The Great Divide Game
Posted On April 24, 2020
A blog called The Dark Herald has been one of my daily reads for some time. Insightful analysis of these modren times and a keen wit keep me coming back for more. The author has released (or is it re-released) a very different sort of zombie novel called The Great Divide Game that you might enjoy.
Set over the course of those few days between the world realizing that the apocalypse has arrived and actually accepting it, the book goes a lot deeper into the politics of the end times than most. Oh, it features all of the gore and gun love and larger than life heroes of a rollicking good adventure, but it also delves into the disorder caused by a breakdown of the American Empire.
Three months ago a lot of the political gamesmanship probably looked over the top and ridiculous. One party decides that the best way to make political hay out of a novel plague is to deny its effects, deny any cure, and use the crisis as an excuse to grab guns and ratchet down control over the populace. The other decides to play political games and largely ignore the crisis in favor of scratching the backs of large donors rather than take concrete steps to protect the populace. Meanwhile, most of the population soldiers on, convinced that both parties are doing their best, and takes a break from the stress by congregating inside college football stadiums for one last hoorah of fun before it all comes crashing down.
Part of the fun for this son of the west Michigan diaspora was reading about all the old familiar places – much of the action is set against the backdrop of the Michigan-Michigan State game, and hence the name – which oddly parallels the great national divide as well. Particularly so, given how well Masters describes the feel of the place.
That said, it’s nice to read a novel set in the modern day where the earth-shaking events occur someplace other than NYC, DC, or LA. Surprise crises that topple empires tend to occur in the margins, and only later do the effects ripple out far enough for the Important Places to understand how little they matter in the grand scheme of things. Rome didn’t fall overnight, after all. There was a lot of empire to carve through before the barbarians reached her gates. Whatever finally topples the Pax Americana – and while it might weaken the United (For Now) States considerably, I still doubt the current kookiness has the staying power to do the trick – it won’t spring up from the expected places. It will come from what those places consider a backwater, in much the same way that Rome considered Constantinople a backwater. Or Gaul. Lansing makes for as good a crisis point as any, and a lot better than most.
It’s still worth a read, particularly so in these days, when the whole world has decided to lose our collective minds. And it’s only a dollar.