Orson Scott Card
The war of words between right and left collapsed into a shooting war, and raged between the high-technology weapons on each side, devastating cities and overrunning the countryside.
At the close of Empire, political scientist and government adviser Averell Torrent had maneuvered himself into the presidency of the United States. And now that he has complete power at home, he plans to expand American imperial power around the world.
Opportunity comes quickly. There’s a deadly new plague in Africa, and it is devastating the countryside and cities. President Torrent declares American solidarity with the victims, but places all of Africa in quarantine until a vaccine is found or the disease burns itself out. And he sends Captain Bartholomew Coleman, Cole to his friends, to run the relief operations and protect the American scientists working on identifying the virus. If Cole and his team can avoid dying of the plague, or being cut down by the weapons of fearful African nations, they might do some good. Or they might be out of the way for good.
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This is a dangerous planet. Only a politician would try to tell you otherwise. And I'm not talking about wars--we're America, we win our wars. There are earthquakes, storms, volcanoes. Plagues can appear out of nowhere and slaughter millions of people. Blights can wipe out our crops. A meteor the size of a bus could hit the earth and send us back to the Stone Age. An extraordinary solar flare could destroy our electronics or heat our atmosphere so much our crops all die and we starve.
And whom do we put in charge of helping us prepare to cope with such disasters?
Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Orson Scott Card's science fiction novel Hidden Empire, read by the author, Stefan Rudnicki and Rusty Humphries. In this sequel to Card's bestselling novel Empire, Averell Torrent has become President of the United States, with enormous political and popular support and, if people only realized it, a tight grip on the reins of both political parties. He has launched America into a get-tough, this-world-is-our-empire foreign policy stance.
“[A] relentless thriller, which couldn't be timelier and is, for all its hyperactivity and flip, Hollywoodish one-liners, heartfelt and sobering…. Intriguing plot wrinkles come fore and aft of those basic developments, there are many deftly shaped supporting players, and major shocks explode in a split second (no Stephen King slo-mo for Card!). Moreover, all the action doesn't obscure the author's message about the dangers of extreme political polarization and the need to reassert moderation and mutual citizenship; indeed, it drives it home.”--Booklist on Empire
“Violent infighting has the American Empire on the brink of destruction in this look at a possible future.”
--Library Journal on Empire