The European Union is perhaps the grandest political experiment ever attempted in the history of mankind. Attempting to unite a continent of people with millennia of wars, languages, and cultures under them, the EU has remained intact for two decades but recently shown signs of falling apart as economic issues and international strife apply pressure. Sitting in his modernist gallery and slinging peanuts at the proceedings, science fiction great Brian Aldiss penned his response to the EU in 2002 with Super-State.
Super-State opens on a grand wedding. Like passengers of the Titanic having their ball unbeknownst to the lurking iceberg, a stampede of horses eventually disrupts proceedings. The narrative fanning out from there, a variety of characters and interests are introduced. From a simple-minded writer of British romance to a German professor, a highly ideological artist to a struggling middle eastern immigrant, a warmongering general to astronauts on a mission to Europa, the list goes on, global warming and Islamic aggression taking their own toll on the continent. Not intended as a representative spectrum of European society, Aldiss picks his battles as they accord with the cutting point/counter point of his commentary.