Stealing the Future – Max Hertzberg

“A compelling re-imagining of East Germany’s peaceful revolution in 1989 – exploring what might have been. As Europe grapples with the consequences of austerity, this novel poses questions both about the lost chances of 1989, and about how we organize our society – questions that are becoming more relevant with each passing day.” – Fiona Rintoul, author of The Leipzig Affair

“An authentic atmosphere of tension and uncertainty…The brilliance of Stealing the Future lies in the honest portrayal of a young country and its idealistic inhabitants struggling to keep alive their dream of freedom, justice and equality in the face of international and domestic opposition.” – Jo Lateu, New Internationalist

“Creates the perfect atmosphere that existed around the fall of the wall: the sense of hope dashed by the awful reality of reunification.” – Peter Thompson, The Guardian

“An intriguing and gripping page-turner of a thriller – believable and exciting. More than that, though, it’s an exploration of power – political, economic and electric power; and what it might be like, day to day, to put our ideals and hopes for self-determination into practice.” – Clare Cochrane, Peace News

What if the November Revolution in 1989 had not led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War?

Here’s a trilogy of speculative, proto-utopian thrillers set in a GDR that didn’t disappear in 1990!

In his well thought-out, gripping and intriguing spy thriller trilogy, Max Hertzberg imagines an alternative history where the events of November 1989 do not lead to the dissolution of the GDR and to the subsequent German Reunification, but to democratic reforms which relatively de-Stalinize the country, thereby dismantling and devolving the authoritarian East German state apparatus whilst creating an environment of hope, optimism and euphoria despite the looming economic collapse, and consequently to a referendum where the majority of East Germans vote against joining West Germany and its capitalist free market economy.

It is now 1993 and the people of East Germany have been trying to build a utopian society for the last four years. East Berlin is being visited daily by West German tourists who are curious about this fragile and fledgling socio-cultural experiment which has rekindled old leftist ideals such as libertarianism, egalitarianism, collectivism and pluralism. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, is in deep crisis as President Gorbachev has just been impeached while protests continue throughout the nation. KGB has just increased its presence on the streets and issued a statement saying they have mobilized troops to assist the militia and internal forces in their efforts to keep public order in Moscow. At the same time, West Germany and its allies are openly aiding the separationists in West Silesia who want to secede from East Germany to establish their own independent enclave analogous to West Berlin. It is against this backdrop of world politics that the corpse of a prominent West Silesian separatist is found and so begins former dissident Martin Grobe’s first case. Soon, the discovery of the corpse stirs up a constitutional crisis and Oberleutant Grobe must find the links before the young republic breaks up…

Especially the fans of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Robert Harris’s Fatherland will love the Martin Grobe trilogy which is now available at BuchHafen! A reading and discussion with author Max Hertzberg will take place on 18 January 2018.

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