Hostile Takeover Trilogy

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"Hostile Takeover" redirects here. For the business term, see Hostile takeover.
Hostile Takeover omnibus edition published by DAW Books in 2004

Hostile Takeover is a science fiction trilogy (actually one long novel in three parts) written by S. Andrew Swann and published by DAW Books where the main setting is the Anarcho-capitalist planet of Bakunin. It consists of three books titled Profiteer, Partisan and Revolutionary, which were published between 1995 and 1996 and re-released by DAW in a single volume in 2004.

The series is set in the 24th Century, in the same universe as Swann's Moreau series. In this future, the various races of earth—human, "moreau", and "frank" (genetically engineered human, short for "Frankenstein")—have settled a number of worlds and established a loose confederacy of powers. The extraterrestrials that manipulated Earth's politics and economy in the Moreau series have been quarantined, but their AI machines (which may still be manipulating human society) are now used by humans.

While Hostile Takeover is an example of libertarian science fiction in the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein and L. Neil Smith, its portrayal of society on the planet Bakunin is arguably much more critical of the basic premise of anarchism than is typical of the genre, coming close to a libertarian dystopia. By casting a machiavellian space opera plot against this setting, the author plays out many of the potential criticisms inherent in the planet Bakunin's social order. The two main premises being:

  • Any such society will naturally end up in some form of equilibrium between armed pseudo-state entities. In the novel's case, armed corporations and outlying communes and at least one very aggressive church.
  • Any such society is inherently vulnerable to attack and subversion by external statist powers.

While Swann's portrayal of anarchism falls far short of advocacy, it is clear in the text that his sympathy is with the anarchists and not with the state. The citizens of Bakunin prevail, though it is notable that they do so not by force of arms, but by exploiting the laws of the Terran Confederacy that attacked them.