The, three so far,"Ghost" books:
Of Tangible Ghosts

Of Tangible Ghosts HC

Ghost of the Revelator

The Ghost of the Revelator HC

Ghosts of the White Nights

Ghost of the White Nights HC

 by L. E. Modesitt Jr. were an early introduction to the "Steam" genre.  They present a well thought out alternate world, one in which the population must deal with and live with the repercussions of deaths by violence and war.  Ghosts are real and persistent, reliving their deaths, making it difficult for those that are alive to ignore them.   Some are seen by the political community as merely a nuisance, like the Buddhist protestors, that daily engage in self immolation, keeping their faiths burning passions indelibly etched in the minds of those that see it.  Some are lonely and neglected and fade away.
Battles, especially those on land, tend to create many more inconvenient ghosts.  After all, who would want to live in a house or town or anywhere that was infested by one or more ghosts whose very essence permeates the fabric of reality, sending waves of pain and suffering.  It could really upset the daily routines.
Now imagine whole blocks, cities, countries devastated by War and its Weapons of MASS Destruction.  Such technologies as our Nuclear bombs would be unthinkable.  Not only could the victor not occupy the area due to Nuclear Radiation, no one could stay in their right minds and fast the Ghostly Radiation.  Ghosts are not mere superstition but have a literal physical reality.  In a world where your crimes can haunt you, and the ghosts of your crimes are visible to others.

The main character is Dr. Johan Eschbach,  a one time spy in the employ of the Dutch run Columbia, now a small northeastern provincial professor tries to teach his students to see beyond the veil of the printed facts, to think and respond, to look for the reasons and the consequences of actions, not to merely read and regurgitate.

There is much to admire and like about this world.  Much as Eschbach encourages his students, I too encourage you to go beyond the veil of this review and view his world with your own eyes.
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