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I heard the phrase once in a review, and it's really the only way I can describe Victoria. It's fractally wrong. It starts off somewhat wrong, but the more you read, the more you see how every tiny detail is just wrong.
So at first glance the book is an alt-right Mary Sue Self Insert revenge fic. The armies of Christian Conservative Good casually curbstomping every flavor of liberal cause. Evil homosexuals, evil feminists, evil racist caricatures, evil environmentalists, evil college professors, evil federalists, all fall like grass before the lawnmower. The Nazis, they're okay if they could just shake that evil modernism, far superior to Dirty Commies any day. So far, so standard, but look closer...
Not only are the heroes steeped in atrocity, from human trafficking, to hostage taking, mass deportation, tarring and feathering an old man, torture, summary execution, nuking a US city, but the book is just badly written. New villains are introduced, only so they can easily be dispatched in the same chapter. Rather than a coherent narrative, the plot is a series of unrelated incidents of the Glorious Ascension of Victoria.
Don't even ask me how the titular state functions, between it's socially enforced Luddism, strong emphasis on state's rights, hangings left and right and most baffling of all, how it fought it's way of federal tyranny only to be owned in various ways by the Russians, Prussians and Chinese, a plot thread completely dropped when they engage in nuclear brinksmanship with China over enabling the Japanese conquest of Cascadia.
That's right, kids. Lind says no to federal power, yes to selling American land to foreign developers and assisting foreign invasions. Also to nuking cities as pest control to kill off the darkies.
I love how all the most horrifying bits are just casual offhand references. Like none of these things need to be discussed. "Sure, we sold thousands of women into slavery. Now let me tell you about trains!"
No. Just... No.
Political fiction is always a tricky thing to talk about, especially here, but I think I can do it. See, Victoria isn't a book that aligns itself to the left or the right. Victoria's alignment is clearly 'Batshit Insane'.
Our story begins with John Rumford, who is kicked out of the marines because of Political Correctness Gone Mad and also because he was harassing some Muslims. He lives in a world 20 Minutes into the Future where America has been taken over by 'respect' and 'tolerance' and other objectively good things in sarcastic quotation marks, and this has somehow destroyed society. John forms the Christian Marines, a group of old-fashioned, non-PC crusaders to put the country back on track by - not a joke - telling women to Stay in the Kitchen, killing college professors because all educated people are secretly Cultural Marxists, and nuking black people, whom they refer to as 'Orcs'.
Yes. It's one of those stories.
Unsurprisingly, it's a hilarious trip through political So Bad, It's Good territory. Here's an excerpt on feminism!
Someone wrote a Self-Insert Fic where the villains are feminists whose grand evil scheme is to make boys play with dolls. And that's just the beginning. Rumford bans computers and cell phones, thinks poverty 'builds character', allies with literal Nazis, and exiles all non-Christians (and Puerto Ricans) from 'Victoria', which remains a perfect Utopia despite Rumford's tendency to kill anyone smart enough to operate a tin-opener on the assumption that they must be a communist.
As hilariously bad as this is, the story does go too far to be funny at times. Those wacky straw feminists? Upon defeat, as their comeuppance, those who don't immediately fall in love with the traditional gentlemen of the 'Christian Marines' are sold into sex-slavery in the Middle East. And that's not all.
The author believes Muslims are evil, atheists are heretics, LGBTQ folk are paedophiles, and all of these people deserve to die, along with anyone who disagrees. This book begins with a Racist Grandma vibe but it becomes very clear that the author (actually a man in his late 60s - unmarried, can't imagine why) is an extremely vicously intolerant man.
But this is a book that makes you think. It certainly made me reflect on how far a bigot will go to try to persuade himself that he has the moral high ground, in spite of thinking that all non-Christian, non-American, non-White, non-Male, non-Idiots are evil and should be shot, nuked or raped, as should anyone who disagrees with him.
Apparently, far enough to write a shit book.
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