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Texas Bake Sale: 03/07/09
In the previous issue, Charles Coleman Finlay had a historical fantasy set during the revolutionary war called "The Minutemen's Witch." This month's offering is in the near future (about a hundred years from now) and set in what remains of Texas.
"Texas Bake Sale" is by no means a fluffy piece about selling brownies in the future. "Operation Bake Sale" as this band of Marines calls their operation is a way of securing needed funds, equipment and recruits. Imagine a future where the economy has plummeted to the point of a civil war that has obliterated the United States. There are nation states from the remains of the old states but they are not necessarily the same fifty we have now.
The post United States science fiction story isn't anything new. I could make a long list of them but I won't. The primary example that jumped to my mind is 0553278746?The Postman by David Brin (and the lame movie staring Kevin Costner). In Brin's version, things started to get back in order slowly when a confidence man weasels his way into a walled city by claiming to be mailman. Of course like Henry Hill in B00000F14B?>The Music Man he ends up being tricked into making good on those promises and becomes a better person for it.
"Texas Bake Sale" offers no such glimmer of hope. Instead it is just a slice of this future history with a few hints at how we got from now to then. There are also discussions on the history of piracy and the nebulous line between legitimate, government backed forces and pirates.
Of the four stories I've now read by Charles Coleman Finlay, "Texas Bake Sale" is my favorite followed by "We Come Not to Praise Washington."