Conquistador by S.M. Stirling is an… interesting book. The premise is classic Golden Age science fiction: a H. Beam Piper*-esque hero creates a stable dimensional portal to an alternate California that Europeans have never colonized, or even visited. And so, in classic Golden Age style, the aforementioned Great Man of history goes and carves out a nice little kingdom for himself and his fellow freebooters… and that’s where the book gets a little enjoyably awkward, because S.M. Stirling quite enjoys reminding us that our grandparents and great-grandparents were from a completely different people. The book is not precisely a dystopia, but the society it describes is perhaps not somewhere you’d want to live. Read about? Sure. Live? …Not so much. But it is indeed a page-turner. Especially if you like your adventure fiction to come with appendices, and who among us does not?
And so, adieu to Digital Divide.
*This was so totally a homage to H. Beam Piper. Stirling made it pretty explicit, in fact.