The Hidden Truth by (Dr.) Hans G. Schantz
Since this engaging and intelligent book reconnected me with the estimable Francis W. Porretto (through his own review of it) I think it appropriate to post a review here. The book also has a great deal to do with liberty, and there's the very title of this site, so it's all a nice confluence, indeed.
Then again, this is a review and not just a bunch of happy horse manure, so, to the book!
Dr. Schantz's published works before The Hidden Truth consisted of The Art and Science of Ultrawideband Antennas and The Biographies of John C. Fremont. I'm always interested in minds that can make such connections. The book under review here is fiction, but with a large dose of the real history of science, the real workings of computer networks and computer privacy, and "red pill" advice on the psychology of the real human female.
It features the kind of plot and twists that might be ruined by a reviewer revealing too much, but I will say that if you enjoy "alternative histories" you'll probably enjoy this one; alternative futures are of course a staple of science fiction, and that may be another way to describe the background of the book.
Our protagonist is the kind of 16-year-old boy that any father would be proud of, and indeed his mother and father are the kind of parents any son would be proud of; however, they're living in a world very much like ours, except that honor, virtue and truth have become devalued by the culture, and the US government is out of control and running roughshod...wait; this is a world very much like ours.
At any rate, this young man's odyssey of learning science and math, learning about the "real" world and fighting shadowy conspiratorial forces and shadowy secret agents makes for an entertaining and educational read, in the best sense of the words. The author is not quite yet a "complete" writer of fiction, but delivers a very good first novel. One can even see his skills improving in the course of the book; the opening sequence is a bit slow and dry, but don't let that stop you--the book as a whole is very good.
The author has stated that he plans to write sequels if sales of The Hidden Truth are satisfactory; I certainly hope they are, and he does. The end of the book is just the "End of the Beginning."
In an extended "About the Author" that also serves as an afterword, Schantz mentions a number of inspirations and related works, including Robert Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy. I made a connection in my own mind to Heinlein's Have Space Suit, Will Travel. The reader likes these boys/young men. He'd like his daughters to date them--as long as they didn't put said daughters in too much danger. Well, danger comes to those do something in the world.
The Hidden Truth is trying to do something in the world, and it entertains at the same time. I'd like to talk to you about its ideas, and recommend it.