Mirrored Narratives: A Review of Steelstorm

Submitted by Chet Rollins

It’s easy for those in the dissident sphere to converse largely in stale discussions of theory and repetitive rhetorical thought patterns.  What’s forgotten is we’re not rational automata, and in the psyche of every man are countless stories, memories, and primal impulses that shape our lives and impact our conception of our place in history.  Our lives may just be a ripple in the ocean of humanity’s future, or could turn into a hurricane tearing apart everything it touches.  

These movers are not going to get where they are by having the best understanding of political philosophers, or memorizing the best tacticians, or making the best connections. What it will come from is lucky circumstance and sheer force of will, being willing to seize an opportunity, take power, and harness it with fanatical devotion. Such is one of the core themes of Thomas777’s debut novella, Steelstorm.

For those familiar with the political writings of Thomas777, the style of this novella should come of little surprise.  While lacking the SIGNATURE CAPS of his Twitter and Substack posts, the caustic energy is still here in spades, with far more discipline and piercing brevity.  A lot of the themes will be familiar, dealing with the psychological torment of addiction, the brutality of street life, and a merciless, uncaring world.

The plot of the book rests on a thermonuclear war in the 1980’s, following two fundamental plot threads spread throughout the novella, giving the reader whiplash as the narrative switches perspectives at a blurring pace.  The writing deviates between classic horror, hard sci-fi, and psychological drama, building a succinct new world that leaves the reader feeling he only scratched the surface of the landscape that lives in the author’s mind.  As the book progresses, the events of the near past and the far future begin to intertwine, as the full story of how history came into fruition becomes clearer, with official logs in the beginning of each section narrating more of the details that led to this future.

In the time before the apocalyptic war, we follow the life of Billy, a psychopathic young man with a fetish for murdering prostitutes after reaching sexual climax.  A heroin addict, he is plagued with the extremes of supreme high or ravaging withdrawal.  Living in the theatre and supported by a mother who both loves him as her son but prays to God, terrified of his monstrous tendencies, the circumstances of fate lead him to become one of the most consequential human beings to ever exist.

On the other end, in the far future of the early 3000’s, we enter a world that bears resemblance to a mix of Warhammer 40k and Dune becoming reality, the world peppered with murderous robotic machines, people primed through ruthless training to become Executioners to subdue alien and demonic worlds, and a recurrent thread of eugenically priming people to create the ability of accessing memories from their dead ancestors.  Above it all, there is a militaristic religious faith that’s main tenets seem to be the cessation of all sentiments of empathy, compassion, or weakness.  The Executioners are trained to kill without question, and there is no counter-civilization to contrast the bleak order the reader is engulfed in, unless one counts the screaming mutants.

As the plot progresses, the similarities between the murderous robot engineered to murder indiscriminantly in search of his next chemical high, and the young man in the near past, become more pronounced.  As they both ascend to their new, and terrifying forms, beating back the limitations that held them back, the consequences become even more dire for everyone who crosses their path.  Ultimately, the great movers of a civilization, for better or for worse, come from stock with a religious fanaticism that will not be deterred.  For this alternate history, the fanatics knew only Jihad.

There’s very little overtly political to grasp in the novella, which is a strength rather than a deficiency.  While dissident thought and concepts are thought provoking, there’s no need to insert them in a way that damages the narrative.  The plot threads get reasonably tied up quite nicely towards the end, with enough ambiguity to not feel contrived.  A nice added touch was the short addendum, with Thomas777 going over the history of the characters and devices used in the novella.  

For followers of Thomas777 and his wit, rest assured, this little novella is COO.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Cthulhu says:

    I don’t need more existential horror, I already live in the United States.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ricky Vaughn’s ghost says:

    LARPer fed is obvious fed

    Like

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