Friday, May 24, 2013

"Yes, there is a hit sci fi/fantasy book series about development economics and politics"

Who knew?
From Chris Blattman:
I’m not sure how I missed this.

It’s called The Merchant Princes series, by author Charles Stross. He’s been nominated for the Hugo 12 times and won it twice.

The short story: there are parallel Americas/earths, which differ from our own after historical events went differently there (critical juncture theory, anyone?). In one world, a few people have figured out how to move back and forth and they use the power early on to become crime lords, and basically run America like an impoverished rentier state.

One of the protagonists is a development economist (I kid you not) who wants to industrialize the rentier state.

While this doesn’t sound like a recipe for a pageturner, the first book is pretty good, even if the prose and dialogue are a bit clunky....MORE