Imagining Counter-recruitment: A Review of Michael Chatfield’s ‘Recruitment’

UMF English Department Blog

MiChRiReview by Curtis Cole

Military science-fiction tends to be a conservative outfit; many authors express a hardy, even jingoistic support for imperialism, often becoming apologists for fascist regimes infamous for the mass murder of critics. So for a voice to go against the grain and promote progressive values is an oddity. After reading The Recruitment: Rise of the Free Fleet I was pleased to see that author Michael Chatfield seems to have added his name among the small stable of semi-lefty authors.

As the book’s namesake implies, Chatfield’s overriding concern is that of militarism. With the opening of the text depicting the abduction of thousands of earthlings by an interstellar power calling itself the Union/Planetary Defense Force, the reader already sees the parallels between this mysterious collection of aliens and contemporary armed forces; the bellowing face projected upon screens announcing that the time has come for Earth’s “call to service.”…

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