The Little Green Book of Chairman Rahma
By Brian Herbert
Revolutions, even green ones, are not dinner parties. In Brian Herbert’s latest, the Corporate War of the mid-twenty-first century has overthrown our capitalist oligarchs and transformed the Western hemisphere into a Maoist-environmental superpower known as the Green States of America, where the human population have been herded on to high-density “reservations” and enemies of the state (poachers, polluters, tree cutters) are scheduled for “recycling.”
Leading this civilization of neo-hippies (they even wear bell-bottoms and are legally required to get high) is a Great Helmsman named Chairman Rahma, who believes that green ends justify all kinds of bloody means. Dissent, however, is still bubbling along underground, and nature, whether taking the form of assisted evolution or felt through the vagaries of dark energy, might still have the last word.
Herbert, best known as the co-author of the Dune chronicles, has written an anti-political fable that sets forth a cartoonish libertarian-anarchic creed closer to the spirit of Berkeley than anything in the Chairman’s little green book. It’s not all as preachy as this sounds, however, and you can feel the plot accelerate madly as events race toward the end of the world as we know it.