Another Piece of Interesting Fan-Fiction
Behold "Breaking Strain," a piece of Draka fan-fiction I found today. This is the sequel to "Proof Through the Night," which I blogged about earlier, and takes place around 20 years after the U.S. back-stabbed their Draka "allies" at the tail end of the Eurasian War and brought down the Domination in two days.
(The Domination's core territories were stripped to the breaking point of Citizens to sustain the war and they got nuked, along with the logistics hubs supplying the Draka armies in Europe, armies representing a substantial part of the Draka population of childbearing age. Within a week, 1/3 of the Draka population is dead.)
Eric Von Shrakenberg is the ruler of the "Draka Archonate of Madagascar," where the surviving Draka and serf loyalists were exiled and which is subject to all sorts of armament restrictions, including no heavier-than-air aircraft. This leaves them with only blimps and dirigibles (and the international force quarantining the island) to defend themselves against raiders from the restored Sultanate of Zanzibar, who want revenge for centuries of Draka oppression.
(Although the first story has FDR telling Eric that the U.S. will divide the fallen Domination into states based on tribal groupings, I don't think after centuries of Draka rule there would be tribal groupings left. Like African-Americans, the black population would be post-tribal Anglophone Christians, especially since the Draka would deliberately try to destroy tribal identities. Early in Marching Through Georgia, we see the plantation where Eric grew up and it seems more like something from the antebellum South than anything African. Plus the Sultanate of Zanzibar is a pretty random thing to restore, instead of simply establishing something neutral like an East African Republic.)
Meanwhile, the U.S. and the Empire of Japan--which made peace in 1944, joined the Draka backstab, and still retains its mainland territories like Manchuria and Korea--are in a Cold War with each other and the Japanese are playing an enormous gambit involving Draka bitter-enders building forbidden weapons.
The story is in progress, so I can't really write a full review of it, but it's a fun read thus far. It has some clever turns of phrase like a Draka bitter-ender threatening to use nerve gas on Zanzibar if its fleet attacks Madagascar using a pest-control metaphor that's both clever and shows how some of the Draka still retain their in-group/out-group mentality (he views the Zanzibaris, both the raiders and the civilian population, as insects) and some very clever scheming by both the Japanese and their Draka proxies. I also liked how Eric tested the loyalty of a man he intended to send to check out the Draka bitter-enders--he gave the man his gun and told him to shoot him, on the grounds that if he were out of the way, the bitter-enders could pull off their scheme without provoking the Alliance to nuke Madagascar.
Other than the Zanzibari quibble I mentioned earlier, the only problem is that Eric remembers reading to Tyansha, the serf concubine he had as a teenager and the mother of his daughter Anna. I don't have my copy of The Domination with me, but I definitely remember Tyansha could read and write--she was a trained courtesan intended for sale to the richest Draka (like Eric's family), not a field hand, and it's explicitly described how Eric allowed her to read his books and she asked a lot of disconcertingly-sharp questions. That's why in my alternate Draka timeline "The Dragon and the Bear" (available at www.alternatehistory.net/Discussion), I depict an elderly Eric stating that had she been a Citizen, she could have been a Senator or even Archon.
For those in need of background, here's the Wikipedia link: