One Nation Under Blood by Tarrin P. Lupo

One Nation Under Blood by Tarrin P. Lupo

With an official release date of October 30, 2012, just in time for Halloween, author Tarrin Lupo presents us with a new sort of vampire tale that is certain to make any libertarian’s skin crawl. While not intended to be a traditional horror novel, One Nation Under Blood is nonetheless a frightening tale of what can happen when government regulation and patriotism go too far.

In Lupo’s dystopian novel, it is discovered that blood transfusions can offer more than the gift of life to a needy recipient. Performed correctly, they serve as a fountain of youth, transferring rejuvenating properties from the blood of a child into the veins of an adult. Older generations are thrilled at the chance to become healed of their ailments and erase years from their appearance, leading to a huge demand for young blood that creates an unparalleled shift in the balance of wealth from the old to the young.

When blood transfusions become a target for politicians eager to profit from the new technology, the demand overwhelms the willing donor population and a new source of young blood must be found. By the power of legislation and with the help of a successful propaganda campaign, orphans and the children of immigrants are soon forced into concentration camps where they are made to give up their blood as a patriotic service to their country.

By telling the story through the eyes of those being taken advantage of, the author allows us to put ourselves in the place of those who face similar discrimination today. Although the novel is fiction, readers will find many similarities between the story world and our own. Perhaps the scariest notion is that we can easily imagine our society being swayed into nearly identical unspeakable actions under the pretense of protecting the children.

Tarrin P. Lupo
Tarrin P. Lupo

The author does a good job of demonstrating how interference in a market leads to increasing problems in supply and demand. Before the government interferes, the blood market is relatively stable. Children have become independently wealthy, and have developed a social network to coordinate transfusions at price rates that reflect age and purity. When a group of senators decide to regulate the blood market in the name of protecting the children, we are able to see how these changes do more harm than good.

We are also shown several examples of how politicians can manipulate a population by using regulation to create problems that then have to be “solved,” usually by the passage of new legislation that would have otherwise been unpopular. The book describes a slippery slope wherein these methods are used to gain profit at the expense of the young. To meet the public demand of young blood, a number of new laws are passed. One particularly horrific example is that citizens are paid bribes to turn in any neighbor who is neglecting their child; this of course leads to all sorts of false accusations and many innocent families are torn apart in the process. Lupo thus shows how the least popular members of a community can easily become victims of those in power, through the use of nationalist propaganda that leads to the rationalization of that victimization by those who previously would have spoken up on their behalf.

One Nation Under Blood Propaganda Poster
See more faux-propaganda posters on Facebook.

The author’s political beliefs are a major influence in his writing, and while he doesn’t go into great detail about the science involved in the blood transfusion technology developed in the novel, Lupo devotes a lot of time here to the ideas of freedom and self-ownership that libertarian science fiction fans relish. You’ll find many enemies of liberty within the novel, from security checkpoints and immigration raids to crooked politicians and abusive government agents.

While there are a few details I didn’t like about the story, such as the main characters’ father showing overwhelming naiveté throughout the story, and the sometimes lack of a prominent inner dialogue (for which I have a personal preference), I enjoyed reading One Nation Under Blood and was delighted to find that both the writing and the plot seemed to get better as the story progressed.

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

Nickie Abshire

Nickie is a jewelry metalsmith, a fire spinner, and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt. She's an anarcho-capitalist libertarian and an atheist. She loves to read. A lot. She prefers psychological thrillers, science fiction, and historical fiction. She's a crafty person and loves making things from scratch. She can't dance. She loves to cook. She loves learning and trying new things, and collects new hobbies like other people collect… whatever it is that other people collect.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Matthew Alexander October 31, 2012 @ 11:29 pm | Link

    What a great idea for a book! I need to add this one to my to-read list.

    Nice review!

    Reply

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