My new book, Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050 is finally available today. Co-written with Tom Engelhardt, it also launches a new publishing venture of mine — Dispatch Books. For years, Tom (who brought the world Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus, Eduardo Galeano’s beautiful Memory of Fire trilogy and about 1000 other books by everyone from Noam Chomsky to Rebecca Solnit) and I have talked about starting up a small press. Now we’ve finally done it.
With Terminator Planet, we’ve carefully put together the best of our joint work on the subject of American robotic warfare, shaped and edited, and added a powerful new conclusion. The result is the first comprehensive history of drone warfare (with a preview of the drone’s possible future as well).
From the opening missile salvo in the skies over Afghanistan in 2001 to a secret strike in the Philippines early this year, or a future in which drones dogfight off the coast of Africa, Terminator Planet takes you to the front lines of combat, Washington war rooms, and beyond. Drawing on several years of research — including official documents, open-source intelligence, and interviews with military officers and Pentagon officials, we offer up a sobering, factual account of robot warfare combined with critical analyses you’re likely to find nowhere else.
Packed with rarely seen Pentagon photos, Terminator Planet provides a rich history of the last decade of drone warfare, a clear-eyed look at its present, and a far-reaching guide to its future. You used to have to watch science fiction movies to imagine where that future was headed, now you can read Terminator Planet — and know.
I hope you’ll take a look and perhaps download it as an ebook or purchase an old-fashioned hard copy.