I agree that it's a fairly weak chapter. Some of them will be unfortunately. Certainly the stuff I contributed has that problem; there are set pieces that I've put a lot of effort into that work relatively well, then there are bland link sections, then there are the bits that just didn't work which Stuart had to veto. I imagine getting a consistently high quality requires either very detailed forward planning, or several ruthless passes of editing/revision, neither of which this story is going to have if you want it to keep coming out at such a breakneck pace.
I agree with Illuminatus Primus in one respect; Stuart certainly isn't immune to making political statements in his stories. I suspect this is a near-inevitable consequence of trying to write material that achieves a goal other than pure entertainment (the stated goal of TBO was to demonstrate the essential futility of the Nazi war effort - the stated goal of some of the later stories is to demonstrate the dangers of biowarfare, and I'm sure there are other intended lessons as well). IMHO Stuart does this in a fairly effective and non-preaching style compared to the other 'books with an explicit lesson' I've read (which is to say nothing of whether I actually agree with him or not), but yes I imagine it can be jarring if you demand your works of fiction have no agenda other than entertainment.
I don't know why you're complaining about Armageddon though, it's less serious than all the TBO stuff and there really isn't any politicising. The bits about the human leadership are verging on the edge of satire, a tone I attempted to emulate. Most of the 'politics' is just circumstances; I'm relatively keen on gun control, but I have to admitt that in the ridiculously unlikely circumstance that demons started invading earth the NRA would've been right (for the wrong reasons).
I personally don't think the 'fetuses survive' aspect changes much. Even newborn babies don't really have any more awareness than an adult dog (arguably rather less). Certainly aborted fetuses having a relatively short lifespan in a jug and then being quickly killed and eaten is a negligable amount of suffering compared to the torturing adults for millenia and ripping the throats out of children. I agree that killing fetuses is probably the best thing for them (if they never mature) and that just adds an extra step to abortions. The slaughter of children is much, much more serious. Regardless, the reactions of the characters mentioned strikes me as fairly realistic (generous on ths side of rationality actually actually in Bush's case), so you're complaining about the subtext of singling out these characters to watch the reactions of. Frankly the choice seems logical; I'm trying to think of a way of 'balancing' that by looking at the viewpoint some other characters but frankly nothing comes to mind.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:It'd be great to see humanity being the "straight man" when confronted by this unreality. Technology and science and logic and knowledge and ingenuity versus obscenity (and not just some stone age superhumans).
Well, I have some ideas for things like that, but going on track record to date I'm not sure I could execute them successfully or get them included. The thing is, the demons are essentially practical; they sometimes do horrible things for fun and silly things out of superstition, but they're not WH40K chaos powers, they don't consider being horrible (or bizarre) an end in itself.
P.S. Stuart, if you could answer those two key timeline questions, I have a block of material ready to go.