Liege-Killer by Christopher Hinz is an older novel, but still well-worth your time. Since this series of posts focuses on a post-apocalyptic campaign, the Earth is, of course, blown all to hell. However, rather than a standard “devastated earth with survivors” motif, LK moves the action to a series of very large space colonies orbiting a war-blasted earth. Life on the colonies is plush, even luxurious by today’s standards. There are social ills, but nothing worse that the usual plagues on humanity, crime, drugs, etc. The colonists patiently let the generations pass until Earth recovers from a devastating nuclear war. Hinz adds one extra element to the nuclear apocalypse that makes this book really entertaining: paratwa.
Humans had help blowing up the world. In a near future, scientists develop a telepathic entity and insert it into two human fetuses. Telepathy between two people was the initial experiment, but it failed badly. Rather than two people with a link, it was a single mind controlling two bodies! Of course, the military quickly saw the benefits of a soldier with two bodies and developed the paratwa. Telepathy was the first step, then came advanced energy weapons called “wands” that are seriously vicious when used in pairs and boosted physical reflexes. The paratwa became the ultimate assassins. An arms race quickly produced regional flavors of the creatures and small wars broke out. This went on until the paratwa started fighting for themselves….
The paratwa met defeat through massive nuclear firepower and the remaining humans fled to the colonies, secure in the knowledge that no paratwa still lived. Ignorance is bliss…
“Liege-Killer” is actually the first part of the “Paratwa Saga” trilogy, but I consider the subsequent books inferior. That said, there are interesting plot twists and development in the later books. If the first book really hooks you, read on, but otherwise go no further. Regardless, “Liege Killer” is a great resource for a post-apocalyptic space game. The design and strategy of the paratwa (and those that hunt them) is great game fodder.
Here are the Amazon links to all three novels.
Trask, The Last Tyromancer