Friday, June 1, 2018

Seven books in which the "deep state" wields power

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog he tagged seven books or series in which the "deep state" actively exercises power, including:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

If you think of Adams’ legendary humorous sci-fi quintet as merely a series of smart gags in a speculative setting, you’re not giving Adams enough credit. Behind the jokes, the ridiculous names, and the elastic nature of Adams’ fictional universe is a good deal of serious philosophy and real science—and more than a little sly political commentary. Case in point: Zaphod Beeblebrox, cool dude, space adventurer, and president of the galaxy. His disastrous administration—which he seems more or less totally unqualified to head—is actually a total triumph, at least to those who are really in charge. As is revealed during the course of the books, the office of the presidency is a distraction designed to keep people from finding out how the real decisions are made (spoilers, it involves a slightly confused old man on an isolated planet). In other words, the entire galaxy is run by the Deep State, and the chief executive is only there to make sure no one ever notices.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy appears on Jason Hough's list of favorite examples of creative faster than light (FTL) travel in fiction, Rachel Stuhler and Melissa Blue's top five list of books celebrating geek culture, Fredrik Backman's six favorite books list, Jon Walter's top ten list of heroes of refugee fiction, Becky Ferreira's list of the six most memorable robots in literature, Charlie Jane Anders's lists of the ten most unbelievable alien races in science fiction, eleven books that every aspiring television writer should read and ten satirical novels that could teach you to survive the future, Saci Lloyd's top ten list of political books for teenagers, Rob Reid's list of 6 favorite books, Esther Inglis-Arkell's list of ten of the best bars in science fiction, Don Calame's top ten list of funny teen boy books, and John Mullan's list of ten of the best instances of invisibility in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue