Thursday, December 18, 2014

1914: Christmas Truce or Christmas Peace

Guest post by William Weber.
The centennial anniversary of World War I has drawn attention to the Christmas Truce of 1914, a series of spontaneous cease-fires along the Western Front where soldiers on opposing sides sang songs and played football. These brief expressions of camaraderie and goodwill stood in marked contrast to the carnage of the preceding months and the next four years.  The British firm Sainsbury’s in cooperation with the Royal British Legion has recreated this famous moment in a short video.

Scholars are revisiting why the “Great War” occurred and lasted much longer than expected. For example, Stephen Walt’s “It’s Not the Guns of August – It’s the Trenches of October” examines the “July Crisis” that sparked the war, and lists strategic factors that prolonged the fighting: neither the Triple Alliance, nor the Triple Entente could deliver a decisive blow; both sides were industrial powers with large populations and diverse economies; their war aims increased over time; their politicians defended “sunk costs” by promising to deliver success as the fighting continued; censorship and propaganda convinced citizens that victory was just around the corner; and military establishments proved difficult for civilian governments to control, proclaiming there was “no substitute for victory.”

British historian B.H. Lidell Hart’s 1932 book The British Way in Warfare also investigated why the war lasted longer than expected from an strategic-operational vantage point that Americans marking the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War will find insightful.  His third chapter, “The Sign Post That Was Missed,” notes that European military planners built their doctrines on the Prussian campaigns against Austria in 1866 and France in 1870. They favored “the prompt application of superior force in a direct manner with little trace of guile.” In particular, the French assessed that moral superiority (elan) of their troops would overcome any inferiority in numbers. Hart judged that they were saved from their folly by German General von Moltke’s tinkering with and clumsy execution of the Schlieffen Plan.  He made the German left flank too strong for the French to drive back and the right flank too weak to encircle Paris in a timely fashion.  The result was the First Battle of the Marne and a long war.

Hart asked “What might have been the effect, and the difference, if military thought in pre-1914 Europe had been nourished on a comprehensive study of 1861-65 instead of on 1866-71? He argued that the Union operations in the West, far from the cockpit of the war in the mid-Atlantic, were more decisive in securing the North’s victory. Farragut’s capture of New Orleans and Grant’s victory at Vicksburg split the Confederacy in half. The Union’s strategic sequel, the opening of the Chattanooga gateway to Georgia, the granary of the South, made defeat “hardly avoidable” and led to Sherman’s capture of Atlanta. Hart then concluded that the collapse of the Confederate army was “due to the emptiness of its stomach reacting on its morale and (to) bad news from home.”

He speculated that had European military planners studied the American Civil War, they might have realized that “a quick decision in such a conflict of nations was but a bare possibility, which could only be fulfilled by adopting a truly subtle strategy to lure the opponent into a trap . . . On  a higher plane an adequate study of the American Civil War would also have warned the General Staffs of Europe to expect and prepare for a long war, even though they hoped for a short war.” If so, the Christmas Truce might have been a Christmas Peace.

* * *

William Weber is the author of Neither Victor Nor Vanquished: America in the War of 1812 (Potomac Press, 2013).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: War of the Worlds: Goliath

Guest post by Sean Korsgaard.
It’s been a while hasn't it? I apologize for the prolonged absence from the site folks, and hopefully, this will be the first of many more posts to come, but for today, I can think of nothing better to kick off my return than finally looking back at a movie I first talked about on this site back in 2012, War of the Worlds: Goliath.

First making waves back in 2012 in the Alternate History community, the movie was envisioned as a sequel to the events of HG Wells famous novel, where an Earth ravaged by the first Martian invasion digs in and fights back against the long awaited second attempt from the red planet to conquer our blue one. It’s easy to see why it made waves given some of the cult names behind the movie, to say nothing of the fact it surfaced around the same time as the release of another oddball independent AH-infused sci-fi extravaganza, Iron Sky.

Plus, it has President Roosevelt killing Martians with a laser cannon – that alone would be worth seeing.

That said, getting news on the development, or even the release date has always been somewhat tricky following the initial splash. Though it premiered in 2012, and was given a VERY limited release in the United States earlier this year, I haven’t yet heard much about the movie itself, much less even had the chance to see it myself. That is, until I chanced upon the movie on Netflix, and finally sat down to see if it could live up to the promise War of the Worlds: Goliath once showed.

In 1899, invaders from Mars attacked the Earth, easily beating back any and all resistance from the planet’s human inhabitants, the invasion failing only because of a lucky strike from earthly germs ravaging the Martians. Fifteen years later, they’re attempting to invade once more, but they will find a humanity far better armed and prepared this time. On the front lines is an international coalition dubbed A.R.E.S., created to both form a global defense force and reverse engineer Martian technology, they are now humanity’s best hope for once more driving the aliens from our home world – if they can put aside nationalism and fighting with each other long enough to fight for humanity that is.

I won’t even try to say otherwise, but if being a sequel to War of the Worlds wasn't your first clue, War of the Worlds: Goliath is a very silly movie, in all of the best of ways. Story wise, the movie is an above average Humanity-comes-together-to-kick-alien-arse movie ala Pacific Rim or Independence Day, and a few original touches aside, chooses to instead play on nearly every genre trope in the books, and I fully expect the degree of how much you enjoy this movie to be if you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

A good example would be our main protagonists, a typical five-man band where the closest thing to character development is an Irish member questioning whether an independent Ireland or humanity as a whole deserves the greater part of his loyalty. By the end of the movie, you might not even remember their names, yet the movie goes at a brisk enough pace that it never bothers you. Of course, part of that may be the movie has a few historical cameos whose appearances typically mark a high moment of the film, usually because they show up long enough to deliver one of the movie’s crowning moments of awesome. In case you’re curious, yes, mimetic badass President Roosevelt is everything you’d want and more.

From an animation and production standpoint, War of the Worlds: Goliath is a treasure trove, and very clearly a labor of love for the creators. Aside from a few moments where the animation looks jolty, something that should be expected given it’s a low budget independent animated film, from an animation standpoint War of the Worlds: Goliath is amazing, with the style best described as anime-inspired dieselpunk, as if Sunrise did a series based on Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. The designs of the cities and military gear are always intimately detailed, and using CGI to animate the Martian tripods makes for an interesting stylistic contrast that highlights their alien nature.

War of the Worlds: Goliath may not be anything too out of this world, but it’s a fun little slice of cheesy goodness that more than overcomes any lack of ambition or originality. I’d compare the feel of the movie to one of the better cartoons from the 80s, like GI Joe or The Centurions, and for anyone who appreciates their charms, War of the Worlds: Goliath is worth watching.

A good litmus test to consider with War of the Worlds: Goliath is to ask if you’re the kind of person who wants an original story, developed characters, and cutting edge effects, or if you’re the kind of person who gets a big goofy grin on your face at the idea of the Red Baron dogfighting Martian spacecraft attacking a zeppelin while humming the Ride of the Valkyries. If you’re the former, you may lament that with a more developed script and story this could have been truly fantastic. If you’re the latter, strap yourself in for a top-notch B-movie and try to contain yourself when Teddy Roosevelt singlehandedly takes on a Martian air squadron.

While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I enjoyed War of the Worlds: Goliath myself [Editor's Note: as did I.], and fully expect it to become a cult classic within certain circles in good order. That said, even if it doesn't sound like your type of movie, given it’s just barely over an hour long and free to stream on Netflix, I recommend you give it a chance sometime.

* * *

Soldier, scholar, writer and web-voyeur, Sean CW Korsgaard has been active in the alternate history community since 2006. In addition to his contributions at the Alternate History Weekly Update, he writes for several websites, including his own, which can be found here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Releases 12/16/14

You can support The Update by clicking the banner to your right or the links below if you are purchasing through Amazon!

Paperbacks

Robinson Crusoe on Zombie Island by Daniel Defoe and Ivan Fanti

Inspired by the original literary classic, this horror mash-up tells the story of Robinson Crusoe and his 28-year struggle to survive on an island beset by ravenous zombies. Crusoe is forced to improvise in the wake of total isolation and terror. His only hope may be Friday, a native cannibal woman, as he is caught between the warring factions of cannibals and zombies. Told through the pages of Robinson Crusoe’s diary, this book offers a satisfying combination of serious and silly as readers find just how badly things can go for this all-time favorite once the living dead are added to the mix.

The Royals: Masters of War by Rob Williams and Simon Coleby

The year is 1940. As the Blitz destroys London and kills thousands, the Royal Family looks on. But in this world, the only people with special abilities are Royalty, and the purer the bloodline, the greater their abilities. So why don't they stop the carnage with their powers? A truce between the Earth's nobles has kept them out of our wars--until now. When England's Prince Henry can take no more and intervenes, will it stop the planet's suffering or take it to another level?

Writer Rob Williams (Judge Dredd: Trifecta, Low Life, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN and Daken) and artist Simon Coleby (The Authority, Judge Dredd: Year One and Trifecta) team up to bring you this epic of World War proportions. History will be transformed in a way you've never seen before.

Collects THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR  #1-6

[Editor's Note: Read Chris Nuttall's review.]

Zombie Apocalypse! End Game by Stephen Jones

Through interconnected eyewitness accounts—emails, text messages, reports, diaries, found video footage, and graphic adaptations, Zombie Apocalypse! Endgame tells the story of the climactic final battle between the ZZ infantry of the New Zombie Order and the fighters of the human resistance. Who will win the endgame?

E-books

Jazz Age Cthulhu by Orrin Grey, Jennifer Brozek and A.D. Cahill

Three new novelettes inspired by Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, set against the background of the Roaring Twenties.

Journey to Kansas City, the “Paris of the Plains,” a city of glamor and sin where cults, secret societies and music intermingle.

Visit Assam, India, where a British dilettante wakes up one morning covered in bruises and welts, with a dead man in her bed and no memory of what happened in the last 24 hours. Her only clue is a trashed invitation to the exclusive Black Ram Club.

Relax on the resort island of Pomptinia, an Italian enclave of wealthy socialites, expats and intellectuals. But beware - the sea conceals dark secrets.

Fiction by Jennifer Brozek, A.D. Cahill and Orrin Grey.

To fans, authors and publishers...

Is your story going to be published in time for the next New Releases? Contact us at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.  We are looking for works of alternate history, counterfactual history, steampunk, historical fantasy, time travel or anything that warps history beyond our understanding.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Map Monday: 1000th Post Special Edition

As I agonized over what to do for the 1000th post I found it easier just to give my readers what they seem to like the best: MAPS! Seriously, anything I post with a map in it you guys eat up, if my page view counter is to be believed. So for this Map Monday I just decided to showcase every single map that caught my eye. No honorable mentions today, everyone is a winner.

We start with a non-alternate history map that I found on io9. It is called "WikiGalaxy" and it is literally Wikipedia if all the pages were each a different star. This is a clip of what it looks like:
This was a seriously fun way of finding out information. If you got some time to waste, go and play with this galaxy. Start by typing in "alternate history" and see the list of related systems.

Next up, we have the blank map "Terra Australis" by Morraw:
It is based off this early map of Australia. Why did I like this map? Because I really want to see a timeline involving this map. Someone make it now. There are so many crazy alternate histories that can be made using this super Antarctica. What kind of animals would evolve on this continent? What would the indigenous culture be like? How would it be colonized by the northern hemisphere powers (or would it  be)? I will post it here on The Update if someone writes up a believable scenario. Do it!

I finish with "A New Era: The Age of S.H.I.E.L.D." by Lost the game:
So what happens if Hydra wins in Captain America: Winter Soldier? Well it might look something like the scenario above. Hydra would probably use the crisis to take over the world, but they would remain under the guise of S.H.I.E.L.D. and blame the millions of dead on agents not under their control. They would also go as far as to call them Hydra, just to rub salt in the wounds. Hail Hydra!

Well thanks guys for loving Map Mondays and reading Alternate History Weekly Update. It is hard to believe I actually managed to write 1000 posts. One of the reasons I started this blog was to practice my writing and I certainly have gotten a lot of practice, although the jury is still out if I have gotten any better. I also want to thank all of the great guest bloggers who contributed to the 1000 posts.

Before I go you might want to check out Matthew Yglesias' 20 maps that never happened at Vox. There are a lot of alternate history maps on that list, some which you have probably seen already, but some that were new even to me. I also should point out that Lynn Davis (a.k.a. PlatoonSgt) has a Patreon page. So if you want to support alternate cartography, you should definitely check it out.

Thanks again guys for supporting the Update. Let's see if we can get to 2000!

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Weekly Update #172

Editor's Note

It is amazing to think that the year is almost over. 2014 was a tough year for me and I'm being honest when I say I am looking forward to it ending. That being said I am looking forward to the next couple weeks. I got my wedding anniversary, my family's Slava, our annual downtown Chicago Xmas trip, Christmas and Boxer day. Plus I am going to see Otis Day perform at Hollywood Palms in Naperville on New Year's Eve.

With so much on my plate, this is probably going to be the last Weekly Update of the year. I may string together one more, but no guarantees. I will do my usual end of the year posts, but I am going to enjoy my winter break from blogging.

As some of you already know, we lost one of the original alternate historians this year, Stuart Shiffman. Steve Davidson, editor of Amazing Stories, was nice enough to compile a list of charities and causes Stu supported. If any of you would like to make a donation in his honor, I highly recommend you click on that link.

And now the news...

New Releases: In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel by Adam L. Rovner

Back in March, I posted a list of five alternate locations for Israel on Amazing Stories. So when I saw the new book In the Shadow of Zion: Promised Lands Before Israel by Adam L. Rovner, it of course peeked my interest. Let's check out the description:

From the late nineteenth century through the post-Holocaust era, the world was divided between countries that tried to expel their Jewish populations and those that refused to let them in. The plight of these traumatized refugees inspired numerous proposals for Jewish states. Jews and Christians, authors and adventurers, politicians and playwrights, and rabbis and revolutionaries all worked to carve out autonomous Jewish territories in remote and often hostile locations across the globe. The would-be founding fathers of these imaginary Zions dispatched scientific expeditions to far-flung regions and filed reports on the dream states they planned to create. But only Israel emerged from dream to reality. Israel’s successful foundation has long obscured the fact that eminent Jewish figures, including Zionism’s prophet, Theodor Herzl, seriously considered establishing enclaves beyond the Middle East.

In the Shadow of Zion brings to life the amazing true stories of six exotic visions of a Jewish national home outside of the biblical land of Israel. It is the only book to detail the connections between these schemes, which in turn explain the trajectory of modern Zionism. A gripping narrative drawn from archives the world over, In the Shadow of Zion recovers the mostly forgotten history of the Jewish territorialist movement, and the stories of the fascinating but now obscure figures who championed it.

Provocative, thoroughly researched, and written to appeal to a broad audience, In the Shadow of Zion offers a timely perspective on Jewish power and powerlessness.

As Gavriel Rosenfeld of The Counterfactual History Review put it, there is a "strong counterfactual subtext to it". If you want a little taste of Rovner's book, check out his article on the Jewish Book Council. He talks about five alternate Israels, including some that did not make my list.

Crusader Kings II: Way of Life Launching December 16
Paradox announced that Crusader Kings II: Way of Life, the next expansion for the strategy franchise, will be released on December 16th via digital storefronts worldwide. Way of Life will be available on PC, Mac, and Linux for $7.99.

Way of Life delves into the role-playing aspects of Crusader Kings II, giving players the ability to fine-tune their methods of seduction and break ups, and also the ability to set a Focus for your character that will influence the types of events that befall your character during their lifetime. Featuring hundreds of new events as well as over 20 new event pictures, Way of Life will give players control over their characters in ways never before available (at least according to the press release).

Videos for Alternate Historians

Wow, lot of videos to get through from last week. Lets begin with Epic Rap Battles of History's daytime talk show host smackdown! Oprah vs. Ellen:
Not a bad one. I certainly liked it better from last week's. Hey, did you know Marvel was trying to get Sony to turn over Spiderman? Let's learn more from the folks at The Know:
That would have been an awesome movie! Personally I would like to see an X-Men/Avengers crossover so perhaps they should start buttering up Fox. Does The Know have anything else to share from last week? Actually, they do. Papers, Please (minus the nudity) is coming to an iPad near you:
Up next, we have a review of The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow by Howard Chaykin from Pulp Crazy to celebrate Wold Newton Day:
Now its time to troll some of my readers with a video on steampunk. Here is what you missed by not playing Dishonored:
Fun fact: it was made by the same people who created Wolfenstein: The New Order, if you couldn't tell from the art style. Finally we end with the return of Cody Franklin of the Alternate History Hub as he discusses the world of Dick's The Man in the High Castle:
Phew! I'm done. Now onto some links.

Links to the Multiverse

Books and Short Fiction

Excerpt: On Her Majesty’s Behalf by Joseph Nassise at My Bookish Ways.
PM's Literary Award for Alternate History by John Birmingham at Cheeseburger Gothic.
Review: The Given Sacrifice by S.M. Stirling at Tom Kepler Writing.
Review: Silverblind by Tina Connolly at SF Signal.
Review: The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich at Open Book Society.
SUCCESSIO selected as Editor’s Choice in The Bookseller‘s at Alison Morton's Roma Nova.

Counterfactuals, History and News

4 Insane Theories People Still Believe About the Nazis by M. Asher Cantrell at Cracked.
The 14 Most Insane Fictional Versions Of Real Life Historical Figures at io9.
An Auto-Oriented Manhattan at Analysis by Matt Taylor.
Documenting Life in Countries You Probably Never Knew Existed by Jordan G. Teicher at Slate.
Fox: Obama Seeks Advice on Establishing Monarchy by Andy Borowitz at The New Yorker.
Here's what police planned to say if Darren Wilson was indicted at The Week.
The Real Story Of Apollo 17... And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon at io9.
This Greenpeace Stunt May Have Irreparably Damaged Peru's Nazca Site at io9.
Tom Harkin and the Alternate History of Health Care Reform at Bloomberg Politics.
What's the Historical Reality Behind the Trojan Horse? by Esther Inglis-Arkell at io9.
What Would Life Be Like On A Flat Earth? by Robbie Gonzalez at io9.

Films and Television

'Ascension': Could Mankind Really Survive 100 Years in Space? at NBC.
BBC Is Planning A Theme Park With “Doctor Who” And “Sherlock” at Nicole Wakelin.
How Will Smith Turned Down The Matrix by Jerome Maida at MoviePilot.
Marco Polo: Evocative History at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
Orthodox Church Stopped A Giant Eye Of Sauron Being Built Over Moscow at Business Insider.

Games

The 25 Best Video Games of 2014 at Slant.
Codename S.T.E.A.M. Arrives March 2015 With Online Multiplayer at GameInformer.
I'm Rather Worried About Assassin's Creed Coming to Victorian London at Kotaku.

Interviews

Alison Morton at Layered Pages.

Podcasts

Dieselpunk Comics Micro Cast #17 12/10/2014 at Diesel Powered Podcast.
Ratchet RetroCast Episode 42 – Don’t Panic at Earth Station One.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Interview: Karen Hellekson

As I did my research on the alternate history fandom, another name that routinely appeared was Karen Hellekson. I found out that Karen has done extensive research on the genre and was a former Sidewise Award judge. Luckily I got chance to talk with her and you can see our conversation below:

Who is Karen Hellekson?

I'm an independent scholar with interests in science fiction and fan studies. I studied at the University of Kansas, a school I chose because of the Institute for the Study of Science Fiction, where I worked with James Gunn. My dissertation was on the alternate history, and I later published it as a book.

What got you interested in alternate history?

I really liked some of the odder alternate histories, and I thought it was a fun topic that not enough people had written about. Mine was I think the third dissertation on the topic---that I could get my hands on, anyway---and one of them was in German. However, then it turned out that a huge subgenre---maybe even the majority---of alternate histories are written for battlefield fetishists. That is the least interesting aspect of the alternate history for me. I have no patience for finely detailed step-by-step battlefield stories for World War II or the Civil War, the two most common settings for the alternate history. I much prefer things like Ward Moore's "Bring the Jubilee", which is about the South winning the Civil War, but we see the United States years after this happens, where the implications of such a win are articulated in terms of society and technology. One reason I love Poul Anderson's Time Patrol series is that the historical nexus points he chooses are really out there, like the Peloponnesian War. More people need to write alternate histories about the Peloponnesian War, if you ask me.

What do you think inspires someone to alter history?


I think for the battlefield fetishists, it's their intimate knowledge of the time period and a desire to play with their specialist knowledge, although only other specialists can really understand the implications of the battle details they're talking about. I think for many other writers---the science fiction writers and not the historians---it's a way to displace our world to make a point about the world today, so it's just like any other speculative fiction text. Then you have someone like Philip Roth, not known as a SF writer or a historian but as a deeply personal writer, whose 2004 alternate
history, The Plot Against America, is a way to demonstrate contingency.

What was The Alternate History: Refiguring Historical Time about?


It's a critical study of the genre, using specific examples to demonstrate various ways of seeing historical time and agency, which I describe as various patterns.

How did you become a Sidewise Award judge and why did you leave after 2005?


They asked me! And I left because it was insanely time consuming, and I was reading too many terrible battlefield fetishist books, including lots of self-published books that had not been edited. It got so I dreaded opening the packages with the books. When that happens, you know it's time to move on.

What alternate history books would you recommend for someone who is not a "battlefield fetishist"?

Some of my favorites include Garfinkle's Celestial Matters, Deighton's genre-mixing SS-GB, Dick's classic The Man in the High Castle, Banks's Transition, Roth's The Plot Against America, Gibson and Sterling's The Difference Engine, Piper's Paratime and Lord Kalvan series, Moore's "Bring the Jubilee" (one of my absolute favorites---it's so, so devastating), de Camp's classic Lest Darkness Fall, Leinster's equally classic "Sidewise in Time", Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union...and I won't go on. But I could.

One thing I do sadly note is that few women writers seem drawn to the genre. Walton's Farthing is one, although I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read it yet. There are several others I know of but can't immediately find the titles for, mostly short stories. I'm hopeful people will help crowdsource AHs by women and help me find some! Many (like Novik's Temeraire series---I'm a big fan) seem have some kind of fantasy element---in Novik's case, it's the Napoleonic wars with dragons.

I'm most interested in what might be termed hard AH. I don't want magic; and although I like time travel, with intrepid time travelers seeking to ensure the time line goes as planned, those stories tend to revolve around the nexus point (like...a battle!), and in terms of AH, I prefer the universe building that goes into constructing a world based on an historically constructed "what if..." premise. This sort of text---one featuring a completely built AH world, with the action of the story set within it and the resolution dependent on that consistent world---is actually pretty rare.

Also, I do want to clarify: I don't want anybody to think that battlefield fetishism is a bad thing! It's just not my thing. I know more than the average person about World War II (because I copy edit a series of books on modern war stories for a university press for my day job), and even though I'm in on the joke, I still don't care about the minutiae of cause leading to effect in these texts. I want it wave formed out, out, out! However, I can see how it would be incredibly rewarding, as a reader, to recognize the characters, admire the author's take on things, and enjoy the operation-level details. After all, it takes a long time to gain that knowledge, and I'm sure battlefield fetishists love the payoff.

You are one of the keynote speakers at the Sideways in Time conference. Can we get a little taste of your topic?


I'm still thinking about it, so no, but I will likely discuss visual texts as opposed to written texts, mostly because that's more interesting to see a presentation about---I can show clips! Right now I'm thinking about Charlie Jade, Continuum and Fringe, as well as particular eps of Stargate SG-1 and the various Mirror Universe eps from the Star Trek franchise. I'm more interested in longer narratives, like TV shows, than in things like films, because of the importance of character to the alternate history, so likely I will focus on that.

Any advice to give someone who is interested in writing about the speculative fiction community?

The SF community is fabulous---everyone should want to write about them, because they are approachable and fun and delightful to talk to and the texts range so widely. I encourage anyone interested in writing about the community to attend the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts annual meeting, because academics and authors are all there. I remember being in an elevator with an elderly Jack Williamson years ago at ICFA, and I became a dumbstruck fangirl. I literally could not speak, because JACK WILLIAMSON.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Preview: Murder on the Orient Elite: A Tale of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia

Doing something a little different this time. I will be reviewing Murder on the Orient Elite: A Tale of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia, an audiobook given to me by the good people at Audible. Here is the description:

In this brand-new Grimnoir Chronicles story written exclusively for Audible, it's 1937 - four years after the Grimnoir Society defeated the magical alien force known as The Power. "Heavy" Jake Sullivan is summoned by his oddest ally, Dr. Wells, to stop the bombing of a new ultra-luxury airship. Amid the glitz, the gambling, and the high-society types, Sullivan races time to hunt for the saboteur. But surrounded by a blimp-full of Germans, Russians, Imperium Iron Guard, and other magical enemies - where can he even begin?

Its currently free on Audible, so you can listen along with me. That being said, I am not exactly a fan of audiobooks since I prefer to hold a book (or an e-reader) in my hands. Nevertheless, I am always willing to try new things, so stay tuned for my review.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.