Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Update #22

Editor's Note

I am always happy when it is time for another weekly update on the genre because there is always good news to share with the fans.  Speaking of fans, we now have 60 Facebook fans!  Plus we surpassed 2000 page views for a second month in a row (though sadly we did not break our record from August...yet).  More importantly, we got our first reader from Denmark.  Velkommen!

I would also like to thank a fan by the name of "ObssesedNuker" who posted a link of my review of Spike TV's Alternate History in the comment section of the streaming version of the show.  Thanks a lot, whoever you are, for spreading the truth.

Got some great stuff coming up this week.  First, you get two interviews for the price of one.  I will be interviewing two authors this week: Guy Saville (author of The Afrika Reich) and William Peter Grasso (author of East Wind Returns).  Plus War Blogger will be reviewing East Wind Returns and I will be showcasing one my new favorite online alternate histories.  So stay tuned.

And now the news...

Taylor Anderson in San Diego

Alternate historians in the San Diego area can meet Taylor Anderson who will be promoting his new book Firestorm.  Anderson will  be at the U.S. Naval Base Exchange at noon on Saturday, and on Sunday he will be at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Clairemont Mesa at 2 pm.  Firestorm is part of Anderson's Destroyermen series.  In 1942, two American destroyers fleeing Japanese pursuit in the Java Sea sail into a squall and exit into an alternate Earth where the dinosaur extinction event never occurred.  There they find sentient races of saurians and mammals who are at war with one another and must choose sides, but they are not the only ones who entered the squall.

I read the first three books in the series and while it is an interesting adventure story with some nice battle scenes, the series is full of ISOT tropes and many of the characters bear a strong resemblance to the characters in The Lost Regiment by William R. Forstchen.  Anderson does claim, however, that he has been "assailed by some of the alternate history purists", so if he wants to come on Alternate History Weekly Update and defend himself from the slings and arrows we alternate historians have in plenty, I would love to give him an interview.

Betsy Mitchell to Leave Del Rey

Publishers Weekly reports that Betsy Mitchell, editor-in-chief of Del Rey for the last decade, has chosen to take early retirement and will leave the Random House science fiction and fantasy imprint in December. With her pending departure, Tricia Pasternak has been promoted to editorial director of Del Rey Spectra, “overseeing both the editorial department in Del Rey’s traditional sf and fantasy publishing as well as the editorial content we are generating for our IP [intellectual property] business," according to a memo from Ballantine Bantam Dell heads Scott Shannon and Jennifer Hershey.

Other promotions include Keith Clayton who adds the additional responsibility of associate publisher for Del Rey Spectra to his existing role of director of creative development for BBD’s IP group; Anne Groell, editor of Wild Cards creator George R.R. Martin, has been named executive editor for Del Rey Spectra, editing the master of alternate history himself, Harry Turtledove.

Mitchell's retirement from Random ends a long career in the science fiction and fantasy field. Before joining Del Rey, Mitchell held top editorial spots at Bantam Spectra, Baen Books, and Warner Aspect. As noted by Random, the number of alternate history authors she has edited includes: William Gibson (co-author of The Difference Engine), Michael Chabon (author of The Yiddish Policemen's Union), Naomi Novik (author of the Temeraire series) and Peter F. Hamilton (author of Watching Trees Grow).

New Releases: Ganymede by Cherie Priest

Ganymede by Cherie Priest, the third novel in the Clockwork Century series, was published on September 27.  The series is a steampunk/alternate history adventure set during an American Civil War that has lasted twenty years and has been complicated by a zombie uprising.  Alternate history, cool gadgets and zombies?  Sounds like an interesting read to me.  People interested in checking out Ganymede or the other novels and short stories set in the same universe can find them on Amazon.

Links to the Multiverse

Interviews

John Hodgman interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson at Public Radio International.

Articles

A is for Alternate History by Djibril, at The Future Fire editors' blog.

The Science of Fringe by Dave Golder at SFX.

Books

Review of Goliath by Scott Westerfeld done by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing.

Review of The Tears of the Sun by S. M. Stirling done by Matthew Quinn.

Misc.

An Alternate History Joke

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