Reviewed by Matthew Appleton
This review was originally published in the July, 2004 issue (#191) of The New York Review of Science Fiction.
Under normal circumstances, I am a huge fan of satire and of taking absurd situations to their logical extreme. In my opinion, one can find comedy in almost any situation. Almost any situation. Given the complexities of Middle East politics, the present American stance in confronting terrorism, and the tragedies that have taken place, I find very little potential for humor in the events that precipitated and followed the September 11 attacks. However, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that someone else can find the humor and point it out to me. That’s where Robert Zubrin steps in with his sophomore fictional effort (as founder of the Mars Society, he has published extensively on behalf of space exploration), The Holy Land, in which he attempts to satirically skewer the last 55 years of Middle East history rearranging the major players and events.