Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Releases 11/25/14

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Paperbacks

Dangerous Women 3 edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Dangerous Women Vol. 3 includes stories by Sherilynn Kenyon, Joe Abercrombie, Diana Rowland, Melinda Snodgrass, and Pat Cadigan, and features an entirely new 18,000-word novella by New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, and a new story of Harry Dresden’s world by bestselling author Jim Butcher.

Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild edited by George R. R. Martin

Back in print after a decade, featuring fiction by George R. R. Martin, Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, and others

On September 15, 1946, the Wild Card virus was released, spreading a wave of mutations around the globe. "Aces" were endowed with extraordinary powers, while "Jokers" were cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. September 15th is now Wild Card Day. With each passing year, the festivities become larger and more fevered. And 1986—the fortieth anniversary—promises to be the biggest Wild Card Day ever. But in New York City not everyone is celebrating: The Astronomer, a twisted, powerful genius, has been planning his own special festivities for Wild Card Day…a day of revenge against those who have opposed him…

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.

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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, November 24, 2014

Map Monday: Royal Province of Maryland by False Dmitri

My next featured map comes from my friend False Dmitri, a.k.a. Benkarnell. Not only is Ben an active member of AlternateHistory.com, but he is also a veteran editor of Ill Bethisad and the AltHistory Wiki. He can also make some spectacular maps, like his balkanized American ethnicities map that is the #2 most viewed article on The Update. Today, however, we are here to check out the Royal Province of Maryland:
This map is set in his Affiliated States of Boreoamerica timelines.  It is a really unique timelines in the sense that it focuses primarily on the domestic histories of the member states of Boreoamerica and ignores the wars and geopolitical rivalries found in other timelines. The ASB (see what Ben did there) is a confederation of White and Indian states that arose out of a vastly different colonization of North America. Not only are there less British colonies, but the ones that do exist have vastly different identities than their doppelgangers of OTL.

Take Maryland, for example. Not only do we learn how the colonies gained their independence during the a Revolution that was not quite Glorious, but we see how this colony of English Catholics transformed into a Jacobite state where the current claimant rules from afar while the Baron Baltimore is the de facto monarch. Ben has managed to give this alternate Maryland a unique identity not seen in most balkanized North America through his history and from the tiny changes he has made in the map above.

Honorable mention this week goes to rvbomally's "Putsch", which features a three-way Cold War between the capitalists, communists and an alliance of fascist states led by Italy. If you want to submit a map for the next Map Monday, email me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com with your map attached and a brief description in the body of the email.

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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 #169

Editor's Note

Well the holidays are upon us and that means I am going into hibernation. No Weekly Update next Monday as I take a break from blogging to write about my Sideways in Time Paper (check out my last update here). Then in mid-December I will be taking an even longer break to spend sometime with the family, but I will be back at the end of the year for my annual wrap-up.

And now the news...

Videos for Alternate Historians

Some good videos this week. We begin with another episode of Epic Rap Battles of History, featuring Romeo & Juliet vs. Bonnie & Clyde:
The last few episodes have been very group heavy. I wonder if we are going to see anymore one-on-ones in the future. Anywho, it looks like Assassin's Creed: Unity has lead to some discussion on revisionist history. Lets watch this video from The Know to learn more:
Interesting. Here in America at least we are taught that both sides in the French Revolution were nuts. O well, lets look at an even more insane period of history, World War II, with this video on tanks featured in Paradox's upcoming grant strategy game Hearts of Iron IV:
The video features a visit to the Arsenalen museum of military vehicles in Sweden, where Hearts of Iron IV’s Project Lead, Dan Lind, talks tanks and their use in the war. What did you think of it?

Links to the Multiverse

Books and Short Fiction

Best Alternate History Novels by Josh Goller at Used Book Search.
Gollancz buys two from de Bodard at The Bookseller.
Priya Sharma’s After Mary included in Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mentions at Alt Hist.
Prologue of The Desert and The Blade by SM Stirling.
Review: Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann at Falcata Times.
Review: The Revolutions by Felix Gilman at Falcata Times.
Review: The Steampunk User’s Manual by Jeff VanderMeer at Geek Dad.
Update on the Alternate Mormon History anthology by William Morris at A Motley Vision.
William Gibson's 6 favorite books at The Week.

Counterfactuals, History and News

The 19th Century Blueprint For A Massive Mind-Control Machine by Mark Strauss at io9.
The Dyess Colony by Larry Amyett, Jr at Dieselpunk.
Have We Stopped Fearing Nuclear War? by Annalee Newitz at io9.
How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization by Annalee Newitz at io9.
The Limits of Alternative Africas by Laura J. Mitchell at Africa Is a Country.
Muslims Discovered the Americas, Claims Turkish President by Berivan Orucoglu at Foreign Policy.
"Pro-American" History Textbooks Hurt Native Americans by Shannon Speed at Huff Post.
S. Korea to raise $500 bln for unification: regulator by Kim Boram at Yonhap News Agency.
Sudan asks U.N. mission in Darfur to prepare to leave at Yahoo.

Film and Television

41 Cancelled Star Wars Projects by Rob Leane at Den of Geek.
The Age of the Airship by Alex Michael Bonnici Far Future Horizons.
Hitler’s Supercity by Alex Michael Bonnici at Far Future Horizons.

Games

Bladestorm: Nightmare carves a path through history in March by Danny Cowan at Joystiq.
Codename: Steam History Told Right by Steve Knauer at Mind of the Geek.

Graphic Novels and Comics

Elseworld: What would be your dream Film Justice League team be? by Gretnablue at io9.
Lee Joining Morrison on "The Multiversity: Mastermen" at Comic Book Resources.
Preview: Django/Zorro #2 (Unlettered) at Comic Book Resources.
Review: Royal Blood by Alejandro Jodorowsky at The Fandom Post.

Interviews

A.M. Dellamonica at Corey Redekop.
Alison Morton at Literascribe.

Podcasts

Show 17 – American Revolution at Twilight Histories.
Vidjagame Apocalypse 90 – Alternate Histories at Laser Time.

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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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

First Look at the Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell BBC Miniseries

I was so quick to talk about BBC's adaptation of SS-GB that I completely missed the news yesterday regarding another BBC alternate history project. Above is our first look at the titular characters of the the BBC adaptation of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Set in England during the Napoleonic Wars, the novel tells the story of two rivals magicians in an alternate history where magic is widely acknowledged, but rarely practiced. Eddie Marsan will play Mr. Norrell (right) and Bertie Carvel will play Jonathan Strange (left).

The Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell will be a seven-part series that will premier sometime next year. More importantly, this news has got me asking the question: are we living at the start of the golden age of alternate history? Has mainstream media finally realized that there is value to these stories and it is ready to share them with a wider audience? Or conversely, has the splintering of media meant that producers are scrambling for content and throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks?

Either way, alternate history may actually be poised to make a major break in the mainstream in 2015, what with this, SS-GB, Amazon's The Man in the High Castle and Hulu's 11/22/63 coming out soon. I am very excited by these developments, but what do you guys think? Let us know in the comments.

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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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BBC Producing an Adaptation of Len Deighton's SS-GB

In case you thought Amazon had cornered the market on Axis Wins television, think again. It was announced today by The Hollywood Reporter that BBC has ordered a five episode mini-series of Len Deighton's SS-GB. For those who don't know, SS-GB is a spy story set in a Britain that surrendered to the Nazis in 1941. Perhaps that is why the BBC chose Robert Wade and Neal Purvis to write the mini-series. Both writers have penned the last few James Bond films and have been called "one of Britain's most successful screenwriting partnerships".

Well they certainly come highly recommended and they do have the right background, but do you think they can make a good adaptation of SS-GB? Stay tuned to The Update to find out as we keep you informed about all SS-GB adaptation news.

In the meantime, check out another alternate history work inspired by James Bond, A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin, and stay tuned for my review of The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher, whose preview I just posted today.

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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.

Preview: The Darkest Hour by Tony Schumacher

Tony Schumacher is sending me a review copy of his new book The Darkest Hour. Check out the description from Amazon:

A crackling, highly imaginative thriller debut in the vein of W.E.B. Griffin and Philip Kerr, set in German-occupied London at the close of World War II, in which a hardened British detective jeopardizes his own life to save an innocent soul and achieve the impossible—redemption.

London, 1946. The Nazis have conquered the British, and now occupy Great Britain, using brutality and fear to control its citizens. John Henry Rossett, a decorated British war hero and former police sergeant, has been reassigned to the Office of Jewish Affairs. He now answers to the SS, one of the most powerful and terrifying organizations in the Third Reich.

Rossett is a man accustomed to obeying commands, but he’s now assigned a job he did not ask for—and cannot refuse: rounding up Jews for deportation, including men and women he’s known his whole life. But they are not the only victims, for the war took Rossett’s wife and son, and shattered his own humanity.

Then he finds Jacob, a young Jewish child, hiding in an abandoned building, who touches something in Rossett that he thought was long dead.

Determined to save the innocent boy, Rossett takes him on the run, with the Nazis in pursuit. But they are not the only hunters following his trail. The Royalist Resistance and the Communists want him, too. Each faction has its own agenda, and Rossett will soon learn that none of them can be trusted . . . and all of them are deadly.

So say tuned for the review to be posted either here or at Amazing Stories.

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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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Releases 11/18/14

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

Hardcovers

Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle: A Girl Genius Novel by Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio

In the third installment of the Girl Genius novels, Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle begins as Agatha Heterodyne returns to her ancestral home, the warped little town of Mechanicsburg. There she must claim her inheritance by convincing the artificial intelligence that animates her family’s castle that she is, in fact, the new Heterodyne. But this apparently simple task is made complicated in several ways: An imposter claiming to be the legitimate heir appears. The Empire is convinced that Agatha is the person responsible for the Long War (and to be fair, they are not entirely incorrect). And, worst of all, the Castle itself is insane.

From the Hugo Award–winning Girl Genius online comics comes this third book in the Agatha H. trilogy; and just like the first two, Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle will grab you from the first page and not let go!

Steampunk Soldiers: Uniforms and Weapons from the Age of Steam by Philip Smith and Joseph McCullough

Steampunk Soldiers is a unique pictorial guide to the last great era of bright and colorful uniforms, as well as an important historical study of the variety of steam-powered weaponry and equipment that abounded in the days before the Great War of the Worlds.

Between 1887 and 1895, the British art student Miles Vandercroft travelled around the world, sketching and painting the soldiers of the countries through which he passed. In this age of dramatic technological advancement, Vandercroft was fascinated by how the rise of steam technology at the start of the American Civil War had transformed warfare and the role of the fighting man. This volume collects all of Vandercroft's surviving paintings, along with his associated commentary on the specific military units he encountered.

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.