If "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace," didn't turn you away from political science fiction forever, you might enjoy a trip to the not-too-distant future, to a country not too far away, where the political intrigues are as convoluted as one of Princess Amidala's hairdos.
Carlos Fuentes, perhaps Mexico's greatest living writer, has created a corrosive satire set in 2020. The Mexican president has angered the United States by denouncing its invasion of Colombia. In retaliation, US President Condoleezza Rice has wiped out Mexico's communication systems, cutting the country off from the rest of the world. (Even the carrier pigeons have been poisoned.)
The conceit, which involves a satellite, works best if you don't squint at it too closely. I wasted several pages wondering why the secretaries were bothering to haul out the old Remington typewriters: With the electricity still on, the computers should have worked just fine. Nor could I figure out why the phones or TVs were dead: Alexander Graham Bell's little invention, in particular, had a pretty good track record for decades before the first satellite hit outer space.
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