Plot, intrigue and diplomacy between the eastern and western civilized worlds toward the end of the present century giving a picture of the next great world struggle between the East and West.
Professor William Lyon Phelps of Yale University writes: --"'Captain Gardiner' is a rattling good story full of movement. It is ingenious and well planned and 'Mabs' is a real woman. Please give my hearty congratulations to the author."
Confederation, and Russia, recommending for our consideration and report this important matter." He paused for an instant as if considering what his next words were to be, and several of the Commissioners shifted uneasily in their chairs. "It is known to you all," resumed the President, "that we have no power to enforce our decisions upon the nations. We can only deliberate upon the matters brought to our attention and recommend a certain course of action resulting from these deliberations. It is also known to you that in no recorded instance have the nations which we represent failed to accept our recommendations."
A little ripple of excitement was plainly evident among the Commissioners. Feet moved upon the floor and glances were exchanged, for since the early days of the Commission no presiding officer had ever spoken thus. The President's words seemed to heighten the gravity of the event and increase the tremendous burden of responsibility, which each man felt upon him, thirty fold. But the Presid
Despite some minor flaws, this was an interesting read. Borrowing slightly from the famous story of "The Four Feathers", it's a prototype of what's now the firmly-established genre of military sf. The novel is set in the 1960s or 70s, in which the Great War was followed by a long period of peace. A three-way global balance of power has evolved between Europe and the Americas, a Muslim confederation, and the Asian powers.
The International Police are the guardians of the European/American alliance, a bit like today's Interpol, with quasi-military powers and a mission which also includes espionage. On the eve of the West carrying out a popular plan to drastically cut its defenses, the head of the International Police gets wind of a plot by the Asians to launch a sneak attack, once the West has disarmed.
Although the method by which the International Police agents manage to smuggle some incriminating documents out of China in the first part of the book is quite improbable -- unless the Asian conspirators are complete idiots -- the action picks up shortly afterward and from then on the story clips along at a good pace.
One thing I found interesting is that once the West declares war on the perfidious orientals, the fighting takes place in China, and the battles, strategy and tactics are clearly based on the Russo-Japanese War, which took place a little over ten years previous to the publication of this story. With the addition of a new element: Air power.
If, like me, you're a sucker for any story with fightin' dirigibles and plenty of derring-do, this'll be right up your alley.
Pretty good story. It moves along well and contains a lot of action, well written dialogue, and a logical plot. The twists and turns logically lead from place to place and plot turn to plot turn. I think it's supposed to take place around the 1940s or 1950s and the writer clearly isn't much for prediction in technology, but hits surprisingly close in some political themes. There's an exciting dirigible battle in the Asian theater well described and the rise of the Asian empires against the west is also clearly nailed. I found this book to be just as entertaining than any contemporary novel.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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