2112 AD. Islamic terrorists have destroyed Los Angeles, Kansas City, Boston, and London with nuclear weapons, and several other cities avoided total destruction due to malfunctioning weapons. After being elected in a campaign whose entire focus is "we're gonna get them" (the "them" later proving to have a rather broad definition) the new president launches nuclear missiles at most of Islam's holy cities. The Islamic lands took a long time to recover under a new Caliphate. Meanwhile, the surviving Muslims, through heavy immigration and far greater reproduction rates, take over most of Western Europe save Britain and Switzerland. With a liberal Europe melting away to the Islamic threat, it submits and becomes the Caliphate of Europe and Western North Africa. A strict Sharia law was imposed, many of the boys being forcibly converted to Islam through the Janissary program, and the remaining Christians being made to pay the Jizya, a head tax on non-Muslims. In this background a German girl named Petra bint Minden was sold into slavery, her brother Hans taken to the Janissary corps for training. However browbeaten, she has always dreamed that someday she will escape this living hell through a diary passed down from her great-grandmother.

Meanwhile, the United States has mutated into an Empire, authoritarian as it gets, and it encompasses most if not all of North America, some territories in South America, and the Philippines, where John Hamilton, a US Army officer, goes to a brief breakdown after his fellow Army officer and girlfriend, Laurie Hodge, was killed in a firefight between US and Filipino forces and Muslim rebels. He accepts a transfer to the CIA, now renamed the Office of Strategic Intelligence, where he becomes an officer and he is tasked to infiltrate the European Caliphate to capture or kill renegade US scientists making a super-virus intended to kill millions and to advance the Caliphate's cause. And so Petra and Hamilton's paths cross in an effort to save the world, and to ensure Petra's freedom.

Caliphate was written by Creator/TomKratman, the same author of the ''Literature/CarrerasLegions'' series. As it such, it was charged with political intrigue and posits a dystopic and controversial future.

The novel is available for free from [[Creator/BaenBooks the Baen Free Library]], without any DRM restrictions, [[http://www.baenebooks.com/p-748-caliphate.aspx here.]]

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!!Caliphate provides the examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Besma's mother. Her father isn't, at least not generally, as he's for the most part really a very nice guy [[DeliberateValuesDissonance by Caliphate standards.]]
* ActionGirl: Laurie.
* ActionSurvivor: Petra.
* AgentPeacock: ''Chung Hsiao''[[note]]i.e., Lieutenant-Colonel[[/note]] Lee Gen of the [[TryToFitThatOnABusinessCard Celestial Kingdom's People's Liberation Army Air Force Intelligence Division]]. Graduate degrees in the plural, speaks multiple languages, ex-military attaché, qualified pilot, spook extraordinaire and deadly CombatPragmatist. And making him this trope, quite the [[AttractiveBentGender vamp]], too.
* AmoralAfrikaner: Since this is a ''massive'' CrapsackWorld, South Africa resembles not so much the Boer era as the antebellum South--Or maybe the [[Literature/TheDraka Draka]]. The Boer airship captain is a rather nasty piece of work and StrawMisogynist personally, who does not mind taking advantage of a pretty slave girl. [[spoiler: Which, however, backfires spectacularly on him, since the girl is really [[CreepyCrossdresser Lee]] in disguise.]]
* BalkanizeMe: It is implied that the Indian subcontinent broke into many parts.
* BareYourMidriff: To be expected of the seraglio.
* BigDamnHeroes: The Swiss Air Force, moments before [[spoiler:the Caliphate airforce blasts the airship full of child slave escapees and the world infecting virus.]]
* BattleCouple: Hamilton and Laurie.
* BigBrotherIsWatching: Chinese Intelligence know ''everything'' and have spies ''everywhere''.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The Imperial States of America isn't exactly a shining "white hat", but as presented in the novel it's a better option than the Caliphates (particularly the one on which the novel is focused), who are very much of the "black hat" persuasion. The other nations that get any attention aren't much better than the ISA.
* BreakTheCutie: Petra, massively.
* CampGay: Lee, Ling's Chinese control officer.
* {{CIA}}: Now called the Office of Strategic Intelligence after a reorganization and purge.
* ColonelBadass: Not the main lead, unlike most other Kratman stories, as Hamilton is a mere captain (OF-2). Bongo is arguably one, however, as is Lee.
* CrapsackWorld: Much of Continental Europe is under decay under Caliphate rule. The Middle East is a crapsack state as well, as noted by character Besma. Occasional postapocalyptic Muslim raiding parties strike out into Russian controlled territories. Russia has a socialist Tzar who holds his Muslim majority under an iron fist. South Africa has a darker Apartheid (this time with genuine black slavery) after embittered European Refugees filled it. China is a strange posthuman empire which breeds genetically engineered women to infiltrate the Caliphate. Fuel is strictly rationed and most cars run on methane engines, and stink to hell. Mass transit is the only way to move around, and the Caliphate's infrastructure is reduced to horse-drawn carts for Christian dhimmi and methane-stinking cars for rich Muslims. The United States? A new Roman Empire whose soldiers commit horrid atrocities because the enemy would do much, MUCH worse. The first combat scene we read has a group of Muslim Philipinos (Moros) raping and torturing captives to death, only to be caught, shot, their DNA analysed and everyone back in their village with matching DNA killed Einsatzgruppen-style. Some of the American soldiers actually laugh, sing and celebrate the executions, and they are "genuinely" the only stable guys in the story (even from a neutral point of view). That should give you a general idea of the setting.The rest of the world isn't much better, with everyone pretty much in a state of hostility to one another that's effectively low-level war punctuated by periods of actual armed combat. Even Switzerland is a gigantic armed camp surrounded by the Caliphate.
* CreepyCrossdresser: Lee, who, being an effeminate homosexual, is only too happy to temporarily assume the body of an attractive young woman. He makes sure to [[ReallyGetsAround make the most of it]] while it lasts--Also seriously creeping various people out in the process.
* CruelMercy: The Islamic justice system, at least as practiced in the Caliphate, is practically made of this. Petra is only ''one'' of its victims.
* CultureClash: Hamilton doesn't much like Neo-Boer culture, and he ''hates'' Caliphate culture. So much that he'll risk the mission to save a few innocents from it.
* CurbStompBattle: Hijacking the lightly guarded zeppelin isn't too difficult for a crew of trained intelligence agents. For another example, in the backstory, the Imperial States also made short work of the ''first'' Caliphate, once it became arrogant enough to push their enmity to the point of war. The European Caliphate is not--quite--stupid enough to ask for a repeat performance.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Caliphate'' is probably the darkest of Kratman's books so far, what with the massively dystopian setting, the gratuitous abuse, the easy mind control and various other horror technologies, and so on. And the man doesn't exactly write sunshine and happiness for his usual oeuvre.
* DefectorFromDecadence: [[spoiler: Retief]] becomes one by the end of the story.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: [[spoiler: Hans. Because he [[HeroicSacrifice died saving her escape.]] ]]
* DirtyBusiness: Hamilton despises having to take on the role of [[spoiler:a child slave trader]], but goes through with it anyway in spite of his detestation of the institution, due to the seriousness of the situation that caused the mission in the first place.
* DirtyCoward: O'Meara, the utterly repulsive, sex-fiend MadScientist villain. Defied and averted with Lee, stereotypes notwithstanding. Bongo masquerades as one, but soon makes clear he really isn't.
* DisproportionateRetribution: In the backstory, even though only three nukes were successfully detonated, President Buckman literally razed the Middle East and North Korea with at least a hundred nuclear warheads. The US then invaded Saudi Arabia to secure the oil fields there. When said oil ran out, the US forces left and destroyed the oil field facilities with nuclear weapons, literally crippling the Middle Eastern economy for decades to come. Also, in the book, for supporting Moro rebels in Philipinnes, the Imperial American air force razes entire Malayan cities to the ground.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Mixed with some [[ShowSomeLeg deliberate]] instances. Played straight with Ling, and Petra in one case. Also invoked, inverted and subverted all at once by [[AttractiveBentGender Lee]].
* DoomedMoralVictor: [[spoiler: Mahmoud, in the secondary storyline]].
* DoubleConsciousness: Mandatory for undercover agents, but even more so with fantastic sci-fi technology assisting.
* DownerEnding: The secondary storyline, which tells the backstory of the setting through Petra's ancestors. Given what the main story is like, this is sort of a foregone conclusion in itself, but there are twists that manage to make it ''worse''.
* DrowningMySorrows: On the first days of his mission when he was visiting South Africa, Hamilton wishes that he could get totally trashed over his cover job [[spoiler:of a child slave trader]], but can't afford the resultant loss of control in what's effectively "enemy territory".
* DystopianEdict: In the secondary story arc/backstory, the ruling of the German Supreme Court to accept Sharia law as binding in Germany.
* TheEmpire: The Imperial States of America, being the dominant world superpower, and rather tyrannical about it. The Chinese want to replace them eventually, but they still have a long way to go.
* EnemyMine: In spite of a continuing state of low-level conflict between them, the ISA and the Celestial Kingdom of the Han (China) work together to eliminate the threat posed by [[spoiler:the Caliphate's bioweapon.]]
* EpicFail: The Islamic terrorists launching ''nuclear'' attacks on an America which is both bigger and ''much'' more militaristic than in real life. DidntThinkThisThrough, much? The retaliation [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar annihilated]] much of the Middle East.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Retief, who transports slaves, but treats them as decently as possible while they remain in his care, and very much regrets the abuses they suffer from others.
* ExpandedStatesOfAmerica: The US expanded into North America and the Philippines. They even had ''Scotland'' as an Imperial Province!
* TheFatalist:
** Pretty much all Muslims, even those like Mahmoud al Beshay who left their homeland to get away from Islamic culture, believe that something will or won't happen depending on Allah's will. [[spoiler:Up to and including surviving an incredibly nasty bioweapon the Caliphate is having created to wipe out their enemies.]]
** One of the reasons the Caliphate relies on the Janissaries for their military forces is that the Janissaries will practice and perform regular maintenance on their equipment so that it remains functional, as not being raised from birth in Islam means "as Allah wills it" isn't a core behavioral tennet.
* FemmeFatale: Ling. At one point, Petra ''tries'' to be one, but doesn't really succeed.
* FunWithAcronyms: '''S'''uited '''H'''eavy '''I'''nfantry '''T'''rooper. Hamilton's pointing out the acronym was enough to earn him demerits in the Academy.
* GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: The Caliphate's [[spoiler:[=VA5H=]]] virus is an engineered bug, intended for use as a DepopulationBomb.
* HeroicBSOD: Hamilton suffers through this when Laurie was killed in a battle in the Philippines.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Hans, who dies helping his sister and the others escape the Caliphate]].
* HumansAreBastards: True on the macro-scale, [[CrapsackWorld in this world.]] There's not a single "good" faction or country on the planet, or at least none are shown; the "good guys" are morally gray at best, being a moderately genocidal and moderately totalitarian empire, while the ''bad'' guys are not-at-all-moderately genocidal and utterly tyrannical slavers, rapists and religious fanatics. Averted, however, on the individual level: Hamilton [[KnightInSourArmor keeps defying it]] with iron resolve, and the ambiguous and even several of the outright villainous characters are shown to have ''some'' good to them.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Hamilton having to give the order to bomb the position where an already-wounded Laurie Hodge (his girlfriend) was surrounded by Filipino Muslim rebels and about to be raped is enough to push him to leave the military.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Rustam, one of the instructors of the janissary group that included young Hans, says he hates the Greeks and Serbs, thanks to many of his fellow soldiers having been staked, [[GroinAttack castrated]], and [[EyeScream getting their eyes gouged out]] when fighting in the Balkans.
* InfoDump: Several places throughout the book, but the ''Excursus'' in Chapter 9, an excerpt from a fictitious nonfiction work about how the USA became the ISA, outlines how President Buckman came into power [[spoiler:after three US cities (Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Boston) were destroyed by nuclear weapons deployed by terrorists, and four more cities (Houston, Washington DC, Chicago, and New York) escaped a nuclear holocaust due to being targeted with defective devices.]]
* InspirationalMartyr: As one of the original and greatest, Christ functions as one for several characters. A lesser but more contemporary example is a Catholic priest who suffers a comparable fate for his faith, and makes a deep impression on [[spoiler: Hans]].
* InterserviceRivalry:
** In the Imperial States, the Army and the Marine Corps present a reasonably friendly example: The Army thinks the Marines are primitive and retrograde, the Corps that the Army is over-teched and over-staffed, and consequently weaker where it counts.
** In the Caliphate, the Janissaries versus everyone else. They're the [[BoringButPractical pragmatic]] arm who just want things to work, whereas most of the other services are either [[TheFundamentalist fanatics]], or else just [[MilesGloriosus lazy and corrupt]]. Or at least, that's the way the Janissaries see it; to the others, they're the bad ones, being serious try-hards, and/or too lukewarm on politics and religion.
** Seemingly averted with the Celestial Kingdom, where the [[StateSec Ministry of State Security]] play nice with Air Force Intelligence, and even allow them to borrow one of their deep-cover agents in the Caliphate for an important mission.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: Europe has morphed into the European Caliphate in the 2100s. As a result, many places' names were corrupted if not outright changed. Like Baya for Bavaria, Grolanhei for Grosslangheim, Affrankon for Franconia, Slo for Oslo, among others.
* KnightInSourArmor: John Hamilton, who tries hard, and sometimes even succeeds at, being a good guy in a setting that heavily penalizes this. Besma's father, a semi-decent Caliphate character, also tries, though not as successfully.
* LackOfEmpathy: Doctor Sands. Unlike O'Meara, he derives no pleasure from seeing little children die slowly in their medical experiments: He just simply does not care, one way or the other, except for the valuable scientific results.
* LipstickAndLoadMontage: Subverted. There is a scene with Lee-as-Ling putting on [[AttractiveBentGender his]] make-up before going to work [[TheVamp vamping]] the Boer guards. Agent Matheson is ''seriously'' bothered, because he is so obviously [[CampGay enjoying himself]] playing the part of the wicked seductress.
* MakeAnExampleOfThem: The Caliphate believes in this, publicly crucifying dissidents and subversives. It [[InspirationalMartyr backfires]] on them in at least one notable instance.
* MedalOfDishonor: The Martinez Award, given by [[MilitaryAcademy West Point]] to the cadet with the most demerits without having been kicked out. Hamilton himself doesn't consider it something to be proud of, but the Sergeant that he reports to after leaving schooling treats it as a genuine badge of honor, figuring that nobody who doesn't have what it takes could piss off so many people without having been kicked out of the Academy.
* TheMole: Ling, a Chinese agent sent into a brothel where Petra was working. She also becomes a big sister figure for Petra and aids her cope with living.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: Moros roasting captive Americans alive, Americans killing said Moros and their DNA-tracked families, then razing every city that send Moros arms. Boer slave farms where black kids are separated from their mothers, and crucifixion scene of every Dhimmi that commits a crime. The book bulges with every war crime imaginable, and openly states that the American side laments the destruction of liberties associated with the war.
* MiddleEasternCoalition: While the core Middle Eastern lands do become a Caliphate, it does not take part of the story. And with [[CrapsackWorld good reason]].
* NeverLearnedToRead: Inverted; Petra ''did'' learn to read, despite this being very uncommon among women in the Caliphate, and especially lower-caste ones. This is one of the few things about herself that she feels she can be proud of... Which makes for a sad scene when she realizes that this is nothing special at all in the Imperial States.
* NiceGuy: Relatively. John Hamilton is arguably the nicest, sweetest protagonist to feature so far in Kratman's original works. Which still makes him a cynic by most other standards, admittedly.
* NobleBigot: Adbul Mohsem might be a slave-owning Muslim in Germany, but he does care for dignity of life of even lowest of slaves: setting them free after their effort and labor reaches their purchase price (even then with a discount), and doing his damnedest to care for/repurchase the poor Petra who gets in legal trouble. The worst thing he did to her own daughter Besma was an impulsive, low strength slap at her boast of "she'd lay with everyone if Petra is sent away, from slaves to infidels"
* NuclearOption: The US President reluctantly was pressured by the Secretary of State and Defense to use nuclear weapons on Castle Honsvang in Germany, where the hideout of three rogue US scientists are hiding to make a powerful virus in case Hamilton fails.
* ThePardon: President Buckman, in the backstory, uses the power of presidential pardon as a weapon against Americans he politically opposes, pardoning all but one person who murdered his opponents (the exception was due to the murderer having been determined to have killed purely as revenge for an affair between the victim and the killer's wife, and nothing to do with politics).
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: President Buckman, from the backstory, is President Insane and a PresidentEvil who eventually became TheEmperor (in name if not formal title) as the United States of America turned into the [[TheEmpire Imperial States of America]].
* PeoplePuppet: There are chips that can be implanted in a person's head that allow the person so equipped to be operated remotely, [[spoiler:as is done with Bernie Matheson and Zheng Ling]]. It used to be required that ISA agents get one implanted until the Chinese demonstrated how they could be hacked, much to the worse for the ISA. Chip security was improved, but there still remains a strong aversion to "chipping", as the implantation procedure is called, among ISA agents.
* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny: The Caliphate, with some additional religious trappings.
* PoweredArmor: Not in the traditional sense, in that the suit itself is more of an armored exoskeleton, but the ones worn by the Suited Heavy Infantry can have armor added to them to increase their protection, or reduced to enhance speed and endurance. It's explicitly pointed out when they're introduced that they do not make the wearer invulnerable, just that the user requires more effort to kill.
* PragmaticVillainy: The Imperial States are rather restrictive with their [[MindControlDevice mind-control implants]], not because they object to the technology in principle, but because, back when they were more common, the Chinese hacked them, and they don't want that to happen again.
* {{Sadist}}: Al Khalifa. Also O'Meara, to an even more horrible extent.
* SecondLove: For Hamilton, Petra, after Laurie's death. It's hinted that [[BetaCouple Ling also gets one.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: Hamilton is a mild example. He is obviously scarred by his traumatic war experiences, and for a while is a straight case, but manages rather successfully to move on, so that this is not his defining character trait by the time of the main story.
* ShoutOut: One of the historical works quoted in the series is a ficticious nonfiction work published by [[Creator/BaenBooks Baen Historical Press]].
* SlaveLiberation: The Americans instigate a minor one as part of their coup to destroy the Caliphate's biowar project.
* SlaveMooks: The janissaries are young non-Muslim boys taken from their families and brought up in Islam to serve as the Caliphate's armed forces, much like the RealLife version that served the Ottoman Empire.
* StrawCharacter: Most leftists are portrayed this way.
* TakeThat:
** Professor Montgomery Chamberlain, who justifies the Islamic terrorist attacks on America in the backstory and calls the victims "little Himmlers," is not painted as one of the more sympathetic characters. He is presumably an {{Expy}} of controversial real-life academic Ward Churchill, who justified the 9/11 attacks and called the people in the Twin Towers "little Eichmanns".
** Similarly, bereaved ex-liberal Mark Moulas (whose family is murdered by the immigrants he has always championed) is presumably based on Markos Moulitsas, the man behind the left-wing web site Daily Kos.
* UnitedEurope: Subverted, it [Western Europe at least] becomes mostly Islamic. The British Isles and Switzerland are not under Islamic control. Russia is implied to control Eastern Europe.
* TheVamp: A rare male example, enabled by futuristic technology. [[CampGay Lee]] very much enjoys the opportunity to [[ShowingOffTheNewBody present himself]] in a smoking hot female body, and is particularly delighted with the way this improves his prospects with various handsome men who probably [[BedTrick wouldn't ordinarily go for his type]]. He [[ReallyGetsAround gleefully takes full advantage]] of his femininity and sexiness in the service of the mission.
* TheVirus: the three renegade US scientists led by Claude Meara made a particularly potent flu virus [[spoiler:called [=H5NV=]]]. It was designed to die out after two generations, but for some reason it can't, and it turned out to be more dangerous than first thought. Fortunately, Hamilton and Bernie retrieved the sample in time to make a vaccine out for it.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Laurie, who is killed by the Moros early in her military career.
* WeaponOfMassDestruction:
** The titular Caliphate has hired several American scientists to create a bioweapon to wipe out their enemies, without any concern for who else -- including themselves -- that would be harmed [[spoiler:by an engineered virus that's 97% fatal -- and possibly mutilating the remaining 3%.]]
** In the backstory for the book, Islamic terrorists deployed nuclear weapons against the cities of several western countries, including the US and the UK. The three that detonated in the US[[note]]the other four targeted on US cities failed to detonate due to poor maintenance[[/note]] were sufficient cause for the election of [[PresidentEvil President Buckman]], who later nuked almost all Islamic holy cities in retaliation for the various attacks on the US over the years.
* WickedStepmother: Al Khalifa is a revolting bitch who's jealous that a girl (Besma) birthed by a slave was in line to inherit Abdul Mohsem's wealth over al Khalifa's own son. She agreed to allow her husband to purchase Petra because while al Khalifa couldn't harm Besma, as Abdul's cherished child, she ''could'' harm a slave without consequences. Eventually she is divorced and gets sold to a brothel. Laser Guided Karma indeed.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Hamilton to Petra, who is not exactly proud of her life thus far.
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: Given the relative scarcity of oil but plentiful energy thanks to nuclear power, hybrid lifting body airships powered by pebble bed nuclear reactors are the most common mass transportation for both civilian and military purposes in many countries.
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