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* DeconstructorFleet: Openly admitted by the author as the massive take down on [[AfterTheEnd the entire post-apocalypse genre]], which was at its peak of popularity back then. Most of it is achieved by simple PerspectiveFlip and telling the story from the perspective of people that are usually saved by some cliché, OneManArmy style anti-hero and making it a point to show just how horrible life without modern civilization can get (that usual hero archetype is most represented by the ''bad guys'' here, with a lot of the ideas underlying it deconstructed).

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* DeconstructorFleet: Openly admitted by the author as the massive take down on [[AfterTheEnd the entire post-apocalypse genre]], which was at its peak of popularity back then. Most of it is achieved by simple PerspectiveFlip and telling the story from the perspective of people that are usually saved by some cliché, OneManArmy style anti-hero and making it a point to show just how horrible life without modern civilization can get (that get. And that usual hero archetype is most represented by the ''bad guys'' here, with a lot of the ideas underlying it deconstructed).deconstructed.


* ActionSurvivor: Gordon, who is regularly out of his depth and survives by guile or luck..

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* ActionSurvivor: Gordon, who is regularly out of his depth and survives by guile or luck..luck.

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* WeCanRuleTogether: Macklin makes an offer like this to Gordon when he's his prisoner. He recognizes that Gordon is a {{worthy opponent}} of the Holnists, and says he'd be made a baron. Knowing Gordon's principles, he even says that he'd be able to treat his serfs compassionately if that's his wish. Gordon flatly rejects this however.


* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: he brutal survivalists/Holnists are led by General Macklin and his aides, who were pre-war experiments on creating soldiers with superhuman strength and speed. The government chose the most ruthless, intelligent, and efficient killers in its military, with foreseeable results when the US itself turned into an anarchistic warzone. Macklin is finally killed by George Powhatan, a later experiment of the same ilk, though with a nature loving Neo-Hippie as subject.

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* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: he The brutal survivalists/Holnists are led by General Macklin and his aides, who were [[spoiler: pre-war experiments on creating soldiers with superhuman strength and speed.speed]]. The government chose the most ruthless, intelligent, and efficient killers in its military, with foreseeable results when the US itself turned into an anarchistic warzone. Macklin is finally killed by [[spoiler: George Powhatan, a later experiment of the same ilk, though with a nature loving Neo-Hippie as subject.subject]].


* VictoryByEndurance: Discussed and invoked. General Macklin explains to Gordon how his minor setbacks are meaningless in the long run, simply because he has ideological superiority over "cowards" - the Holnists can simply wait out for [[WeAREStrugglingTogether the local alliances to collapse over time]] when they will no longer be under pressure of direct threat, only for the Holnists to return then to mop up the survivors one-by-one. All while the teachings of Nathan Holn are ''very'' tempting to ambitious, strong and brave individuals, further eroding ranks of the "sheep". [[spoiler: But it's the Willamette Valley that comes out victorious this way, simply by resisting the Holnists for long enough to finally convince [[SummonBiggerFish Goerge Powhatan to join their fight]]. Few weeks later Holnists are a DecapitatedArmy on retreat and busy fighting each other for the leadership, while the Oregon region emerges as unified territory with a strong government]].

to:

* VictoryByEndurance: Discussed and invoked. General Macklin explains to Gordon how his minor setbacks are meaningless in the long run, simply because he has ideological superiority over "cowards" - the Holnists can simply wait out for [[WeAREStrugglingTogether the local alliances to collapse over time]] when they will no longer be under pressure of direct threat, only for the Holnists to return then to mop up the survivors one-by-one. All while the teachings of Nathan Holn are ''very'' tempting to ambitious, strong and brave individuals, further eroding ranks of the "sheep". [[spoiler: But it's the Willamette Valley that comes out victorious this way, simply by resisting the Holnists for long enough to finally convince [[SummonBiggerFish Goerge George Powhatan to join their fight]]. Few weeks later Holnists are a DecapitatedArmy on retreat and busy fighting each other for the leadership, while the Oregon region emerges as unified territory with a strong government]].


Added DiffLines:

* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: he brutal survivalists/Holnists are led by General Macklin and his aides, who were pre-war experiments on creating soldiers with superhuman strength and speed. The government chose the most ruthless, intelligent, and efficient killers in its military, with foreseeable results when the US itself turned into an anarchistic warzone. Macklin is finally killed by George Powhatan, a later experiment of the same ilk, though with a nature loving Neo-Hippie as subject.


* FromNobodyToNightmare: One of the robbers at the beginning introduces himself as a former stockbroker. Later, Colonel Bezoar says he was once a lawyer and Republican county commissioner.

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* FromNobodyToNightmare: One of the robbers at the beginning introduces himself as a former stockbroker. Later, Later on, Colonel Bezoar says he was once a lawyer and Republican county commissioner.

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* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Judging by the dates which the book gives, war broke out in 1994. The plot starts in 2010, sixteen years later. As the book itself is from 1985, it didn't leave long to invent cyborgs, true AI or laser weapons that could be mounted on satellites.


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* FromNobodyToNightmare: One of the robbers at the beginning introduces himself as a former stockbroker. Later, Colonel Bezoar says he was once a lawyer and Republican county commissioner.


* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: Roger Septien, the robber from the very first pages of the book, is eventually killed by Johnny when he and Gordon are escaping Holnists [=HQ=]]], as he is unlucky enough to stand on guard in a vital spot.

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* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: Roger Septien, the robber from the very first pages of the book, is eventually killed by Johnny when he and Gordon are escaping Holnists [=HQ=]]], as he is unlucky enough to stand on guard in a vital spot.



* {{Matriarchy}}: And a noble one - Pine View is guided by elderly Mrs. Thompson. The first chapter is much more prone to use tribalistic references and thus even narration calls her a matriarch few times.

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* {{Matriarchy}}: And a noble one - Pine View is guided by elderly Mrs. Thompson. The first chapter is much more prone to use tribalistic references and thus even narration calls her a matriarch a few times.



* NormalFishInATinyPond: After spending last fifteen years on wandering through the wasteland, Gordon is ''still'' an easy target for bandits roaming around, but when compared to inhabitants of the Willamette Valley he is extremely experienced scavenger and scout, able to find holes in local defenses on the fly or picking off small squads of Holnists one by one.

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* NormalFishInATinyPond: After spending the last fifteen years on wandering through the wasteland, Gordon is ''still'' an easy target for bandits roaming around, but when compared to inhabitants of the Willamette Valley he is an extremely experienced scavenger and scout, able to find holes in local defenses on the fly or picking off small squads of Holnists one by one.



* PaperThinDisguise: But it works, since Gordon is the only person knowing how he got himself the postman uniform. It's also reasonably downplayed early on, before the whole thing snowballed into becoming self-sustaining. Aside from the uniform, Gordon also forges few documents and has to rely on mail brought from Pine View to gain any real credibility - the uniform is only a sweetener to the hard evidence.

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* PaperThinDisguise: But it works, since Gordon is the only person knowing aware of how he got himself the postman uniform. It's also reasonably downplayed early on, before the whole thing snowballed into becoming self-sustaining. Aside from the uniform, Gordon also forges a few documents and has to rely on mail brought from Pine View to gain any real credibility - the uniform is only a sweetener to the hard evidence.



* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Holnists, who base a person's worth on his (emphasis on ''his'') strength. This leads them to be a cult of hyperviolent, luddite lunatics who kill without hesitation and enslave anyone weaker than them. It's also implied that they and their kind are the reason why civilization ultimately collapsed, having gunned down any attempt at reconstruction they came across.

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* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Holnists, who base a person's worth on his (emphasis on ''his'') strength. This leads them to be a cult of hyperviolent, luddite Social Darwinist lunatics who kill without hesitation and enslave anyone weaker than them. It's also implied that they and their kind are the reason why civilization ultimately collapsed, having gunned down any attempt at reconstruction they came across.



* ShamingTheMob: After being finally invited to Powhatan's Sugarloaf Peak fortress, Gordon quickly realizes lies about the Restored United States won't work here. Instead he ditches all the speeches prepared in advance and calls everyone there out [[ApatheticCitizens on their indifference and lack of action]], when they have all the means and skills needed for the fight against Holnists and how things will turn out if they won't help their neighbors. [[SubvertedTrope It still doesn't work]].

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* ShamingTheMob: After being finally invited to Powhatan's Sugarloaf Peak Mountain fortress, Gordon quickly realizes lies about the Restored United States won't work here. Instead he ditches all the speeches prepared in advance and calls everyone there out [[ApatheticCitizens on their indifference and lack of action]], when they have all the means and skills needed for the fight against Holnists and how things will turn out if they won't help their neighbors. [[SubvertedTrope It still doesn't work]].



* StrawFeminist: Dena, [[ZigZaggedTrope sort of]]. She's very heroic despite her possibly-crazy outlook, however. More - she's quite aware that she might have misinterprated many facts about the pre-war world because of the SmallReferencePools she has access to.

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* StrawFeminist: Dena, [[ZigZaggedTrope sort of]]. She's very heroic despite her possibly-crazy outlook, however. More - she's quite aware that she might have misinterprated misinterpreted many facts about the pre-war world because of the SmallReferencePools she has access to.



* SurvivorGuilt: Gordon doesn't feel too good about the fact that [[spoiler: all his fellow militiamen are dead]]. It's more than a decade and he still labors under the burden of being last man standing.
* TakeThatAudience: There are countless jabs throughout the story towards all sort of prepper types that might read the book simply because it's set AfterTheEnd. Even with Holnists removed from the equation, the sole notion of the glorified "self-sustaining survivor" is shred to pieces. Rather than focusing on the [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality self-righteous hero]], the story instead points out what happens if two (or more) such types end up in a single area and how much havoc they are going to cause to people around them. By the start of the book, the vast majority of those types managed to kill each other dead ''over a decade'' ago, in the process squandering huge amount of vital supplies and dragging the whole civilization down to "protect" their lifestyle.

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* SurvivorGuilt: Gordon doesn't feel too good about the fact that [[spoiler: all his fellow militiamen are dead]]. It's more than a decade and he still labors under the burden of being the last man standing.
* TakeThatAudience: There are countless jabs throughout the story towards all sort of prepper types that might read the book simply because it's set AfterTheEnd. Even with Holnists removed from the equation, the sole notion of the glorified "self-sustaining survivor" is shred to pieces. Rather than focusing on the [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality self-righteous hero]], the story instead points out what happens if two (or more) such types end up in a single area and how much havoc they are going to cause to people around them. By the start of the book, the vast majority of those types managed to kill each other dead ''over a decade'' ago, in the process squandering a huge amount of vital supplies and dragging the whole civilization down to "protect" their lifestyle.



-->'''Charles Bezoar:''' [[BerserkButton That's Colonel Bezoar.]]
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: When things turn bad, Gordon has to train a [[RagTagBunchOfMisfits bunch of civilians, farmers and teenagers]] into a force capable of fighting or at least putting up organised resistance against [[EvilArmy the Holnist]] [[BadassArmy Army]].

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-->'''Charles Bezoar:''' [[BerserkButton That's Colonel ''[[BerserkButton Colonel]]'' Bezoar.]]
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: When things turn bad, Gordon has to train a [[RagTagBunchOfMisfits bunch of civilians, farmers and teenagers]] into a force capable of fighting or at least putting up organised organized resistance against [[EvilArmy the Holnist]] [[BadassArmy Army]].



* VictoryByEndurance: Discussed and invoked. General Macklin explains to Gordon how his minor setbacks are meaningless in the long run, simply because he has ideological superiority over "cowards" - the Holnists can simply wait out for [[WeAREStrugglingTogether the local alliances to collapse over time]] when they will no longer be under pressure of direct threat, only for the Holnists to return then to mop up the survivors one-by-one. All while the teachings of Nathan Holm are ''very'' tempting to ambitious, strong and brave individuals, further eroding ranks of the "sheep". [[spoiler: But it's the Willamette Valley that comes out victorious this way, simply by resisting the Holnists for long enough to finally convince [[SummonBiggerFish Goerge Powhatan to join their fight]]. Few weeks later Holnists are a DecapitatedArmy on retreat and busy fighting each other for the leadership, while the Oregon region emerges as unified territory with a strong government]].

to:

* VictoryByEndurance: Discussed and invoked. General Macklin explains to Gordon how his minor setbacks are meaningless in the long run, simply because he has ideological superiority over "cowards" - the Holnists can simply wait out for [[WeAREStrugglingTogether the local alliances to collapse over time]] when they will no longer be under pressure of direct threat, only for the Holnists to return then to mop up the survivors one-by-one. All while the teachings of Nathan Holm Holn are ''very'' tempting to ambitious, strong and brave individuals, further eroding ranks of the "sheep". [[spoiler: But it's the Willamette Valley that comes out victorious this way, simply by resisting the Holnists for long enough to finally convince [[SummonBiggerFish Goerge Powhatan to join their fight]]. Few weeks later Holnists are a DecapitatedArmy on retreat and busy fighting each other for the leadership, while the Oregon region emerges as unified territory with a strong government]].



* WorthyOpponent: One of the main points of Holnist philosophy is high regard toward people who managed to beat them, but that doesn't mean any quarter in case of being encountered in the future:
** To his own surprise, Gordon is praised for killing of two Holnists he encountered in the library.

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* WorthyOpponent: WorthyOpponent:
**
One of the main points of Holnist philosophy is high regard toward people who managed to beat them, but that doesn't mean any quarter in case of being encountered in the future:
** To his own surprise, Gordon is praised for killing of two Holnists who he encountered in the library.library. Despite Holnist ideology being sexist, Macklin also even praises the female Army Scouts for their plot against the Holnists too.



* ZergRush: The only time the Willamette Army scores any victories are all-around assaults on isolated Holnist positions. They might be thorough, experienced and ruthless survivalists, but it's not much of use while being simply overrun.

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* ZergRush: The only time the Willamette Army scores any victories are all-around assaults on isolated Holnist positions. They might be thorough, experienced and ruthless survivalists, but it's not of much of use while being simply overrun.


** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but the first thing Colonel Bezoar does is look in that direction the moment he realizes Gordon is missing.

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** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but the first thing Colonel Bezoar does is look in that direction the moment he realizes Gordon is missing. Gordon expects this however, dropping onto him at once.



** As one of the general rules, Holnists do not take retribution for killed comrades - by their philosophy, if you managed to kill one of them, you are a WorthyOpponent.

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** As one of the general rules, Holnists do not take retribution for killed comrades - by their philosophy, if you managed to kill one of them, you are a WorthyOpponent. Gordon is also promised he will get a "worthy" death as a result (i.e. probably shooting instead of crucifixion).



* IWantMyJetPack: In the book's timeline, humanity managed to build computers capable of reaching level of true AI, introduced ''two'' generations of cyborgs and were able to deploy military-grade laser weapon systems. All by the mid 90's.

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* IWantMyJetPack: In the book's timeline, humanity managed to build computers capable of reaching level of true AI, introduced ''two'' generations of cyborgs and were able to deploy military-grade laser weapon systems. All by the mid 90's.


* EqualOpportunityEvil: Holnists, but only if you are male, although one of the regular soldiers clearly dislikes the idea that black soldiers might serve with them. General Macklin chides him for this, however, saying Nathan Hold wasn't a racist and expresses admiration for a black man who's fighting them (a former Marine) while saying his own sons would be required to earn their place in the Holnist army, or else be serfs.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Those who have bought into the Holnist philosophy believe that [[MightMakesRight anything you can acquire by force is rightfully yours,]] and [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain this makes women inherently inferior.]] They can't accept any philosophies of equality or teamwork as anything except a delusion among those 'frightened' of this 'reality', serving to shackle the strong men like them.

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* EqualOpportunityEvil: Holnists, but only if you are male, although one of the regular soldiers augments clearly dislikes does not like the idea that black soldiers might serve with them. General Macklin chides him for this, however, saying Nathan Hold wasn't a racist and expresses admiration for a black man who's fighting them (a former Marine) while saying his own sons would be required to earn their place in the Holnist army, or else be serfs. \n The fact that all Holnists seem to be white is explained by Macklin saying most of the racial minorities didn't survive after the apocalypse as the result of being disadvantaged. It seems probable people of color would be less attracted to such a philosophy given its [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany historical associations though]] too.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Those who have bought into the Holnist philosophy believe that [[MightMakesRight anything you can acquire by force is rightfully yours,]] and [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain this makes women inherently inferior.]] They can't accept any philosophies of equality or teamwork respect for people weaker than you as anything except a delusion among those 'frightened' of this 'reality', serving to shackle the strong men like them.


* {{Eagleland}}: The book examines both sides of this dualistic trope. Type I with all its liberty, equality and peaceful ways is contrasted with Type II for its paranoid extremism, gung-ho attitude, and over-the-top individualism.

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* {{Eagleland}}: The book examines both sides of this dualistic trope. Type I with all its liberty, equality and peaceful ways is contrasted with Type II for its paranoid extremism, gung-ho attitude, and over-the-top individualism. The hero is representative of the former, the villains the former.



* EqualOpportunityEvil: Holnists, but only if you are male.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Those who have bought into the Holnist philosophy believe that [[MightMakesRight anything you can acquire by force is rightfully yours,]] and [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain this makes women inherently inferior.]] They choose to disdain all philosophies of equality or teamwork as delusions among those 'frightened' of this 'reality'.

to:

* EqualOpportunityEvil: Holnists, but only if you are male.
male, although one of the regular soldiers clearly dislikes the idea that black soldiers might serve with them. General Macklin chides him for this, however, saying Nathan Hold wasn't a racist and expresses admiration for a black man who's fighting them (a former Marine) while saying his own sons would be required to earn their place in the Holnist army, or else be serfs.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Those who have bought into the Holnist philosophy believe that [[MightMakesRight anything you can acquire by force is rightfully yours,]] and [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain this makes women inherently inferior.]] They choose to disdain all can't accept any philosophies of equality or teamwork as delusions anything except a delusion among those 'frightened' of this 'reality'.'reality', serving to shackle the strong men like them.


* AndTheAdventureContinues: The book ends with the Postman departing to find and make contact with [[spoiler: The Republic of California.]]



* AndTheAdventureContinues: The book ends with the Postman departing to find and make contact with [[spoiler: the Republic of California.]]



* BackupBluff: [[spoiler: When the Holnists are encircling the unit of Willamette Army Gordon is commanding, he realises their only chance is in pretending there are more of them. So he makes sure to shout orders to non-existing back-up at top of his lungs, trying to overcome the gunfire. It works only partially - the Holnists still overrun the camp, but at least [[TakingYouWithMe the Willamette forces managed to kill good chunk of the survivalists in the ensuing confusion]]]]. The charade is even brought back up later, when Gordon is recognised as the "mouthy fellow".
* BadassNormal: One of Gordon's comrades is a former [[SemperFi Marine]], and when both of {{The Dragon}}s are killed off-page while hunting him, the BigBad assumes that he is responsible. [[spoiler: The second Dragon actually killed the Marine, and was killed in turn by [[BigDamnHeroes George Powhattan.]]]]

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* BackupBluff: [[spoiler: When the Holnists are encircling the unit of Willamette Army Gordon is commanding, he realises realizes their only chance is in pretending there are more of them. So he makes sure to shout orders to non-existing back-up at top of his lungs, trying to overcome the gunfire. It works only partially - the Holnists still overrun the camp, but at least [[TakingYouWithMe the Willamette forces managed to kill good chunk of the survivalists in the ensuing confusion]]]]. The charade is even brought back up later, when Gordon is recognised recognized as the "mouthy fellow".
* BadassNormal: One of Gordon's comrades is a former [[SemperFi Marine]], and when both of {{The Dragon}}s are killed off-page while hunting him, the BigBad assumes that he is responsible. [[spoiler: The second Dragon actually killed the Marine, and was killed in turn by [[BigDamnHeroes George Powhattan.Powhatan.]]]]



* ChosenConceptionPartner: Having mumps as an adult rendered Michael infertile. While he and Abby are both HappilyMarried, they also want to have a child. To avoid the genetic bottleneck effect and friction with a locally-picked father, they ask Gordon, an outside drifter, to try to impregnate Abby. The book somehow manages to handle it without making it as awkward as it sounds and it doesn't carry any romantic undertones, unlike the infamous RomanticPlotTumor from the film adaptation. [[spoiler: Gordon never again visits Pine View and intentionally distances himself from the child]].

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* ChosenConceptionPartner: Having mumps as an adult rendered Michael infertile. While he and Abby are both HappilyMarried, they also want to have a child. To avoid the genetic bottleneck effect and friction with a locally-picked father, they ask Gordon, an outside drifter, to try to impregnate Abby. The book somehow manages to handle it without making it as awkward as it sounds and it doesn't carry any romantic undertones, unlike the infamous RomanticPlotTumor from the film adaptation. [[spoiler: Gordon never again visits Pine View and intentionally distances himself from the child]].daughter Abby bears]].



* DeconstructorFleet: Openly admitted by the author as the massive take down on [[AfterTheEnd the entire post-apocalypse genre]], which was at its peak of popularity back then. Most of it is achieved by simple PerspectiveFlip and telling the story from the perspective of people that are usually saved by some cliché, OneManArmy style anti-hero and making it a point to show just how horrible life without modern civilisation can get.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Ever since the world collapsed, Gordon has been just drifting all over the northern parts of the former US, trying to find some place worth staying and any semblance of civilisation worth taking part in.

to:

* DeconstructorFleet: Openly admitted by the author as the massive take down on [[AfterTheEnd the entire post-apocalypse genre]], which was at its peak of popularity back then. Most of it is achieved by simple PerspectiveFlip and telling the story from the perspective of people that are usually saved by some cliché, OneManArmy style anti-hero and making it a point to show just how horrible life without modern civilisation civilization can get.
get (that usual hero archetype is most represented by the ''bad guys'' here, with a lot of the ideas underlying it deconstructed).
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Ever since the world collapsed, Gordon has been just drifting all over the northern parts of the former US, trying to find some place worth staying and any semblance of civilisation civilization worth taking part in.



** In the backstory, this eventually led to the fall of civilisation, since all the increasingly shattered communities eventually stopped any cooperation and just sealed themselves away from outsiders, in the process becoming very easy prey for even small groups of bandits and Holnists.

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** In the backstory, this eventually led to the fall of civilisation, civilization, since all the increasingly shattered communities eventually stopped any cooperation and just sealed themselves away from outsiders, in the process becoming very easy prey for even small groups of bandits and Holnists.



* DividedWeFall: The only reason why Holnists or just regular thugs and bandits can thrive is lack of cooperation and unity on the side of the communities they oppress. The book as a whole makes it a point to explain that civilisation and society as we know it can exist when and only when people work together for shared goals, putting the group ahead of their own ambitions. This was written [[{{Greed}} in the 80s]].
* TheDogBitesBack: After a long time of mistreatment, [[spoiler:one of the Holnist slaves poisons a few guards and helps Gordon and Johnny escape. She even manages to arrange the retrieval of Gordon's diary without realising how important it is]].

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* DividedWeFall: The only reason why Holnists or just regular thugs and bandits can thrive is lack of cooperation and unity on the side of the communities they oppress. The book as a whole makes it a point to explain that civilisation civilization and society as we know it can exist when and only when people work together for shared goals, putting the group ahead of their own ambitions. This was written [[{{Greed}} in the 80s]].
* TheDogBitesBack: After a long time of mistreatment, [[spoiler:one of the Holnist slaves poisons a few guards and helps Gordon and Johnny escape. She even manages to arrange the retrieval of Gordon's diary without realising realizing how important it is]].



* [[spoiler: DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale]]: [[spoiler: Dena is quite forceful with Gordon]]. It seems to keep on going for a while and he's forced to simply endure her.



* InLoveWithTheMark: {{Subverted}}. It's speculated that this could be the reason why [[spoiler: Dena and the Scouts']] plan to infiltrate the Holnists failed.

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* InLoveWithTheMark: {{Subverted}}.{{Discussed}}. It's speculated that this could be the reason why [[spoiler: Dena and the Scouts']] plan to infiltrate the Holnists failed.



* {{Irony}}: After impressing inhabitants of Pine View, Gordon is hoping to stay there for a while or even settle with them - something he really wants to do. Instead, they decide to encourage him to journey further, so his grand plan is destroyed. The whole situation keeps on repeating itself each time he reaches new place suitable for settling down in his postal attire - the only one he owns. He keeps thinking about this even when the lie about the Restored United States snowballs into near-reality level.

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* IronicName: The Holnists' call their domain "the Free Realm", with their military being the "American Liberation Army". They're a slave society and seek to conquer everyone else around them. No doubt they would not view this as ironic however-rather as the [[MightMakesRight freedom of the strong]] to crush or rule the weak, [[AboveGoodAndEvil without restraints]].
* {{Irony}}: After impressing inhabitants of Pine View, Gordon is hoping to stay there for a while or even settle with them - something he really wants to do. Instead, they decide to encourage him to journey further, so his grand plan is destroyed. The whole situation keeps on repeating itself each time he reaches new place suitable for settling down in his postal attire - the only one he owns. He keeps thinking about this even when the lie about the Restored United States snowballs into near-reality level.


* KeystoneArmy: Given how Holnists' ranks work, [[spoiler: [[DecapitatedArmy killing all of their high command in final chapter]]]] inevitably leads to their demise as an organized force. Without that unity they not only become easier targets, but it's also heavily implied [[EnemyCivilWar they start fighting each other for command]], every gorilla for himself.
* KnightInSourArmor: Both Gordon and George Powhatan, who are so sour that it gives them wrinkles. The overarching motive in the story is their realization that the lofty ideas of pre-war world are all that's left worth living and standing for.

to:

* KeystoneArmy: Given how Holnists' ranks work, [[spoiler: [[DecapitatedArmy killing all of their high command in final the last chapter]]]] inevitably leads to their demise as an organized force. Without that unity they not only become easier targets, but it's also heavily implied [[EnemyCivilWar they start fighting each other for command]], every gorilla for himself.
* KnightInSourArmor: Both Gordon and George Powhatan, who are so sour that it gives them wrinkles. The overarching motive in the story is their realization that the lofty ideas of the pre-war world are all that's left worth living and standing for.



* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: Roger Septien, the robber from the very first pages of the book, is eventually killed by Johnny when he and Gordon are escaping Holnists [=HQ=]]], as he is unlucky enough to stand on guard in vital spot.
* LifeWillKillYou: It's never clearly stated, but apparently sizable chunk of [[spoiler: militia unit Gordon was serving in]] died out of malnutrition and dental infections caused by low higiene. In fact, the death toll from those was bigger than from attacks they repelled.
* MadeASlave: Anyone captured alive by Holnists. This also includes {{Sex Slave}}s.

to:

* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler: Roger Septien, the robber from the very first pages of the book, is eventually killed by Johnny when he and Gordon are escaping Holnists [=HQ=]]], as he is unlucky enough to stand on guard in a vital spot.
* LifeWillKillYou: It's never clearly stated, but apparently a sizable chunk of [[spoiler: the militia unit Gordon was serving in]] died out of from malnutrition and dental infections caused by low higiene.hygiene. In fact, the death toll from those was bigger than from attacks they repelled.
* MadeASlave: Anyone captured alive by Holnists. This also includes {{Sex Slave}}s.{{sex slave}}s.



* {{Matriarchy}}: And a noble one - Pine View is guided by elderly Mrs Thompson. First chapter is much more prone to use tribalistic references and thus even narration calls her a matriarch few times.

to:

* {{Matriarchy}}: And a noble one - Pine View is guided by elderly Mrs Mrs. Thompson. First The first chapter is much more prone to use tribalistic references and thus even narration calls her a matriarch few times.



* NormalFishInATinyPond: After spending last fifteen years on wandering through the wasteland, Gordon is ''still'' an easy target for bandits roaming around, but when compared to inhabitants of the Willamette Valley he is extremely experienced scavenger and scout, able to find holes in local defences on the fly or picking one by one small squads of Holnists.
* NostalgiaFilter: Often invoked by different characters toward pre-war world. People tend to sing commercial jingles just to recall good old times. Also part of what makes Gordon's masquerade so effective: of all the hallmarks of civilization before the collapse, the accessibility of the postal service and the positive connotations it held make it a symbol that survivors latched onto immediately. One survivor fondly reminisces on how their father would leave out a glass of whiskey for the mail carrier every Christmas.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The Willamette Army on ''their own fallen'', to convince the general public how horrible the Holnists are. Not that the Holnist themselves are saints - collecting genitals and ears of killed enemies is a standard procedure for them, just as rounding up the survivors for slavery and [[SocialDarwinist castrating males they perceive as weak]].
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Deconstructed. Being the most civic person in the whole Willamette Army and de facto commanding officer of it, Gordon is struggling under this role. He openly admits there are better candidates to lead men. And he realises how bad it is to be a gentle philosopher during the war with the worst kind of dishonorable, brutal scums he could stumble upon, but must maintain the strong-willed facade for the sake of morale.

to:

* NormalFishInATinyPond: After spending last fifteen years on wandering through the wasteland, Gordon is ''still'' an easy target for bandits roaming around, but when compared to inhabitants of the Willamette Valley he is extremely experienced scavenger and scout, able to find holes in local defences defenses on the fly or picking one by one off small squads of Holnists.Holnists one by one.
* NostalgiaFilter: Often invoked by different characters toward the pre-war world. People tend to sing commercial jingles just to recall good old times. Also part of what makes Gordon's masquerade so effective: of all the hallmarks of civilization before the collapse, the accessibility of the postal service and the positive connotations it held make it a symbol that survivors latched onto immediately. One survivor fondly reminisces on how their father would leave out a glass of whiskey for the mail carrier every Christmas.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The Willamette Army on ''their own fallen'', to convince the general public how horrible the Holnists are. Not that the Holnist themselves are saints - collecting genitals and ears of killed enemies is a standard procedure for them, just as rounding up the survivors for slavery and [[SocialDarwinist [[TheSocialDarwinist castrating males they perceive as weak]].
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Deconstructed. Being the most civic person in the whole Willamette Army and de facto ''de facto'' commanding officer of it, Gordon is struggling under this role. He openly admits there are better candidates to lead men. And he realises realizes how bad it is to be a gentle philosopher during the war with the worst kind of dishonorable, brutal scums he could stumble upon, but must maintain the strong-willed facade for the sake of morale.



* OneManArmy: Augments both in their backstory and in-story serve this role quite literally, coming victorious and barely scratched when facing improbable odds. Also, George Powhatan's achievements are ShroudedInMyth, just like he as a person.

to:

* OneManArmy: Augments both in their backstory and in-story serve this role quite literally, coming out victorious and barely scratched when facing improbable odds. Also, George Powhatan's achievements are ShroudedInMyth, just like he is as a person.



* PrecisionFStrike: As Gordon is about to [[spoiler: [[RefusalOfTheCall leave Corvallis]] ]]:

to:

* PrecisionFStrike: As Gordon is about to [[spoiler: [[RefusalOfTheCall leave Corvallis]] ]]:Corvallis]]]]:



* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Holnists, who base a person's worth on his (emphasis on ''his'') strength. This leads them to be a cult of hyperviolent, luddite lunatics who kill without hesitation and enslave anyone weaker than them.
** It's also implied that they and their kind are the reason why civilization ultimately collapsed, having gunned down any attempt at reconstruction they came across.
* RealMenWearPink: The original postman was wearing a colourful parsley shirt under his jacket. He was shot while trying to deliver crucial mail through bandit-infested territory and still had enough resolve to hide his jeep and the correspondence. This becomes handy for Gordon when he finds the body years later - the uniform's shirt was left in mint condition and still well-ironed, waiting in the bag on the passanger seat.

to:

* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Holnists, who base a person's worth on his (emphasis on ''his'') strength. This leads them to be a cult of hyperviolent, luddite lunatics who kill without hesitation and enslave anyone weaker than them.
**
them. It's also implied that they and their kind are the reason why civilization ultimately collapsed, having gunned down any attempt at reconstruction they came across.
* RealMenWearPink: The original postman was wearing a colourful colorful parsley shirt under his jacket. He was shot while trying to deliver crucial mail through bandit-infested territory and still had enough resolve to hide his jeep and the correspondence. This becomes handy for Gordon when he finds the body years later - the uniform's shirt was left in mint condition and still well-ironed, waiting in the bag on the passanger passenger seat.



* ResignedToTheCall/ TenMinuteRetirement: [[spoiler: see RefusedTheCall. Poor George.]]

to:

* ResignedToTheCall/ TenMinuteRetirement: [[spoiler: see See RefusedTheCall. Poor George.]]



* SchmuckBait: Only that [[GenreSavvy Gordon is not baiting]]. After being robbed ''again'', he is hiding in the attic and the looters knows he's somewhere in the vicinity.

to:

* SchmuckBait: Only that [[GenreSavvy Gordon is not baiting]]. After being robbed ''again'', he is hiding in the attic and the looters knows know he's somewhere in the vicinity.



** After figuring out that [[spoiler: Cyclops is just a benevolent scam used to uphold some remnants of unity and civilisation, he is ready to ride away, especially after learning about advancing Holnist ''army''. But then he clenches his teeth, turns back his horse and [[WeHelpTheHelpless takes command over panicked civilians]] as "the legal representative of the Restored United States, with authority over Northern Oregon and Washington State"]].
** Later, when [[spoiler: the war is getting really bad, he again contemplates ditching the Willamette Valley, especially since he knows Holnists are already encircling his sleeping camp. Instead, he pulls out [[ChekhovsGun his whistle]] and wakes up everyone, organising fierce defense]].
* SerialNovel: The first part of the book was originally published as a short story and later the second one was written as continuation in the same format. The final part was added after Creator/DavidBrin decided to turn it into full-fledged book. It ''shows''. The first part is written in completely different style and with vocabulary aiming to point how primitive the world is. Both first and second part of the book are clearly stand-alone stories. The final part is obviously [[ArcWelding aiming to sew everything together]] into much tighter structure.

to:

** After figuring out that [[spoiler: Cyclops is just a benevolent scam used to uphold some remnants of unity and civilisation, civilization, he is ready to ride away, especially after learning about advancing Holnist ''army''. But then he clenches his teeth, turns back his horse and [[WeHelpTheHelpless takes command over panicked civilians]] as "the legal representative of the Restored United States, with authority over Northern Oregon and Washington State"]].
** Later, when [[spoiler: the war is getting really bad, he again contemplates ditching the Willamette Valley, especially since he knows Holnists are already encircling his sleeping camp. Instead, he pulls out [[ChekhovsGun his whistle]] and wakes up everyone, organising organizing fierce defense]].
* SerialNovel: The first part of the book was originally published as a short story and later the second one was written as continuation in the same format. The final part was added after Creator/DavidBrin decided to turn it into full-fledged book. It ''shows''. The first part is written in a completely different style and with vocabulary aiming to point how primitive the world is. Both the first and second part of the book are clearly stand-alone stories. The final part is obviously [[ArcWelding aiming to sew everything together]] into much tighter structure.



** Gordon really ''tries'' to believe that cynicism is an answer, treating idealism as a luxury he can't afford. Yet he's genuinely a good person, who keeps on doing the right things and eventually proves himself that idealism is all what's left to firmly believe in.
** Holnists ideology runs on this trope taken UpToEleven.
* ShamingTheMob: After being finally invited to Powhatan's Sugarloaf Peak fortress Gordon quickly realises lies about the Restored United States won't work here. Instead he ditches all the speeches prepared in advance and calls everyone there out [[ApatheticCitizens on their indifference and lack of action]], when they have all the means and skills needed for the fight against Holnists and how things will turn out if they won't help their neighbours. [[SubvertedTrope It still doesn't work]].
* SherlockScan: How Gordon deduced that [[spoiler: Cyclops is dead and the whole thing is just a masquerade]] - he tied together numerous, disconnected clues and then confronted his theory.

to:

** Gordon really ''tries'' to believe that cynicism is an answer, treating idealism as a luxury he can't afford. Yet he's genuinely a good person, person who keeps on doing the right things and eventually proves himself that idealism is all what's left to firmly believe in.
** Holnists Holnists' ideology runs on this trope taken UpToEleven.
* ShamingTheMob: After being finally invited to Powhatan's Sugarloaf Peak fortress fortress, Gordon quickly realises realizes lies about the Restored United States won't work here. Instead he ditches all the speeches prepared in advance and calls everyone there out [[ApatheticCitizens on their indifference and lack of action]], when they have all the means and skills needed for the fight against Holnists and how things will turn out if they won't help their neighbours.neighbors. [[SubvertedTrope It still doesn't work]].
* SherlockScan: How Gordon deduced that [[spoiler: Cyclops is dead and the whole thing is just a masquerade]] - he tied together numerous, disconnected clues and then confronted people with his theory.



* StrawFeminist: Dena, [[ZigZaggedTrope sort of]]. She's very heroic despite her possibly-crazy outlook, however. More - she's quite aware that she might have misinterprated many facts about the pre-war world because of SmallReferencePools she has access to.

to:

* StrawFeminist: Dena, [[ZigZaggedTrope sort of]]. She's very heroic despite her possibly-crazy outlook, however. More - she's quite aware that she might have misinterprated many facts about the pre-war world because of the SmallReferencePools she has access to.



* SureLetsGoWithThat: Few times Gordon decides to just roll with wild assumptions made by people from visited settlements. He even carefully incorporated some of those into his own grand lie about the Restored United States.
* SurvivorGuilt: Gordon doesn't feel too good about the fact that [[spoiler: all his fellow militiamen are dead]]. It's more than a decade and he still labours under the burden of being last man standing.
* TakeThatAudience: There are countless jabs throught the story toward all sort of prepper types that might read the book simply because it's set AfterTheEnd. Even with Holnists removed from the equation, the sole notion of glorified "self-sustaining survivor" is shred into pieces. Rather than focusing on the [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality self-righteous hero]], the story instead points out what happens if two (or more) such types end up in a single area and how much havoc they are going to cause to the rest of people around them. By the start of the book, vast majority of those types managed to kill each other dead ''over a decade'' ago, in the process squandering huge amount of vital supplies and dragging the whole civilisation down to "protect" their lifestyle.

to:

* SureLetsGoWithThat: Few A few times Gordon decides to just roll with wild assumptions made by people from visited settlements. He even carefully incorporated some of those into his own grand lie about the Restored United States.
* SurvivorGuilt: Gordon doesn't feel too good about the fact that [[spoiler: all his fellow militiamen are dead]]. It's more than a decade and he still labours labors under the burden of being last man standing.
* TakeThatAudience: There are countless jabs throught throughout the story toward towards all sort of prepper types that might read the book simply because it's set AfterTheEnd. Even with Holnists removed from the equation, the sole notion of the glorified "self-sustaining survivor" is shred into to pieces. Rather than focusing on the [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality self-righteous hero]], the story instead points out what happens if two (or more) such types end up in a single area and how much havoc they are going to cause to the rest of people around them. By the start of the book, the vast majority of those types managed to kill each other dead ''over a decade'' ago, in the process squandering huge amount of vital supplies and dragging the whole civilisation civilization down to "protect" their lifestyle.



** [[spoiler: The general fighting style of the Willamette Army is described by their utmost defiance. Even when on the losing end - which is their usual situation - they always make sure to kill as many Holnists as only possible]].
* TapOnTheHead: [[spoiler: One of the augments knocks Gordon out after finally finding out who is commanding the defences]]. [[RealityEnsues He fully recovers from it fully few days later, being barely conscious for that time]].

to:

** [[spoiler: The general fighting style of the Willamette Army is described by their utmost defiance. Even when on the losing end - which is their usual situation - they always make sure to kill as many Holnists as only possible]].
* TapOnTheHead: [[spoiler: One of the augments knocks Gordon out after finally finding out who is commanding the defences]]. defenses]]. [[RealityEnsues He only fully recovers from it fully a few days later, being barely conscious for that time]].



* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Villainous example

to:

* TheyCallMeMisterTibbs: Villainous exampleexample.



* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: When things turn bad, Gordon has to train [[RagTagBunchOfMisfits bunch of civilians, farmers and teenagers]] into a force capable of fighting or at least putting up organised resistance against [[EvilArmy the Holnist]] [[BadassArmy Army]].

to:

* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: When things turn bad, Gordon has to train a [[RagTagBunchOfMisfits bunch of civilians, farmers and teenagers]] into a force capable of fighting or at least putting up organised resistance against [[EvilArmy the Holnist]] [[BadassArmy Army]].



* UtilityBelt: {{Downplayed}}. Gordon's military belt holds his most important belongings: canteen, Swiss army knife, tube of iodine, compass and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers holster with his gun and bullets]]
* VictoryByEndurance: Discussed and invoked. General Macklin explains to Gordon how his minor set-backs are meaningless in the long run, simply because he has ideological superiority over "cowards" - Holnists can simply wait out for [[WeAREStrugglingTogether the local alliances to collapse over time]] when they will no longer be under pressure of direct thread, only for Holnists to return then to mop up the survivors one-by-one. All while teachings of Nathan Holm are ''very'' temptive to ambitious, strong and brave individuals, further eroding ranks of the "sheeps". [[spoiler: But it's the Willamette Valley that comes out victorious this way, simply by resisting Holnists for long enough to finally convince [[SummonBiggerFish Goerge Powhatan to join their fight]]. Few weeks later Holnists are DecapitatedArmy on retreat and busy fighting each other for the leadership, while Oregon region emerges as unified territory with strong government]].

to:

* UtilityBelt: {{Downplayed}}. Gordon's military belt holds his most important belongings: canteen, Swiss army knife, tube of iodine, compass and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers holster with his gun and bullets]]
bullets]].
* VictoryByEndurance: Discussed and invoked. General Macklin explains to Gordon how his minor set-backs setbacks are meaningless in the long run, simply because he has ideological superiority over "cowards" - the Holnists can simply wait out for [[WeAREStrugglingTogether the local alliances to collapse over time]] when they will no longer be under pressure of direct thread, threat, only for the Holnists to return then to mop up the survivors one-by-one. All while the teachings of Nathan Holm are ''very'' temptive tempting to ambitious, strong and brave individuals, further eroding ranks of the "sheeps". "sheep". [[spoiler: But it's the Willamette Valley that comes out victorious this way, simply by resisting the Holnists for long enough to finally convince [[SummonBiggerFish Goerge Powhatan to join their fight]]. Few weeks later Holnists are a DecapitatedArmy on retreat and busy fighting each other for the leadership, while the Oregon region emerges as unified territory with a strong government]].



* WasntThatFun: According to Johnny, he had great time while [[spoiler: escaping from Holnists' [=HQ=]]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Subverted. Remember those robbers from the first chapter and who Gordon apparently left alone? [[spoiler: They manage to bite his ass ''twice'', when their leader returns in the third part of the book, as a freshly recruited Holnist, along with Gordon's diary, the only existing proof that there is no such thing as Restored United States. General Macklin couldn't be more happy about all of this]].
* WhatHaveIBecome: The Chairman of Public Safety from Curtin, after realizing how barbaric the life has become. Bonus points for being a former member of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASPCA ASPCA]], now organizing dog fights. [[ManlyTears He starts to weep over this]].

to:

* WasntThatFun: According to Johnny, he had a great time while [[spoiler: escaping from the Holnists' [=HQ=]]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Subverted. Remember those robbers from the first chapter and who Gordon apparently left alone? [[spoiler: They manage to bite his ass ''twice'', when their leader returns in the third part of the book, as a freshly recruited Holnist, along with Gordon's diary, the only existing proof that there is no such thing as the Restored United States. General Macklin couldn't be more happy about all of this]].
* WhatHaveIBecome: The Chairman of Public Safety from Curtin, after realizing how barbaric the life has become. Bonus points for being a former member of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASPCA ASPCA]], now organizing dog fights. [[ManlyTears He starts to weep over this]].



* WriterOnBoard: But a [[TropesAreNotBad really good one]]. Brin makes a good cause for his agenda: society can only work when people within it are willing to cooperate and look past their own personal gains, focusing on the broader picture instead, as this will benefit them anyway. Sum can be much greater than its parts, making all those individuals who feel powerless stronger as a group.
* ZergRush: The only time the Willamette Army scores any victories are all-around assaults on isolated Holnist positions. They might be though, experienced and ruthless survivalists, but it's not much of use while being simply overrun.

to:

* WriterOnBoard: But a [[TropesAreNotBad really good one]]. Brin makes a good cause for his agenda: society can only work when people within it are willing to cooperate and look past their own personal gains, focusing on the broader picture instead, as this will benefit them anyway. Sum The sum can be much greater than its parts, making all those individuals who feel powerless stronger as a group.
* ZergRush: The only time the Willamette Army scores any victories are all-around assaults on isolated Holnist positions. They might be though, thorough, experienced and ruthless survivalists, but it's not much of use while being simply overrun.


* ForWantOfANail: [[spoiler: Holnists under general Macklin would probably have a field day in the Willamette Valley, if not for the fact Gordon organised communication and cooperation of local settlements under the ''de facto'' leadership of Servants of the Cyclops and convincing George Powhatan along with his hardened community to join the fight]]. Should they show up just few months earlier, they would have easily won.

to:

* ForWantOfANail: [[spoiler: Holnists under general Macklin would probably have a field day in the Willamette Valley, if not for the fact Gordon organised communication and cooperation of local settlements under the ''de facto'' leadership of Servants of the Cyclops and convincing George Powhatan along with his hardened community to join the fight]]. Should they show up have gone in just a few months earlier, they would have easily won.



* GoodIsNotSoft: Given the nature of the setting itself, it's a given

to:

* GoodIsNotSoft: Given the nature of the setting itself, it's a givengiven.



** Gordon himself. The very first chapter of the book opens with portraying him as nice and civil guy who just tries to survive. Which in given situation means preparing to shot in cold blood four robbers who just have stolen most of his belongings.

to:

** Gordon himself. The very first chapter of the book opens with portraying him as nice and civil guy who just tries to survive. Which in the given situation means preparing to shot shoot in cold blood four robbers who just have stolen most of his belongings.



** ...and lazy, as invoked by Gordon as he easily approaches Oakridge and bypasses its guards right until he reaches the main gate.
** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but first thing Colonel Bezoar does is look in that direction the moment he realises Gordon is missing.

to:

** ...and And lazy, as invoked by Gordon as he easily approaches Oakridge and bypasses its guards right until he reaches the main gate.
** Subverted later on, when [[spoiler: he is captured by the Holnists for the second time. He manages to climb on [[UnwillingSuspension a beam his hands were tied to]]]], but the first thing Colonel Bezoar does is look in that direction the moment he realises realizes Gordon is missing.



** As one of the general rules, Holnists do not take retribution for slayed comrades - by their philosophy, if you managed to kill one of them, you are a WorthyOpponent.

to:

** As one of the general rules, Holnists do not take retribution for slayed killed comrades - by their philosophy, if you managed to kill one of them, you are a WorthyOpponent.



** The seasons in which the action takes place [[RuleOFSymbolism are related with this trope]]. In the first section, it's autumn, where everything is dying. Then the action fast-forwards toward early spring, when Gordon starts setting his Postal Service and things are going smooth. Then the Holnists show up - right when autumn is about to start. The war against them takes place mostly in the winter, when nature is dead and animals struggle to survive. In the end, when [[spoiler: Holnists are defeated and Gordon heads toward California]], it's the beautiful spring of 2012.

to:

** The seasons in which the action takes place [[RuleOFSymbolism are related with this trope]]. In the first section, it's autumn, where everything is dying. Then the action fast-forwards toward early spring, when Gordon starts setting his Postal Service and things are going smooth. Then the Holnists show up - right when autumn is about to start. The war against them takes place mostly in the winter, when nature is dead and animals struggle to survive. In the end, when [[spoiler: the Holnists are defeated and Gordon heads toward California]], it's the beautiful spring of 2012.



* TheHorde: Both the Holnists and the [[EvilLuddite Anti-Tech Mob]]. At least the latter are a thing of the past.

to:

* TheHorde: Both the Holnists and the [[EvilLuddite Anti-Tech Mob]].anti-tech mob]]. At least the latter are a thing of the past.



* InstantAIJustAddWater: Averted. The pre-war [=AI=] computers were a step between real [=AI=] and standard mega-computer, build on specially designed processors and components. Only if running sufficiently long, they could reach true sentience going beyond ability to answer questions and solving equations on their own. [[spoiler: Which makes Cyclops' death even more shattering]].

to:

* InstantAIJustAddWater: Averted. The pre-war [=AI=] computers were a step between real [=AI=] and standard mega-computer, build on specially designed processors and components. Only if running sufficiently long, they long could they reach true sentience going beyond the ability to answer questions and solving equations on their own. [[spoiler: Which makes Cyclops' death even more shattering]].



* {{Irony}}: After impressing inhabitants of Pine View, Gordon is hoping to stay there for a while or even settle with them - something he really wants to do. Instead, they decide to encourage him to further journey, so his grand plan is destroyed. The whole situations keeps on repeating itself each time he reaches new place suitable for settling down in his postal attire - the only one he owns. He keeps thinking about this even when the lie about the Restored United States snowballs into near-reality level.
* IWantMyJetPack: In book's timeline, humanity managed to build computers capable of reaching level of true AI, introduced ''two'' generations of cyborgs and was able to deploy military-grade laser weapon systems. All by mid 90's.

to:

* {{Irony}}: After impressing inhabitants of Pine View, Gordon is hoping to stay there for a while or even settle with them - something he really wants to do. Instead, they decide to encourage him to further journey, journey further, so his grand plan is destroyed. The whole situations situation keeps on repeating itself each time he reaches new place suitable for settling down in his postal attire - the only one he owns. He keeps thinking about this even when the lie about the Restored United States snowballs into near-reality level.
* IWantMyJetPack: In the book's timeline, humanity managed to build computers capable of reaching level of true AI, introduced ''two'' generations of cyborgs and was were able to deploy military-grade laser weapon systems. All by the mid 90's.


* ChosenConceptionPartner: Having mumps as an adult rendered Michael infertile. While he and Abby are both HappilyMarried, they also want to have a child. To avoid the genetic bottleneck effect and friction with locally-picked father, they ask Gordon, and outside drifter, to try to impregnate Abby. The book somehow manages to handle it without making it as awkward as it sounds and it doesn't carry any romantic undertones, unlike the infamous RomanticPlotTumor from the film adaptation. [[spoiler: Gordon never again visits Pine View and intentionally distance himself from the child]].

to:

* ChosenConceptionPartner: Having mumps as an adult rendered Michael infertile. While he and Abby are both HappilyMarried, they also want to have a child. To avoid the genetic bottleneck effect and friction with a locally-picked father, they ask Gordon, and an outside drifter, to try to impregnate Abby. The book somehow manages to handle it without making it as awkward as it sounds and it doesn't carry any romantic undertones, unlike the infamous RomanticPlotTumor from the film adaptation. [[spoiler: Gordon never again visits Pine View and intentionally distance distances himself from the child]].



* CrazySurvivalist: The "Holnist Survivalists"; it's explicitly noted that after everything fell apart, Holn himself was dragged out and lynched for getting them started. And that the Holnists forever tainted the term "survivalist".

to:

* CrazySurvivalist: The "Holnist Survivalists"; it's explicitly noted that after everything fell apart, Holn himself was dragged out and lynched for getting them started. And Also that the Holnists forever tainted the term "survivalist".

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