Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review: The Cold Cash War by Robert Asprin

Synopsis: The corporate wars were on! They were sophisticated games played with all the subtlety and skill technology could devise. Until saving costs became more important than life itself. At the corporate negotiations table, beautiful Judy Simmons announced the change in rules. Beneath her tough exterior she was shaken – shaken enough to confide in Fred Willard, her most dangerous rival. They would come to share the horror of what lay ahead. But even they had never heard of Steve Tidwell. He had been picked from the world’s best fighting men and given an offer he couldn’t refuse. What began as an exercise in tactics leapt out of control, as a mercenary army trained for the ultimate confrontation between the corporations and the rest of the world! (from the back of the book)

Review: I picked this up for $1 because of the cover. It looked so ridiculous. Turned out, the story was intriguing, with odd twists and turns. The idea is simple: corporations battle in simulated conflict, with a pre-negotiated agreement of what winning means and what the winner gets. As two corporations, a Communications firm and an Oil company battle it out, the outcome has repercussions for the entire world.
First, the tech is awesome. The idea of kill-suits and time-stamped bombs – war without bloodshed. The characters, each active in a part of the whole, collide in the end, and see the whole for what it is. For some, it means wealth and power – and for others, it means death.
Fast-paced, with lots of turns, it kept me hooked. The characters are bit shallow, but defined enough, and there isn’t enough time to really develop them. The story moves quickly and some of the details are left out, but given this is based on a short story, it makes sense. I recommend as a fun read, with some depth. The book is slightly terrifying in that it could happen - someday our corporations could take over the world, issue their own currency, and make governments obsolete. It’s not unthinkable…

Bookmarks: 3.5 of 10

Awards: None

Year Published: 1977
Date Finished: 1-09-2016
Pages: 187

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