Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekly Update #72

Editor's Note

Got our first visitors from Sri Lanka and Ethiopia. Welcome! I really need to post a new reader map soon.

Thanks to all of our fans who provide feedback to our posts. While hearing your opinion is great, the best way to thank me and all the other contributors to AHWU is to share our work through social media. If you follow us on Twitter, please RT. If you like us on Facebook, hit share on one of our articles. Help spread the word and keep this window to the multiverse alive.

Turns out YouTube actually keeps track of the videos I post on this blog. If you want to find all of the videos we link to on Weekly Update, then subscribe to our feed on YouTube. Perhaps one day we will even have our own channel...

And now the news...

43* by Jeff Greenfield
Big news last week was the publication of a new short story by columnist and author Jeff Greenfield (Then Everything Changed). The story is called 43* and asks a "what if" many liberals I assume ask themselves a lot: what if Gore won the presidency in 2000? What if Gore was president during 9/11? What would he have done differently? You can read excerpts from the short story at Yahoo and at the publisher's website. You can also watch Jeff discuss his story on msnbc.

ABC Developing Steampunk Drama Gaslight

ABC made waves last month among speculative historians by announcing a steampunk detective series featuring Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. ABC has done it again when last week they announced a new steampunk tv series called Gaslight. It has been described as a "soapy drama set in a modern steampunk San Francisco where three rival families battle each other for control." The show will be produced by Ian Sander and Kim Moses of Sander/Moses Productions and written by Michael Cooney. Not everyone, however, is pleased by this announcement. Margaret Lyons over at Vulture said "Oh, lord. A steampunk San Francisco? Can't we just let Burning Man be Burning Man?"

Nevertheless, I am excited, especially if this alternative San Francisco actually has a different history. What do you think?

Guns of Icarus Online Ready for Pre-Order

Guns of Icarus, the online dirigible combat game, is now available for pre-order through Steam. Set in a steampunk inspired, post-apocalyptic wasteland, this team-based co-op game allows you to play as one of three character classes: Captain, Gunner and Engineer. The Captain steers the ship, the gunner keeps enemies at bay and the engineer keeps the ship flying. There are a variety of missions to perform and air pirates are as thick as flies to keep things exciting. Good news, there will be no subscription fee, just a one-off retail purchase with in-game monetization elements.

Guns of Icarus will launch October 29th. You can check out the trailer below:

More on NBC's Revolution
By now most of you read Seb's excellent review of Revolution (spoiler alert: he didn't like it). Despite Seb's review, Revolution actually did well on its opening day. It had the best debut of any new drama in the last three years according to Pat Hauldren at who believes the SF/drama elements and the strong female lead have made it a hit among audiences.

Nevertheless, like Seb, most reviews of the show have been poor with some reviewers either lambasting the ridiculous premise, bad acting or reminding everyone that S.M. Stirling wrote a better story with the same premise. Yet Charlie Jane Anders at io9 still remains optimistic about the show pointing out the excellent actors in the show, the potential medieval action sequences and a Lost-esque plot development.

Is Revolution worth another chance? Episode 2 premiers tonight, will you be watching?

Things to do

Are you bored living in the real world? Take the next wormhole to one of these fine destinations:

Oct 5 to Oct 7: OctopodiCon 2012 in Oklahoma City, OK.

Oct 12 to Nov 3: The Starkweather Arts Center's upcoming exhibit "The Steampunk Show" in Romeo, MI. And they are still looking for submissions.

Nov 30 to Dec 2: TeslaCon: A Trip to the Moon at Middleton, WI.

Links to the Multiverse


An Alternate History: If the RIAA Was Innovative by Alan Cross.

Do Black People Really Read This Stuff? II: Science Fiction, Steamfunk & More! by Balogun at Chronicles of Harriet.

Imagining an alternate Big East history where Miami, Virginia Tech and BC never left by Jeff King at The Uconnblog.

Steampunking Fairytales by Kaitlin Branch at Steamed!


1635: The Papal Stakes by Eric Flint Snippet 43.

New Novel Adapted From Rush's Steampunk Album by Kevin J. Anderson at Huffington Post.

Review of Alt Hist 4 done by Kelly Jensen at SFcrowsnest.

Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution Coming 12/1/2012 by Book News Desk at Talk Books World.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (September 17th) by Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.


The Arrival: graphic introduction to steampunk ARG by Cory Doctorow at boingboing.

COMIC REVIEW: The Manhattan Projects, Vol.1 – Science Bad TP by theforgottengeek at Geek Syndicate.


Without clues, Dishonored was too difficult by Geoffrey Tim at Lazygamer.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for Alt Hist and a contributor to Just Below the Law. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and his own writing blog. When not writing he works as an attorney and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.


  1. Not directed at you, Matt, but more at the writer at the Examiner:

    How is Charly a "strong female lead"? So far all she's been is irresponsible, gullible and not exactly strong on the combat- or survival side of things. Shooting one guy in the back with a crossbow and falling for the first hunky guy she meets isn't exactly what I'd consider a strong female personality.

    Somehow I can't shake the feeling that if the sex of the lead was changed and the situation was the same (bratty teenager, falls for the first pair of boobs outside the village^^) the praise wouldn't be heaped on his head quite a lavishly.

    1. Agree 100%. The standards for who qualifies as a "strong female lead" seem way too low (see also the fawning over Merida as such in Pixar's Brave). That said, I think Charly could develop into a more better, more fully-developed character in future episodes, and I'll continue watching with that hope (and that the world will be more fleshed-out through flashbacks and exposition).

  2. That being said, I'll keep watching the show. There is room for improvement, and I think it deserves a chance. "Gaslight" also sounds moderately interesting.

  3. Mitro, I would love to see that new users map you keep teasing me with.