. Mindswap is basically Bester’s Jaunting without the body or a docile version of Matrix’s Agent Smith bodyswap or maybe little bloody Third Birthday possession.

But Marvin had to let go of the Martian body and swap along a series of near sorry situations all long the universe in bodies of various intelligent species, thanks to an Intergalactic body snatching criminal called Kraggosh. Meanwhile a stumblebum intergalactic detective ‘Urdrof’ with implacable will and utter self confidence is hunting Kraggosh, hoping Marvins body would break his protracted bad luck series of 158 lost cases so far.

“You forget that I am a detective,’ Urdorf said, smiling faintly. ‘I may have my troubles in finding criminals, but I have never experienced the slightest difficulty in finding victims”.

Marvin adventures includes talking eggs, poetic alien hermit who converse in sing-song fashion, intergalactic daily wage contract, Don Quixote references and acid trip reality benders. Previously referred Quixote fandom goes full swing in later chapters with totally absurd unnecessary anew characters fighting for chivalrous bullshit. It had me going ‘why is he telling us all this’ to ‘are these some printing errors’ to an eventually graduated emotion – ‘awesome’. Marvin – Kraggosh Twistedland boss battle so reminded me of the rotomodante slow motion fights I had with bro wen we were kids. Total high dope laugh out loud fun stuff.

f4ceb0002584f9dc49bbfaea267In terms of eloquence and adroitness, Scheckley’s humour is comparable to Lovecrafts horror. Tweaking Scheckleys own words, It was typical of books of this genre to overdo the youthful slang, thus losing any comic effect except the amazingly unintentional, but not this one. In fact Marvin Flynn is a cross of Arthur Dent and Gully Foyle, on the docile side, two puny Terra citizens lost in vastness of Cosmos.

 

 

This book is worth the reads and re reads and re re reads, not just for the laughs but for the deepness it cleverly hides.