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Thursday, 9 February 2006
ALTERNATIVE GENERALS III: By Harry Turtledove
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: Django Reinhardt's Greatest Hits
There's a guy in my office that is one of the most rabid Harry Turtledove fans I know; he reads virtually anything HT writes in the novel line (except the blatant fantasy stuff). I am not like that guy. I enjoyed Turtledove's early work (especially AGENT OF BYZANTIUM) but I don't feel like his talents lay in the area of the larger novel. Turtledove can write a wickedly good alt-history short story with a twist ending at the drop of a hat, and he can edit compendiums of similar material. His novels tend to be overly long, hugely repeitive and so complex each one requires a glossary appendix.

So I was pleased to find a SHORT STORY COLLECTION at the local library recently. Alternative Generals III is supposed to be another one of those "what if we switched out some key individuals and reran key events in history?" collections. Very few of the stories in practice focus on different or alternative generals.. they just depict "what if" alternatives.

Stories:

A.M. Dellamonica A Key to the Illuminated Heretic
James Fiscus The Road to Endless Sleep
William Sanders Not Fade Away
John Mina I Shall Return
Harry Turtledove Shock and Awe
Brad Linaweaver A Good Bag
Mike Resnick The Burning Spear at Twilight
Roland Green "It Isn't Every Day of the Week"
Judith Tarr Measureless to Man
Lillian Stewart Carl Over the Sea from Skye
Esther Friesner First, Catch Your Elephant
Lee Allred East of Appomattox
Chris Bunch Murdering Uncle Ho

Of these, I liked Resnick's Burning Spear at Twilight (depicting a passive resistance Jomo Kenyatta) Esther Friesner's send up of the Invasion of Italy by Hannibal, and Lee Allred's powerful East of Appomatox, where a victorious Confederacy is all of a sudden considered declasse...

In sum, a good collection of mediocre to excellent short stories with some bright spots.


Posted by mrnizz at 12:16 PM EST
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