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[Comments] (2) : I'm reading Lest Darkness Fall, a fun de Camp novel that kicked off the "Competent Man goes back in time and makes history AWESOME" genre. Near the end of the book, the protagonist introduces modern American electioneering methods to the Gothic electors. Since the novel was written in 1939, his methods take a lot from early-20th-century big city machine politics; ie. he hosts a big blow-out barbecue for the electors.

"That's interesting," I said. "I bet if someone was writing this book today they wouldn't think to go back that far. They'd probably try something more modern, like having the protagonist set up a debate between the two candidates for king and playing it for laughs."

Sumana had read the book before and was now rereading it over my shoulder. "Read on!" she said. And I read on, to see the protagonist imply that his rival had fathered an illegitimate black child--just like George W. Bush did to John McCain in 2000! Wow.

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Posted by Zed at Sun Jul 26 2009 02:05

I read that a few months ago (and have half a blog post about it written -- the other half disappeared in some sort of editing snafu and I haven't recreated it.)

Padway seems to be about 70% Mary Sue, but de Camp seemed to take some delight in pulling the rug out from under him when he threatened to be too awesome.

Posted by Stuart at Mon Jul 27 2009 16:05

I remember that book, it's a good one.


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