Imagine we were at war, millions of casualties, protesters on the White House lawn, and a wartime debt of trillions, but in this war no one, neither civilian nor military, knows who the fuck we are fighting.
Do you mind if I curse?
In the novel it’s called the “Enigma Campaign” or “World War Who.” Ten years before the opening of the novel, every major military instillation worldwide was attacked by something, but we don’t know what. What we do know is that it’s none of the usual suspects. It’s neither aliens nor AI, no foreign country or ourselves. This antagonistic force, in a word, is (spoiler). And as the attacks become more frequent, more brazen, it will unwittingly destroy both us and itself in the process.
That spoiler is the big idea, and the protagonist of the story was created with specific attributes that thematically and structurally reflect that idea.
Sergeant Paxton Arés is an androne pilot from Oakland, California, and a soon-to-be father. He leaves his grandfather, girlfriend and unborn child to report for duty at Nellis Base in Nevada. Paxton is a bit of jarhead, not the type to speak up or get promoted. He operates one of the lower-tier andrones, a Spartan series, out in some foreign desert from a cockpit a thousand miles away. Every day he waits for an enemy that never shows up…
Read more at: The Big Idea: Dwain Worrell