Becky Akers reviews Transformation Project.
Lela Markham is one of my favorite writers living in one of my favorite places, Alaska; LRC’s readers may remember her as the Christian with whom I discussed anarchy and the Bible. So I announce with great pleasure the publication of two of Lela’s novels, Life As We Knew Itand Objects in View. They inaugurate her new apocalyptic series, the “Transformation Project.”
In Book 1 (Life As We Knew It), a nationwide terrorist attack destroys the major cities of the United States and brings the federal government to its knees. (Yeah, I already love it, too!) Cut off from food, communications, electricity and news, the small rural town of Emmaus forges its own plan to cope with the disaster. A resident who previously ran for mayor as a fiscal conservative must now decide whether to impose martial law on his neighbors or remain true to his principles. Meanwhile, he and his sons wrangle with well-meaning statists, out-and-out dictators, and thugs.
Book 2 (Objects in View) picks up the story when the citizens of Emmaus emerge after taking shelter from nuclear rain. Their world looks relatively unchanged–until their technology fails, looters steal their medical supplies, death threatens livestock critical to their survival, and what’s left of the federal government demands their crops and the imposition of martial law.
What inspired Lela to write apocalyptic fiction from a libertarian perspective? She says novels that predict widespread chaos after a catastrophe dissatisfy her, especially because their solutions to Armageddon glorify the State. She wanted to explore how libertarian values might work when government disappears. “What if we didn’t try to force everyone to get along and do things in a set fashion?” she asks. “Why do we assume that would lead to widespread chaos? Maybe it would lead to pockets of chaos with widespread peace. But wait, this world contains some mighty corrupt people bent on having their own way, so maybe it’s not as simple as that and the transformation of American society will be turbulent. This series is really about the struggle to decide if a few people are going to be in control of everyone or people will get to decide for themselves how best to live.”