PlanetB2: Human War Against Nature
by M. C. Raj
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Reviewed by: Celina Cuadro
PlanetB2: Human War Against Nature paints a dystopian world about to go insane. It doesn’t seem evident at first: the beginning shows the United States about to send a contingent of scientists and astronauts to the newly discovered planet B2. They’ve sent others ships before and they have not been successful. Upon arrival of the current team, almost everyone as well as the ship they rode were completely destroyed, all except a Native American woman named Carolina. None of the scientists observing the approach or landing could figure out how the ship could be destroyed, why Carolina survived, or why she shed her spacesuit. Now naked and moving around in the new planet, Carolina’s body is changing, eventually morphing into a ball of energy, and scientists observing the phenomenon can’t explain it either.
This is the start of parting destinies for two childhood friends who now happen to be in positions of great power. United States President Rustler secretly wants to conquer Planet B2 and keep its resources for the United States. To the American public however, he presents himself as an iconic leader paving the way for new discoveries and a better life for Americans, all for USA’s glory. His closest confidante and advisor Plumbel, who has always been fully supportive of the President and effective in the shadow of Rustler’s egomania, embarks on a different, more enlightened path. Tasked with discovering why the Native American woman was the only survivor, he discovers Native American shamanistic discipline and he realizes he sympathizes a great deal with the plight of Native Americans and the injustices dealt them. As he learns more about the worldview of indigenous tribes around the world and hears of the common abuses and injustices they endured, Plumbel chooses to champion a path of love an harmony with nature and among human beings – the polar opposite of his leader Rustler’s designs. Rustler’s paranoia drives him to resort to more and more drastic measures, until nothing but the destruction of Planet B2 and the annihilation of any other nation that opposes his wishes will suffice. The whole world careens toward utter destruction, with Rustler’s ambitions and his kowtowing supporters forming the Earth Alliance as one faction, and Plumbel’s hope for peace and harmony bringing together the more rational nations to form the Cosmic Alliance as the other. Much carnage and death will ensue. Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons will be unleashed. Only when the ashes settle will the reader see if there is hope for the human race after all.
The author presents me with very provocative concepts, but in the beginning I kept getting distracted by the mechanics of the novel. I think it would be beneficial to give the novel one more editing pass: there are some turns of phrase and idiomatic expressions that are a little off, and one more translation or editing pass would tighten things up, polish the look, and keep me as a reader focused on the story. That said, M.C. Raj does a very good job of using a lighthearted, even whimsical tone to paint such a dark, diabolical, disgusting stereotype of the United States and the worst of Capitalism and its privileged citizens. He also puts forth several speculative concepts that I found alluring. The most interesting stems from quantum mechanics and the wave-particle duality of matter: he created creatures on Planet B2 that exist as waves and are sentient. He then ties them with what he calls shamanistic discplines prevalent in indigenous tribes like the Native American Indians and the Sami people of Norway. Ancient tribes seem like the right culture to experience such creatures, with their stories that transcend time, their places that are more symbolic than actual, and their emphasis on the importance of essence or spirit. The compliment to this concept that I found just as interesting is the possibility of how a human being, occupying finite space and moving sequentially through time, would experience such a creature: the author creates a concept called full body orgasm. No, not a climax limited to sexual predilections: it is a bliss so intense every cell of a living creature reverberates with it. Experience it often enough, and even a lowly human can evolve into an enlightened citizen of the cosmos. Both these premises made quite an impression on me, even after I was done with the book.
PlanetB2: Human War Against Nature will present readers with very interesting speculative fiction possibilities. I wish M.C. Raj luck in all his endeavors and I hope these interesting premises help increase his novel’s readership.
Learn more at the official site for the book, http://www.planetb2.net/!
Also see http://www.redstumkur.org/.