Code Name: Zeus: A Geo-Political Saga
by Gary Andersen
Stratton Press

"I worry about my son and daughters. They are still young and quite adaptable, but this would be a tectonic shift for my family."

Kursk, Texas, is the setting for this story of tough immigrants, their loyalties to capitalism, and, at times, ambiguous loyalties to one another. They cope with hostile forces, as well as unique potential, during the twentieth century. Russian immigrant Robert Barzinsky and his junior partner, the savvy and tough Jack Barnett, develop a secret project.

Barzinsky has survived a traumatic childhood and life-threatening immigration schemes shortly after the Russian Revolution because he was determined to live in the United States. He also survived due to his faith in a man he thinks of as a mentor—Douglas Baylor. Under Baylor's influence, Barzinsky, now in the U.S. and making his fortune in oil in Texas, begins to think of a concept called Project NewLand. Barnett, younger than his Russian employer, becomes active in the 1930s as both men seek security for themselves and other capitalists to be protected from the cataclysms of the future.

Barnett, Jr. takes the story into the latter part of the century. He recruits computer experts, including Chip Faraday, to develop the technological means to prepare for the annihilation of most humans. Acting with a small group of friends and outcasts, Chip provides the plans for humans in an environment redolent with conspiracies and survival tactics.

The book's geography, historical references, broad scope of times and places, and Texas setting make the author's novel reminiscent of Edna Ferber's Giant. The story weaves multiple characters and events together skillfully through its adherence to chronological order by decades, as well as a separate chapter for nearly every major character and occurrence. Andersen's book may be a work of fiction, but it contains a heavy helping of realism.

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