I wrote the other day, after finishing “Angeleyes” that I enjoy seeing the Freehold war from the perspectives of the different characters – particularly since Mike Williamson does so well at hopping into the characters’ skins and telling their stories from the inside. He’s explored the war from the perspective of a refugee from Earth, a special forces operative, and a human intelligence asset. Two years, a short story explored the war and the asymmetrical tactics employed by the Freeholders from the point of view of a low-level UN troop. (If you haven’t read this one, you absolutely should! It’s really one of his best!)
And now, Mike has written “Starhome.”
There are no battle scenes. There are no disturbingly graphic training or psyops descriptions. It’s written from the perspective of someone who never wanted to get involved in a war in the first place, but was forced into an untenable situation by circumstances far beyond his control. “One didn’t have to be involved in a war to suffer, nor even in line of fire. Collateral economic damage could destroy just as easily.”
Go read it. It’s short and well done, and you’ll enjoy the story for what it is – a short exploration of the situation by someone who just wants to live his life in his home.
I view the Freehold universe and the books written in it so far as a puzzle. They say history is written by the victors, and it’s true. But writing the Freehold war from all different points of view puts together pieces of a much more complete puzzle than the usual black or white, good or bad, honorable or corrupt outlook we get from any one character.
War isn’t easy. It isn’t cheap. Collateral damage doesn’t just include slaughtered women and children, casualties don’t just include troops in combat, and victory sometimes comes at a high cost.
By giving us pieces of the Freehold war puzzle, Mike shows us a more complete picture of warfare and humanity writ large.