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Then again He puts on personas for every occasion during the meeting, Land saw him as not as a gold armoured god, but as an utterly logical scientist and the Emperor had the whole shtick of people interpreting his words in the manner that made the most sense to them personally who really knows when He's being genuine or not or how He feels. There must have been a reason why he prevented Vulkan from going completely batshit insane when he was killed over and over by his brother Konrad Kurze after all Also Guilliman reflects that Big E could not have afforded deep affection for any of his sons, so lets see how the final confrontation between Horus on roid rage and Big E will play out in the end - as in older fluff Big E held back because he couldn't bring it upon himself to snuff out his most favoured son and it did not read like in "my most favoured screw driver" kind of way.
But in the end, despite being the most powerful psyker to have ever lived he may still have been "human" after all, and every living being has emotions. So maybe his biggest "flaw" if you want to call it such may have been that he might not have been able to separate himself from his sons err I mean toolbox as he would have hoped for. While interred on the Golden Throne, the Emperor's psychic-essence prevents daemon kind from directly assailing Terra through the broken remains of the Imperial Webway in the form of a golden sun , while additionally sustaining and managing the psychic-beacon known as the Astronomican , that makes warp travel within 50, light years around Terra possible.
A question that remained unanswered for a long time is that, is the above thing the only thing he is capable of doing these days? Or can he communicate with others? In the past few supplicants were allowed an audience with the Emperor though the fluff's always been iffy on whether or not they talked, or if it was more a spiritual visit to a shrine. The recent advance in the timeline revealed that the newly revived Guilliman had an audience with him for a whole day in which they did talk and he still seems to have some sort of connection to the Custodes , so yes, he can.
But then, what is he waiting for before waking the sleepy beauty up? It could be that he literally couldn't talk to anyone before that, considering that even Guilliman shuddered at the thought of the mental sand blasting that was speaking with the Emperor. It's possible the same communion might destroy a mortal, or kill the comatose Lion by accident. Perhaps the only thing stopping the Emperor from direct governance of the Imperium is his psychic voice delivering the equivalent of an Ordinatus blast every time he uses it, so he cannot chastise the incompetence of the High Lords for fear of killing them outright.
Speaking of talking to him, when Roboute was revived from stasis and finally got to Terra to talk to dad, Roboute noted the Emperor regarded him with the interest one would regard a tool. He also reflects on how he feels that the Emperor's psychic might has grown since his death, but that his humanity has gone as well, to the point that Guilliman thinks that even if he is a god he doesn't deserve to be worshiped.
However, following the Plague Wars Guilliman has considered the possibility that his ascension may have been a plan B for humanity following the failure of the Imperial Truth, and both Mortarion and Ku'Gath believe the Emperor is gathering energy to create what they call an "Unliving Legion". Consorting with Xenos, resurrecting ancient technology. Don't believe that he is blameless in this In contrast to the above quote, the Emperor and the Imperium as a byproduct fucking hates aliens, though not without reason.
During the Age of Strife numerous Xenos races exploited humanity's trust and either raided, lollygagged, looted or all of the above and were generally a nuisance the entire time. Then the Emperor comes along and decides that the best way to stop all that from happening again is to wipe out all Xenos that might even think to pose a threat to the fledgling Imperium. However, those few Xenos species that did not pose an immediate threat to humanity were usually made protectorates similar to the Tau government unless they resisted, were in the way, or possessed a planet , influenced human culture at all.
Ever since His ascension, the Imperium mostly forgot about the part where harmless aliens could be tolerated, but on the other hand, the most common xenos are massive dicks and aren't exactly willing to buddy up with the Imperium themselves. To be even more fair and meta , the triumvirate of Horus Heresy authors tend to have their own interpretation of the Big E. Graham McNeill generally portrays Him as competent and benevolent if flawed , Dan Abnett portrays Him as competent but bloodthirsty, while Aaron Dembski-Bowden portrays Him as a vicious, needlessly cruel imbecile and even this is counterbalanced by his portrayal in Master of Mankind, where he's interestingly a mixture of all the previous portrayals at once - which is kinda of appropriate really.
Chris Wraight, as far as he has portrayed Him, has done so through the eyes of Jaghatai Khan, showing Him as deeply flawed and distant from His own sons, but also countering that He was working towards goals even the Primarchs couldn't fully grasp. Even in Path of Heaven, where the Khan gets close to learning the secrets of the Webway project, he's shown to not have all the cards the Emperor's knowledge that humanity is evolving into a psychic race, for example. On another note, long before the Horus Heresy novel series , there were hidden gems Noobs are not aware of, such as a text describing the fight between Horus and the Emperor although it wasn't written especially well , or Conspiracy Theories.
One of them was actually the possibility that the Emperor was already dead when Rogal Dorn managed to reach him; however, in the aforementioned text, Horus had realised that he had been wronged and deceived by the Chaos Gods , who immediately ceased to possessed the Warmaster and fled before the Emperor's final Force attack bring woe to both of them. What if the Emperor had spared him or if the Warmaster survived somehow? In Olden Fluff, all Primarchs were Psykers and originally supposed to be shining examplars of Human free from the taint of the Empyrean which they failed to bear true potential due to their early contact with the Warp, via the Dark Gods abducting them pedobear style.
This in turn was what caused their mutations and unique characteristics and diversity which was more of a metaphor that each Primarch was an image of humanity themselves; in fact, much of the powers of the Primarchs, like the Emperor, would have come from their psychic abilities. It is known that Sensei 's powers include health, regeneration, greater athletic prowess and overpowering their Strength stat when they try to attack something, thus it would not be surprising if it was also the case for Primarchs baby Sanguinius was super healthy and immune to Baal's radiations, Curze crawled out of his molten drop-pod and crater while screaming in pain and fled immediately, instinctively, into the darkness, and later his body was fully healed prior to the new fluff messing everything up, 'cause BL writers have trouble getting their shit together.
But back to where we are; the notion that the Emperor was dead forebodes a terrible possibility, in which the corpse that Rogal Dorn took back on Terra's Imperial Palace was not Big E but of Horus being passed as the Emperor The Emperor was a firm believer that the ends justified the means and was pragmatic in the extreme, and yet at the same time, it was this very same pragmatism that ultimately led to his downfall:.
On another note, the fact his ossified self has managed to shed tears and there was an incident where everyone across the Imperium saw statues of the Emperor weeping tears of blood due the incoming disasters of the End Times may mean that he has finally started to realize how horribly he fucked up on every possible level. Or maybe it's hurting even more than ever to stay sit at the Golden Throne. The latter is far more likely; according to Roboute Guilliman, when he met with the Emperor after his revival, He treated Guilliman as a mere tool without showing even the faintest display of affection or care for him as a person.
One can only assume that 10, years on the Golden Throne has done absolutely nothing to make the Emperor be less of an asshole; in fact, he's described as being human in name alone, and Guilliman believes that even if he is a god he doesn't deserve to be worshipped.
Add the lack of a loving mother figure for the kids, and well To throw a spanner into the works when considering whatever the Emperor's "goals" might have been: A very interesting claim was made by Malcador himself to his dying confidante Sibel Niasta that the Heresy was all part of the plan , that the Primarchs were designed as "conquering tools and nothing more", set on course to fight for dominance and eventually turn on each other and challenge the Emperor directly. This is corroborated by what we already "knew" from Master of Mankind and the Emperor's own attitudes towards the Primarchs which admittedly has constantly been shown to be shifting.
As has been frequently pointed out the final confrontation between Horus and the Emperor - as we currently know it - would not make any sense if he merely considered them to be disposable tools anyway. Why "hold back" then to start out with? The Primarchs were manipulated against each other with unequal favour , jealousies stoked in order to achieve this, and he also claims that those who would not be manipulated never reach the end game. What is not certain is whether he was speaking the whole truth since he does later admit privately just after the conversation that he had to lie to mortals to spare their sorrow, so what parts he "lied" about are uncertain he could've made the whole "just as planned" story up, it could've all been true and he was regretting manipulating the Primarchs and their legions, it could even refer to a single sentence where he implies that the Emperor will save her soul after death ; he also admits that the outcome had been altered by the great enemy who had emboldened their champions and started the battle early so he did not know with absolute certainty how it was going to turn out.
However, as shown from "The Board is Set" or the novel "The Outcast dead" Malcador and the Emperor were certainly shown to have considerable amounts of foreknowledge regarding the Horus Heresy and certainly did play the Primarchs against each other in order to attempt to counter the manipulations of Chaos. However in the Board is Set, Malcador is shown that the Primarch's destinies were not necessarily fixed and could have been played in different ways; some Primarchs were sacrificed for greater goals like you would remove a figure from the board to give you a better edge.
Whilst the Emperor had the knowledge that certain others were crucial to final victory. Malcador is also shown to not have been aware of the full plan or the flow of destinies; he is unaware of how certain seeming "winning" strategies are left unplayed because they have unexpected knock-on effects, or that certain moves played early or late could have had disastrous consequences.
Taking several factors into account, it is absolutely certain that Malcador and the Emperor had enough foreknowledge to know that the Horus Heresy was going to happen from the point of the Scattering onward. To say that it was all part of his "Grand Plan" would be a stretch, that many of the Primarchs had municipal gifts Perturabo's architectural mastery, Fulgrim's artistry etc , came with purposes suited to the Emperor's grand plan for a post-human society Magnus' and the Webway, Mortarion as a witchseeker and he definitely created one of them "different" from the rest with the explicit purpose of teaching the others how to settle down after a lifetime of war shows that the Emperor probably did have a plan for his Primarchs that didn't involve losing half of them and then chaining himself to the Golden Throne.
Otherwise why make twenty Primarchs with gifts related to your post-battle plans in the first place if you knew you were going to lose half of them? People who claim that this outcome was all part of the Emperor's plan have either missed or forgotten the fact that his opponent in the "game" was Chaos, and not Malcador Malcador and Emps switched places several times in their playthroughs which Malcador thought was just a means of testing strategy until it finally dawned on him that there was more to it and that the Chaos Gods had their own plans for the Primarchs too and were fully capable of changing the rules whenever it suited them.
Not to mention the Cabals of alien psykers manipulating humanity for their own outcome, Immortal humans that interfere with predictions of the future, and extradimensional beings trying to stop the primordial annihilator from manifesting all by making their own moves and causing more complications. If anything; The Board is Set goes a long way in explaining why the Emperor couldn't do any more with his advanced notice of impending conflict as any wrong move he made could have immediately spelled disaster for humanity.
Plus the Emperor's foresight was not perfect and it did not necessarily marry up with his practical knowledge; even though the game he played with Malcador showed the " Double Edged Sword , The Uncrowned Monarch and The Angel spending most of the game off to the side, the Emperor had no idea what they were actually doing until Malcador relayed the message from Leman Russ. His psychic foresight seems to have been shrouded in allegory and symbolism, rather than concrete certainty. Also note that "destiny" is different from what the Primarchs were "designed" for case in point: Magnus being designed to operate the Golden Throne, but also being destined to damage it.
While Emperor had designed all of his Primarchs for specific tasks, he would not have been able to identify the destined role that each Primarch was meant to play until events had already been set into motion and pulled them onto certain paths. He might been able to guess that Magnus was "the Library" or that Dorn was the "Invincible Bastion" but could not have been certain until the first moves of the game had been made. So until then he could only treat the Primarchs according to their gifts; hailing them as heroes, building them statues and trying to steer them away from obvious sources of corruption such as sorcery or religion.
Even if the Emperor had suspected which ones would turn against him and tried to eliminate them before they became problems, their destinies could have unfolded in a completely different way, potentially causing a similar conflict to happen albeit with a different combination of playing pieces on the board, or alternatively sacrificing any control he might have actually had over the Primarchs and still have ended up with a disaster on his hands. Also bearing in mind that he still needed to complete the Great Crusade and his Webway project; to put those plans on hold until the issue with Primarchs had sorted themselves out would probably have done him no good either because like the Emperor himself, Chaos is capable of playing the long game.
Lorgar is an interesting issue: Malcador once claimed that if he could have saved just one of the traitor Primarchs, it should have been Lorgar. However, from the Board is Set, the Emperor points out that game doesn't start with any piece other than the "Chosen", strongly hinted to represent Lorgar with his initial swaying of Horus and thus beginning the Heresy. This implies that no matter what moves are planned for, or what Primarchs ended up on either side; Chaos will always have a "Chosen" piece to start the game with.
Though keep in mind that Malcador speaks with the benefit of hindsight, and as mentioned previously, the Emperor was not omniscient, it is possible that neither of them were to fully realise that Lorgar was the Chosen until the first move of the game had already been made. What is most tragic is that Lorgar really wanted the love and approval of his father and was probably the most fanatically loyal to him in the early days, so turning him into Chaos most pivotal piece is a cruel irony.
If it were possible to have actually saved Lorgar before the conflict started, it would have probably unbalanced the game as Chaos would have been forced to find a different Primarch to fill the role of "Chosen", potentially upending the game altogether. Until the end of the Heresy, Malcador was not actually aware of how the final conflict actually played out; having seen himself only as an advisor, he was ignorant of his own role. The Emperor showed him in the final days that his piece, "The Fool", would switch places with the Emperor to snatch victory and allow the "Uncrowned Monarch" to play his "Salvation" strategy and win the game against chaos by tearing the throat out of the serpent.
Malcador's "lie" to his servant was most likely to provide the illusion of control; when in fact the Emperor and Malcador were desperately seeking to find an alternate solution that would not doom everyone. But pretty much like the Emperor stated in "The Outcast dead": "Sometimes the only victory possible is to keep your opponent from winning.
Regarding the Emperor's duel with Horus, we're all reasonably sure we know the old story. The Emperor faces down Horus, and had the power to roflstomp him, but his love for his favorite son prevented him from going all out, and Emps gets his ass kicked. It takes an extraordinarily callous killing by Horus to finally convince the Emperor that Horus is completely beyond saving, and Emps blasts him full power to put an end to the Horus Heresy. The rising problem here is that this version of events heavily relies on the Emperor's compassion particularly towards his sons , compassion that the Horus Heresy books and Dark Imperium assert that he never had , either then or in the 41st millennium.
For example, the Emperor put down his Thunder Warriors as soon as they served their purpose, and he didn't even pretend to care about Angron and his Butchers nails, asserting that he would keep him as long as he had a use for him, and so on. Anyway, without compassion, the duel scene in its current form simply does not work. After all Horus had done in the years before, in a room with the maimed corpse of Sanguinius, a loyal and beloved as far as it goes with Big E, at least son of his, there is really no way he would have gone all fatherly love on Horus and not just blasted him, or at least tried to.
Maybe the current form is Imperial propaganda trying to conceal the fact that Horus simply kicked his shiny golden ass for some reason? So what the hell actually happened? A very good question, at this point. Laurie Goulding has implied that when the Heresy books finally get to it, the final duel may play out very differently from how we think we know it. It certainly wouldn't be the first time it's been retconned. One possible explanation for why Emps' couldn't immediately obliterate Horus is perhaps due to divided attention and strength.
During the fight, Malcador was being taxed to the core and maybe the Emps was lending his power to buy Malcador some more time and thus was not able to actually unleash his full strength on Horus. However, Malcador had already received the same speech about being used as a disposable pawn by the Emperor for the sake of the overall goal, and knew he was going to die anyway as the Throne-switcharoo had been planned before the traitors had even arrived at Terra, so the Emperor would have no reason to stall just to save one man, even if they were genuinely friends.
The Emperor also knew in advance that the outcome would be his entombment on the Throne; when he found out about this he claimed that it was more than he expected but went so far as to tell his Custodians that his dream for the future of humanity was pretty much dead. Without the support of Magnus who was always intended to sit on the Throne unless someone came around with the knowledge to fix the Throne he would be trapped there until it it failed but according to his discussions with Malcador there was room for " Salvation " to come later.
One other possible suggestion for why the Emperor might have stalled is perhaps his prescience glimpsed some preferable alternative to simply pasting Horus then and there, but until that gets resolved it can only be speculation. Given that the future can be changed as in the case of the Lion who feared the future of Curze though not necessarily changed for the better or come without consequences such as knowing that Rogal Dorn could have defeated Horus early in the war, but Alpharius would have assaulted Terra and resulted in a Chaos win anyway the only options available to E-Money were to salvage the best he could from a shit situation.
Anyway, he is now stuck on the Throne guiding his subjects in the few ways available to him in his current state as an all-powerful vegetable. Perhaps, or perhaps not, to have hesitated out of love for a son, the final weakness during the last test to save mankind, that would have shown why the Emperor couldn't afford to love anyone, not even his own sons, and turned him into what he is now.
Though more recent fluff shows him to have always been more pragmatic than that. While he did seemingly care for his "sons", his foresight had shown him that half of them would turn to Chaos and move against him whether or not you believe Malcador's statement that it was planned from the start. Perhaps he even saw that there would always be half the Primarchs turning to Chaos and all the Emperor could do was choose which ones and try to plan for them.
Maybe the two missing Primarchs were dealt with just to try and reduce the number of Primarchs and Legions involved without crippling the Great Crusade. Though even with this foreknowledge, the Emperor was on the back foot and many of the actions of the Horus Heresy involved playing the Primarchs against each other to prevent an overall Chaos victory rather than achieving an Imperial win. TL;DR: Everyone whom has the chance to be in the Emperor's presence perceives something different, based on their own experiences and expectations.
Nothing He ever says should be taken at face value, since it is 'warped' by the narrator's interpretation. That's true, and I definitely wanted to bring out a better understanding of his vision and what he was up against, but that's also lore I'd wager anyone with a deep knowledge of the setting already had a handle on to some degree, whether explicitly or not. What I wanted to avoid was too much "new" stuff. You have to put in something new, and thankfully what little newness I do introduce in my work is seemingly well-regarded, but I've always said our job as I see it is to illustrate the setting and show what it's like to live there, not to set it in stone.
As much as the fandom adores "advancing the storyline", it's not something that interests me, by and large. I try my best to show things from the perspectives of characters on the ground level, bring a few perceptions of the setting through the lens of my own imagination and the insight I'm lucky enough to get endlessly talking about the setting with its creators and inheritors, and then get out. Most of my books are, to some extent, not definitive. They're about Some Guy, not the entire faction.
Grimaldus in Helsreach has no bond to the wider war on Armageddon and hates that he's been left behind by the Black Templars, but he's hopefully a good example of what it feels like to be a Black Templar, and to think like one, and - crucially - what it feels like to be a human around them. Talos and the other characters of First Claw spend a trilogy unable to decide what the Night Lords Legion really was, and each of them remembers their glory days differently. I didn't want to speak for the whole Legion. HH-wise, I didn't want to show all of the Word Bearers and base a book around the expectations of Kor Phaeron, Lorgar, and Erebus, so I focused on the Serrated Sun in the middle of the changes taking place across the galaxy.
Savage Weapons is largely about Corswain, not about Curze and the Lion. As much as I wrote about Angron and Lorgar, they get significantly less in-their-heads screen time than most other primarchs in most other books. I try to present a feel for how it is to live inside that culture and be part of the experiences they go through; it's about immersion into the Chapter or Legion, presenting them as believable and real, not definitively saying "All of Chapter X are like Y.
Anything I say will be taken out of context or weaponised one way or another somewhere, and used in a way that makes me sigh, cringe, or a dramatic melange of both that shall hereafter be called the sigh-cringe. Plus, most of all, I have faith in readers. They don't need me defining anything, even if it might be interesting for a few peeps. So, I'll just say this. The Master of Mankind is entirely from the perspectives of people that meet the Emperor in pretty specific circumstances.
There are, obviously, other circumstances to come. Nothing in it is definitive, even less so than my usual work. Any definitive statement you can make about how the Emperor sees something or does something is almost always contradicted in the book itself. That's not an escape clause or an excuse.
It's the point. Writing him definitively would've been the easiest and most disappointing thing in the world. And on that note, remember, everyone views 40K differently. What Person X is absolutely certain is the truth of the Emperor and the best way to present him would be laughed off by Persons A, B, and C. The flip side to that is that not every perspective is founded in fact or understanding. The earliest "I've not read this yet, but They're there, and they're definitely formative - totally agree - if not exactly definitive.
With the Emperor, a lot of interaction is about getting out what you put in. You get what you give. Your perceptions and expectations are reflected back on you because that's how the human brain perceives everything a fact that cannot be overstated; the science behind it is fascinating and all-important , especially when you're talking about someone who exists on that plane of power.
At one point the Emperor makes mention of the notion that he's not even speaking, that being near to him allows the conveyance of meaning through psychic osmosis, and communication telepathically.
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He's not even talking. It's raw understanding filtering through a mind, or just the way the mortal mind comprehends the aura of what the Emperor intends, or, or, or That's what I mean. TMoM is littered with that stuff. Does he only address the primarchs by number instead of name? Some characters will swear he does that, and doesn't that just perfectly match their perspectives of the primarchs as either emotionally-compromised "too-human" things that think they're sons Ra , or genetic masterworks that have become galaxy-damning screw-ups that have literally let the galaxy burn and brought the Imperium to its knees, leading people to be exiled from their homeworlds Land.
Do you think Sanguinius will agree? Or care that's what mortals think? Ra sees the Warlord of Humanity, just a man, but a great mean, weary and defiant, burdened by responsibility. Daemons see their annihilation, and go insane in his presence. One of the Knights, as they're marching through the Throne Room, is caught in religious rapture, unable to do anything but stare at the glorious halo of the Emperor of Mankind on the Golden Throne.
One of the Sisters of Silence, in the same room, literally just sees a man in a chair. Another character, not Imperial, asks a Custodian if the Emperor even breathes. She believes he's a weapon left out of its box from the Dark Age of Technology. With thanks to Alan Bligh for that one, he adores that theory. So I don't think it's exactly a spoiler to say that if and when I get to write a character like Sanguinius in the Emperor's presence, or Malcador, they'd have entirely different experiences than Ra and Land. I'd loved to have had that in TMoM, but as much as it would've given wider context, these aren't rulebooks and essays; it would've been self-indulgent for the sake of 'hoping people get it', and cheapened the story being told, which was ultimately in a very narrow and confined set of circumstances.
Breaking out of that narrative would be offering a sense of scope and freedom I was specifically trying to avoid in a claustrophobic siege story. Because theme and atmosphere is a thing. We believe in one Lord, Emperor of Mankind, the only Lord of creation, eternally begotten of Humanity, Human from Human, Light from Light, true Lord from true Lord, begotten, not made, of one Being with Humanity; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and came among us.
For our sake he has faced down Chaos; he withstood death and was enthroned. To this day he lives on in accordance with the Scriptures; he resides upon Mother Terra and is seated upon the throne of Humanity. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Emperor, the giver of life, who proceeds from Humanity and from Terra, who with Humanity and upon Terra is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy true and divinely guided Ecclesiarchy. We acknowledge one path for the defense against Chaos. We look for the justice for our dead, and the life of the worlds to come. He built a rebellion upon that claim. How he would gloat, to see the Imperium now". This creed is propagated and its adherence is enforced by the Adeptus Ministorum and the Inquisition.
All citizens and fighters of the Imperium have little-to-no say about their choice in faith or lack thereof ; they must worship the Emperor through the various Ministorum-approved faiths throughout the galaxy due to varying cultures, many planets have their own way of worshiping the Emperor. Although these are heavily regulated by the Ministorum to weed out any heretical influences. Anyone who defies or deviates from the teachings of the Imperial Creed or even is just perceived to defy it , whether willingly or unwillingly after all, incompetence is inexcusable in the eyes of the Emperor , is condemned as a heretic and is executed whether its going to be fast or excruciatingly slow is dependent on the person judging the condemned.
Even if someone hasn't disobeyed the Imperial Creed but is deemed to have will be treated as if they broke the Creed. Forgiveness for one's sins is possible, although these cases are exorbitantly rare at least the ones that doesn't end with the accused being condemned to a glorious death, and it usually is extremely painful.
It doesn't help that some of the members of the Ecclesiarchy and Inquisition are so batshit insane that they are killing countless innocent followers of the Imperial Creed for no reason. Now, the only reason the Imperium worships the Emperor is that after His fight with Horus and His internment into the Golden Throne, they realized what he taught them when he preached the Imperial Truth was complete bullshit.
Ol' Empy did not actually tell anyone of the Chaos Gods, withholding the information even from the Primarchs in hopes of protecting them from corruption by hoping that ignorance is bliss, unfortunately, this became part of why the Horus Heresy happened in the first place. Some saw that the Emperor lied to them by holding the truth hidden , some did not know how to handle the temptation the Gods conveyed, some did not even know that they were manipulated all this time and by whom, some would try to seek out something to place their faith upon , not realizing what would needed to be done to become chosen in the eyes of the Gods.
Plus, it's pretty damn hard to fight against something if you don't know that it exists. The Horus Heresy novels also mentioned the Interex , another atheist empire who understood that threat of Chaos, but treated that information secularly and scientifically: they told every citizen everything that was known about "Kaos", and thus resisted the taint altogether which basically shows how ineffective the Imperial Truth really was and how much the Emperor has screwed up. Unfortunately this still made them targets and the Imperium was used by Chaos as a cats-paw to wipe them out.
In the Emperor's long game, he knew that humanity was evolving into a psychic species with even more potential than the Eldar, and look what happened to them? E-money wanted mankind to be a utopia of science and reason , by eliminating religion and thus preventing the temptations of daemons , controlling psykers and thus preventing random daemonic possessions , and eliminating warp travel by creating the Human Webway and thus eliminating all human contact with Chaos when traveling through the Warp. He wanted to isolate humanity from the Chaos Gods, cause who gives a shit about the Ruinous Powers if they're stuck in the Warp with no way of getting out?
However, He made a critical mistake in disregarding the human need to believe in something greater than oneself, and despite His best efforts, nothing was enough to fill the place of religion in human society. Ironically, the best solution would be not to suppress faith but to redirect it towards something else, but because of his natural awesomeness, unmatched psychic powers and enigmatic nature, that "something else" ended up being the Emperor himself.
After He went off being the most powerful psychic cucumber in the universe, and lost direct control of the Imperium, belief in Him sort of helped the Imperium stand together against all odds. With the Warp being what it is, the act of worshiping the Emperor supercharged His power in the Immaterium to the point of being truly godlike, even while His body shut down and died.
The Imperium's faith in the Emperor is basically their biggest anchor of bravery and perseverance in a universe where humanity is constantly beset by:.
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Without their faith in the Emperor after His internment into the Golden Throne, the fragments of the Imperium would have fought against each other again like in the pre-Great Crusade days and subsequently devolved into what they were before the Emperor revealed Himself. So yes, much like IRL religion, it gives them hope and courage to fight on and survive in a universe that leaves the grimdark faucet running everyday and night.
It's worth noting that good ol' Empy wouldn't have had nearly as much of a problem with all this unwanted worship if He hadn't, just as a quick example, insisted on wearing horrifyingly ornate solid gold armour and a big glowy halo at all times. Or on carrying a flaming sword of righteousness. Or on building continent-sized monuments to His vanity. Or on decking all His personal troops and favored genetic experiments in as much bling as they could possibly carry. Or on being eleven fucking feet tall. Or on creating a functional pantheon of genetically engineered demigods, one of whom looked like and was referred to as a literal Angel.
If you look like space-Jesus and act like space-Jesus, people are going to take those observations to their extreme conclusions, like what Lorgar did when he wrote the Lectitio Divinitatus , which can be summarized as "Ordinary men can't blow up suns and carry big glowy halos at all times, only a God can, therefore the Emprah is God. That said, to Games Workshop's credit His being buttfucked by His own hubris and disregard for the humanity He claimed to be guiding in this manner was probably intentional as a classic tale of Greek Tragedy.
With the Golden Throne being consistently worn out, and the Tech-priests too power-armor-on-head rebooted to do anything about it at least until they finish studying Malcador's staff, provided GW doesn't forget that plot point , it is certainly possible that the Golden Throne may stop working entirely, though what this might do is up for debate, since the Emperor has been dead for a very long time now.
Yes, yes, you read that right, the Emperor is dead. Now quit your shrieking and take a fething chill pill, there's more to it than that. His murderous exploits and cool, calm cunning takes him although way to the top at the White House, his aim: to get his hands on the big war stuff! The novel also takes swipes at celebrity culture, religion, mob mentality and pretty much everything else. It's one of those goto books when a friend asks for a recommendation. A book that was way ahead of its time, predicting flying machines and total war. Plus it is a great read and adventure story.
You believe what you are reading really happended as Martians invide Surrey and London in the late Victorian era. It also created a sub genre of its own the "Alien Invasion" story. A classic novel that stands above all others. Read this, and it's sequels, 20 years ago. Could not put the book down. Finished it in 2 days. Still totally abosrbs me today. Great detailed story about a lonely, little boy. Also fascinating on the military life of Battle School and the Earth's attitude to alien races. Not just this book but the whole series. Benchmark sci fi novel and whats important is the prose, the ideas expunded in the books and the fact that all my sci fi hating friends read the series on reccomendation and were completely converted.
Amazing book. Incredible vision. Lazurus Long - how I wish to be him! I was twelve when I read Ringworld, my first adult Science Fiction novel. It sparked a life long love of SF. The central concept of the Ringworld a constructed habitat that is a ring around a star is vividly brought to life. The story moves at a pace and the aliens very well imagined - especially the Pearson's Puppeteer. This book is a prime example of why SF will always be a literary form with TV and film being very much the poor relations.
I still have that battered second hand copy I read first over thirty years ago and have reread several times since. Becasue it's a collection of haunting short stories about what would happen when humans got to Mars, each filled with twists, turns and pathos. Like the Martians who defend themselves by changing their appearance to look like humans, to the last human left on the planet after the rest have gone back to Earth. Plus, like all good Sci Fi, it's not really about space, but about humanity.
As a young boy this book fed my imagination for sci-fi. Having been originally written in the 30s the vivid pictures he paints of far away worlds with bizarre creatures in a swashbuckling story were far ahead of its time. As you say if current human civilization was unexpectedly destroyed, I'd like this to survive as a warning of how it could all happen again. A distant star: a group of scientists sent to examine its primitive society. An ambassador given permission to roam.
The discovery that the society is not really primitive and pre-industrial. The gradual realization that the society is post-atomic and that the re-discovery of machinery and science has been banned post the disaster Mary Gentle's book is in itself a voyage of discovery in which the reader starts as a comfortable alien observer and ends as a very uncomfortable but involved critic of a world that wobbles between utopia and dystopia.
Very handy for hitchhikers and the best read. Introduces millions of people to to British humour and the SF genre every year. Great advert for SF and also very funny. A fantastic book that should be read by anyone planning to join the secret service as a subversive officer!
It's easy to read, a great story that keeps you hooked. The characters are great and you really root for the hero. A man wakes up naked to find he has been resurrected along with every other human who ever lived during the history of earth. Their new home is a riverplanet, they are all 25, they don't age, they can't die, and it is all a big social and spiritual project, created by an alien race.
This book and the ones that follow are staggering conceptually. They mix history, politics, pyschology, religion, and everyday life in a sublime cocktail. One of the few Sci-Fi books that you read in which that you know you are also a character. For those that go the distance with the whole Riverworld series, the final installment 'Gods of the Riverworld' cranks up the hypothetical social situations to mind boggling levels. Computers that play your whole life back to you, so you can come to terms with your wasted time, evil deeds, poor posture. A super computer that can build rooms a hundred miles wide, and produce anything from human history at request.
A cornerstone of the sci-fy genre. Read how Paul Atriedes uncovers the secrets of Arrakis and the Fremen people. Follow Paul's journey into a dangerous world where unlocking the power of the spice melange and it's keepers transforms him into the most powerful being in the galaxy. Set in an epic universe filled with wierd and wonderul creatures, monsters and alien races.
A must read for any sci-fy nut. Despite not having the easiest of openings you really have to force yourself to get past the first few pages , this really is a superb opening to a wonderful Sci-Fi trilogy. There are some great ideas, some excellent characters and some wonderful speculation on humanities future, but most of all it's a cracking story, and the main plot sideswipes you from left-field when you get to it as it was for me, at least totally unexpected. Cannot recommend this enough.
Imaginative, well written. I really like the way the author describes a data world, and interweaves this with a broader narrative, which includes a comparison between the plight of a Jewish community in Prague during the 16th-century and the futuristic community of the future. Splendid stuff. So much SciFi work is seen as being written by people whose only talent was a good imagination.
[Book Excerpt | Master of Mankind] The Emperor's plans. What do you guys think? : 40kLore
Alfred Bester was one a new age of writers who wrote engaging stories that happened to be along a SciFi theme. Gully Foyle is reborn on the Nomad, but is alive to revenge only, in a plot which takes us through a world where instantaneous travel with the power of the human mind is possible. His journey to discover who he is can only be compared to the greats of SciFi writing.
A definite must read. It challenges the concept of self and individuality. It is unremittingly, violently captivating throughout and it introduces the coolest hotel ever imagined. Its simply sublime, beautiful written, and would be an epic if it was on screen. Simply the best series of SCi Fi books ever written. How was it missed out? Asimov changed our understanding of robots with his formulation of the laws governing the behavior of robots.
The stories combine science fact and fiction in such a way that you almost believe the robots are humans. Well written interesting stories that really make the reader ponder the future of robots. It's just a feckin brilliant story apart from the end which was a bit naff imo. This fantasy doesn't include any aliens, space ships, or magic, but it's in its' own weird universe.
A very Dickensian gothic tale. I agree about William Gibson. The tale is a great romp of the imagination with an insight into some physics. It is a completely worked out version of a believable future. It does not require the 'suspension of disbelief' normal to SF. And it is a great adventure story! Old school Silverberg before he went over to the dark side of fantasy , details human feelings of loss like no other SF tale. Very human story of the more-than-humans living amongst us.
The enormous scale and technical details of the science fiction element of the story are breath taking whilst the story still holds the reader close to the characters of the core individuals in the story. As with all Dick's books, it explores his twin fascinations: what is human? What is real? The human side is handled with his usual tender melancholy, while the metaphysical investigations are ramped up and up as the protaganist, teleported to a colony planet where all is not as it seems, dissolves, with the aid of an LSD tipped dart, into a nightmare where reality itself seems to deconstruct.
Wonderful language and weird world building. The protagonist - Adam Reith - a stranded earthman has many adventures, encountering the various inhabitants of Tschai, a much fought over planet. Not quite a picaresque as Reith is too honest but some of his associates are less so. Charming and lovely books and, let us not forget, anyone who can title one of them vol 2 Servants of the Wankh is worthy of deep respect even if he didn't know what it means to english ears haha.
Do yoursel a favour : read it and see,it will open your mind. The Player of Games does more than tell an exciting and engaging tale. In the empire of Azad, where the books action takes place, Iain M Banks creates a civilization which reflects the worst excesses of our own, despite its alien nature. Using the empire of Azad themes of one cultures interference in another are explored as the benign, peaceful Culture displays the lengths it will go to push a cruel empire closer to its own philosophy.
The story revolves around a man playing a board game. Admittedly it's a vast, complex board game central to the lives of those who play it, but it's essentially just a big, complicated chess set. This sounds like rather dull stuff to relate to the reader, but the authors descriptions of the game are never less than completely involving and genuinely exciting. There is a popular misconception that Douglas Adams was responsible for bringing humour into Sci-Fi.
But before him there was already the brilliant Stanislaw Lem, whose humour can be often anarchic and deeply satirical. This is a good example of his satirical humour at its most razor sharp. If the idea of Sci-Fi combined with Swiftean satire sounds appealing then this book is definitely for you. Supremely imaginative, and enjoyable at some level at almost any age. Written in the 50s, it creates a remarkably believable portrayal of modern life, before continuing an escape into an equally believable future.
It asks all the important questions about human beings and society. I'm using UoW as my choice but really any of Banks' culture novels fit the bill. Banks' stands astride 21st century science fiction as a giant. He not only manages to excel in world building, The Culture has to be one of the greatest realised sci-fi universes in print, but also manages something that virtually all other sci-fi authors fail at; the evolution of psychology over time.
The inhabitants of Banks' worlds are existentially flawed and carry with them a melancholy created by pitting emotional psychology against the vast backdrop and advanced science they have foisted upon them.
The Phoenix Through Time
The scale of his stories could leave the protagonists dwarfed by the spectacle but they end up dovetailing perfectly into the situations thought up by Banks by allowing us to connect to the madness of existance, whether they're human or alien. Each of his new novels are events in the genre and allow their readers to conduct thought experiments of what it would be like to exist in such a reality surely the goal of any sci-fi? I read it as a teenager and the sheer scale of the technological achievement of building the Ring has stayed with me - even though I cant remember much of the details of the story today!
Totally influenced and encouraged me to pursue my dream of working in the building industry which I don't regret, even today. Atmospheric blend of fantasy and s decadence, with a consumptive, sexually ambiguous heroine whom I'd love to see Tilda Swinton play! It realistically sets out an anarchist society from an anthropological background; it's a hard life but it actually works! AND it also provides the alien's perspective on humanity! Not just the best SF. But best novel Ive ever read. Impossible to explain its importance so briefly. Art irrelevant? SF escapist pap? Orwell lays it out. It is appropriated by literary fiction like most great SF.
It's a thousand pages of wonder and awe at how mindboggling complex the universe is and the joy and fascination there is in trying to understand it with just the human brain. This is how physics and philosophy should be taught - at the same time and with multi-dimensional spaceships. An Epic Story, with a dark plot. Donaldson creates a very beleiveable universe. As Soon as I finished the 1st book, I was online ordering the remaining 4 stories.
This is the third book in C. Lewis's science fiction trilogy. It combines themes of mythology, allegory and religion with some great characters and moments of true horror. It's a great story that keeps you gripped all the way through. This book is about the simple acts of kindness that can make immense and profound differences to the future. The main character is Shevik: physicist and great scientist who is nearly close to ending up with a great scientific theory that he knows will change the world forever. He makes a difficult decision to travel to the neighbouring planet of Urras to try and use their expertise to piece it together.
The novel weaves around in time: Shevik's present and past are explored: his strength is buoyed by the love he finds from the woman he loves, but also the limitations of living in a real communist world where there aren't enough resources for the people, are both explored. Back on Urras, Shevik begins to realise he is becoming a small pawn in a powerful government's game and has to reconcile himself with the fact that he may never have been able to go home in the first place and may never go home now.
At its centre is Shevik: complicated, resilient, brave and fiercely intelligent. It remains one of the best characters I can remember in any book - at the end the final twist of the twin narratives meets into one of the best endings I have read in any book. It's a different kind of science fiction that allows the reader to be an active creator of the "other timely" world introduced by Koontz. It's not about zombies or aliens or space but it does represent something maybe even more bone-chilling: the answer to the question "what if?
The epic scope of the book, showing the terrifying yet exciting possibilities of the human race as an multi planetary starship faring bunch of brilliently flawed individuals, and organsiations. A really rare find these days as I think it is out of print. Witty and engaging, it draws parralels with life on earth in a profound and imaginative alien galaxy. First published in , the book documents the many highs and lows of man's struggle for survival.
The book contains the first mention of genetic engineering in a sci fi novel, a compelling and truly eye-opening read. So maybe it is the outer fringes of SF where myth and fantasy meets "steam punk" but it does have futuristic dimensions albeit in a retro kinda way. It is the way the characters seem unbelievable yet real which gets me in all of his books by the way and sucks me in to a reading time vortex - as all good books should. Bradbury's Mars keeps shifting its identity, becoming a symbol of the dreams and fears of America itself.
No attempt is made at scientific accuracy this Mars is hot, for example , and the stories reflect the Cold War era in which they were written. Bradbury could overwrite, but he keeps this tendency under control here, and the book has a haunting resonance. It has the fastest start I can recollect any book having, The Affront are hilarious and the Culture ships superb. I also appreciate that the nature of the excession is never defined. Hard sci-fi at its best. The attention to detail and depth of knowledge of the author make this a compelling and inspirational book to read.
This is a strange, compelling and beautifully written story. I'd defy anyone from the most hard-nosed SF aficionado on up not to enjoy reading it. If can get into the language, you'll enter a plausible yet mythical world where you'll get your first knowin from the eyes of a dog and learn the secrets of the master chaynjis. Can't believe that none of these magnificent books were chosen. Some better than others, but all full of wonderful prose, deep imagination, gripping stories and interesting characters.
One of the few books I've read in one sitting. Set in a wonderfully imagined dystopic America, it's very bleak but also savagely funny, always brilliant, and ultimately heartbreaking. This book is a positive, hopeful contemplation of mankind's possible next step. How we might evolve into something better than we are now. The first hint of this next evolutionary step is not evidenced by those we conventionally think of as brighter, stronger or more beautiful, but by the supposed freaks and invalids that just might come together in some way to become, collectively, something Ringworld is SF on a grand scale in many respects.
Set far into the future, it is scientifically well researched and utterly believable, with "alien" characters that are lifelike and convincing: the story is entertaining yet the concept is original and thought-provoking. A fantastic novel, one of many well-written books by Larry Niven. Excellent book using Sci-fi construct of time dilation to show futility of war.
Written after he server in Vietnam. The sheer scope of the imagination: the predatory Kzin and the cowardly puppeteer. The gradual unfolding of the driving force of the novel: all the time you are thinking it is the major characters and the incredible world while in reality it is the minor character and her luck. My son and I discussed it for days. Farmer is woefully under-rated, and really only known for his Riverworld series, but the World of Tiers is, I think, his masterwork.
It contains so much of why I read SF - it has terrific characters, it's overflowing with ideas, it has marvellous set pieces and it engenders a sense of awe and wonder at the possibilities of our universe or, rather, the multiverse. If I had the money I'd personally bankroll a film of the books, now that we have the technology to do justice to them. It has a breadth, wit and complexity that ensnared me from the first line. Banks has the ability to create fullt formed world's that are totally believable. An utterly wonderful read. Reads like an allegorical account of the Chernobyl disaster, fifteen years before it happened.
The love affair between Lazarus Long and Dora Brandon - but much more. Although not usually classified as Science Fiction, Carter's early novel certainly echoes the themes and styles of the genre. After all, what could be more sci-fi than a plot in which our hero must struggle against a mad scientist, in order to restore a world of order and 'reality'? The surrealist form of the novel and it's passionate portrayal of female sexuality which is quite unusual for a genre largely dominated by men makes it, for me, all the more interesting.
But, first and foremost, it is Carter's unforgettable language that puts the Infernal Desire Machines A book about an unbelievably old man and the wisdom that he has learned throughout the years. Shows the way we grapple with the big questions. Not without problems, but has incredibly high peaks. The story of an alien who comes to earth to in a quest to save his planet, not ours but is destroyed when he becomes all-too-human.
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The style is nicely understated, the plot, tech and characters believable and the story is full of gentle ironies. A terrific read. Gripping story,fascinating,immaculately drawn characters living in believable world s. This book,and it's sequel,"Fall of Hyperion",are masterworks,in my opinion. I was so caught up in these books that they seemed more real than fiction to me,and this feeling holds up with repeated readings. The story got it all: believable protagonist, imaginative story and a view of the future that in it's premises goes far beyond the stereotypical Cyberpunk setting.
Compared to his earlier novel "Snow Crash", Stephenson move further away from "Neuromancer" and into the future. To my mind, Dick is the greatest writer of the 20th Century full stop. Never afraid to tackle the big questions, eg what does it mean to be human? Or, as in this case, what exactly is the nature of reality? Banks' love of the genre shines out of every word. He has all the usual suspects in the Space Opera toy box, but he shows them to us through the eyes of a spoilt man-child who wants to play with them as much as we do.
And finally we get the twist, probably Banks' finest, that makes us immediately turn back to page 1 and read it all again in a completely different context. A bonkers, mad book, the story of Dr Frankenstein taken to a grey-goo-fuelled extreme. As the character's life disintegrates under the power of his creation, the narrative expands and fragments. The structure mimics the plot, sliding deliriously out of control until the reader ends up somewhere quite other than where they expected to.
People need to be reminded of its existence; 'Dune,' 'Left Hand Painted with a broader brush than LeGuin's with whose work this one is often compared, it scores through the thought given to its societies and the extraordinary fairness with which it examines the personalities of some truly loathesome characters, particularly the brute like, emotionally retarded Saba and the self loathing vampire beureaucrat Tanuojin, the latter finally emerging as one of the most tragic and pitiable characters in Twentieth Century fiction. From what I've read of her historical fiction, it's also a tragedy that she's not produced more SF, which she would appear to do far better.
This book has so much soul in it. I return to it constantly as a benchmark of how good a book can be when it presumes it has intelligent and sensitive readers. This book also has one of the most pervasive scents, and evocative moods I have read in sci-fi. I'm not a mad fan of gleaming rocket ships. Not a pill-for-lunch or a personal-jet pack in sight. What happens in this book could happen to any of us today. The ending is set far in the future, but the book is reassuring about man's ability to adapt now, today, to a new life anywhere on earth in this case, at the bottom of the ocean.
I found it compeletly believable and beautiful in its detail. The ultimate in political intrigue and dystopian commentary, all wrapped up in Banks' wonderfully realised Culture. Ostensibly about a man invited to play in a tournament of glorified intergalactic Risk, and yet the depth of the social observations, set alongside the super-cool tech, and written with razor-sharp wit, makes it so much more than this.
If you only ever read one Iain M. Banks book then it should be this one; and if you ever read this one you'll certainly want to read the rest. Extra terrestrial humanoid lands on earth, is captured and kept in an institute where he develops friendship with one of the doctors. Book is written in the form of journal entries and newspaper articles as we see a naive outsider's look at our culture and how his attitudes and preconceptions change as he is influenced by ours.
A mightily written account of an outsider attempting to come to terms with his new surroundings. Stop thinking about who you might offend and start thinking about who you might inspire. A compulsively readable tour de force. The Sixth Man: A Memoir. Andre Iguodala. Andre Iguodala is one of the most admired players in the NBA. Off the court, Iguodala has earned respect, too—for his successful tech investments, his philanthropy, and increasingly for his contributions to the conversation about race in America.
It is no surprise, then, that in his first book, Andre, with his cowriter Carvell Wallace, has pushed himself to go further than he ever has before about his life, not only as an athlete but about what makes him who he is at his core. Basketball has always been there. On drive, on leadership, on pain, on accomplishment, on the shame of being given a role, and the glory of taking a role on: This is a powerful memoir of life and basketball that reveals new depths to the superstar athlete, and offers tremendous insight into most urgent stories being told in American society today.
Joy-Ann Reid. Linda Holmes. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year—and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.
Evvie Drake is great company. Find your new favorite book. Texas Ranger. James Patterson. Instant 1 New York Times bestseller In James Patterson's white-hot Western thriller, a Texas Ranger fights for his life, his freedom, and the town he loves as he investigates his ex-wife's murder. Across the ranchlands and cities of his home state, Rory Yates's discipline and law-enforcement skills have carried him far: from local highway patrolman to the honorable rank of Texas Ranger.
He arrives in his hometown to find a horrifying crime scene and a scathing accusation: he is named a suspect in the murder of his ex-wife, Anne, a devoted teacher whose only controversial act was ending her marriage to a Ranger. In search of the killer, Yates plunges into the inferno of the most twisted and violent minds he's ever encountered, vowing to never surrender.
That code just might bring him out alive. The Outsider: A Novel. Stephen King. An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest.
Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can. The Great Alone: A Novel. Kristin Hannah. Norse Mythology. Hannett, Atlantic Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
Brandon Sanderson. The Novice: Summoner: Book One. He can summon demons. But can he win a war? Fletcher is working as a blacksmith's apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning. Stephen R. What are the habits of successful people? Covey's 7 Habits book. And, it can transform you. This updated interactive edition of Dr. FBI agent Emmy Dockery is absolutely relentless.
She's young and driven, and her unique skill at seeing connections others miss has brought her an impressive string of arrests. But a shocking new case-unfolding across the country-has left her utterly baffled. The victims all appear to have died by accident, and have seemingly nothing in common. But this many deaths can't be coincidence. And the killer is somehow one step ahead of every move Dockery makes. But someone else is watching Dockery. Studying, learning, waiting. Until it's the perfect time to strike. Unfreedom of the Press.
Mark R. Levin comes a groundbreaking and enlightening book that shows how the great tradition of the American free press has degenerated into a standardless profession that has squandered the faith and trust of the American public, not through actions of government officials, but through its own abandonment of reportorial integrity and objective journalism. Unfreedom of the Press is not just another book about the press.