Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekly Update #92

Editor's Note

Sorry for not posting a Weekly Update last week guys. For your troubles you get an extra loooonnnnnnnnnggggggg Weekly Update with a ton of nice and tasty links.

Not much else to report except to remind you all we are still accepting original fiction, essays and reviews dealing with the Balkanize Me trope of alternate history. The 27th is the last day I will post an entry. So far I haven't received any entries steampunk writing contest in March. I don't want to rush anybody, but if I do not start receiving some submissions soon I may have to cancel the contest.

Greetings to our first reader from Oman. Welcome and I hope you enjoy our coverage on alternate worlds.

And now the news...

Coming Soon: Gideon's Angel by Clifford Beal

A new novel has caught the attention of this alternate historian: Gideon's Angel by Clifford Beal. Set to be published tomorrow in the US/Canada and February 28th in the UK, here is the description from Amazon:
1653: The long and bloody English Civil War is at an end. King Charles is dead and Oliver Cromwell rules the land as king in all but name. Richard Treadwell, an exiled royalist officer and soldier-for-hire to the King of France and his all-powerful advisor, the wily Cardinal Mazarin, burns with revenge for those who deprived him of his family and fortune. He decides upon a self-appointed mission to return to England in secret and assassinate the new Lord Protector. Once back on English soil however, he learns that his is not the only plot in motion.
A secret army run by a deluded Puritan is bent on the same quest, guided by the Devil’s hand. When demonic entities are summoned, Treadwell finds himself in a desperate turnaround: he must save Cromwell to save England from a literal descent into Hell. But first he has to contend with a wife he left in Devon who believes she’s a widow, and a furious Paris mistress who has trailed him to England, jeopardising everything. Treadwell needs allies fast. Can he convince the man sent to forcibly drag him back to Cardinal Mazarin? A young king’s musketeer named d’Artagnan.
Black dogs and demons; religion and magic; Freemasons and Ranters. It’s a dangerous new Republic for an old cavalier coming home again.
Curious tale, but does it hold up against the critics? The Forgotten Geek at Geek Syndicate gave it a 3 out of 5 but did say that Gideon's Angel is "an enjoyable take on traditional historic horror with religious fantasy thrown in." Not exactly shining with praise, but I am still curious about the setting and the cast of characters. Those wanting to learn more can check out images and videos from the launch party and read Beal's essay titled Historical Fantasy: the pitfalls and pleasures of writing crossover fiction at The Qwillery.

Update: Chris Nuttall

Friend and contributor of The Update, Chris Nuttall, has been busy these last couple of weeks. His new novel Bookworm was recently published through Elsewhen Press and his novel Royal Sorceress came out in paperback (also published by Elsewhen). To promote this and his other novels (Chris is certainly a prolific writer) he has been touring the web with some interview. You can read his words at Amazing Stories and The Indie Spotlight. You can also check out Rome’s Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar, an article by Chris featuring the Roman statesman Cato.

From all of us at The Update, I want to congratulate Chris for his continued success and sincerely hope we hear even more about him in the future.

Update: The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville

Another friend of The Update, Guy Saville, has been celebrating the American edition of his novel The Afrika Reich. Here is the description from Amazon:
Africa, 1952. More than a decade has passed since Britain’s humiliation at Dunkirk brought an end to the war and the beginning of an uneasy peace with Hitler.
The swastika flies from the Sahara to the Indian Ocean. Britain and a victorious Nazi Germany have divided the continent. The SS has crushed the native populations and forced them into labor. Gleaming autobahns bisect the jungle, jet fighters patrol the skies. For almost a decade an uneasy peace has ensued.
Now, however, the plans of Walter Hochburg, messianic racist and architect of Nazi Africa, threaten Britain’s ailing colonies.
Sent to curb his ambitions is Burton Cole: a one-time assassin torn between the woman he loves and settling an old score with Hochburg. If he fails unimaginable horrors will be unleashed on the continent. No one – black or white – will be spared.
But when his mission turns to disaster, Burton must flee for his life.
It is a flight that will take him from the unholy ground of Kongo to SS slave camps to war-torn Angola – and finally a conspiracy that leads to the dark heart of The Afrika Reich itself.
Gavriel Rosenfeld, author of The World Hitler Never Made: Alternate History and the Memory of Nazism, reviewed the novel for The Jewish Daily Forward. While spending most of the article discussing historical and political subtext he concluded his review by calling it "an imaginative and entertaining journey through a nightmarish world that never was." It has to be nice when one alternate historian praises another.

If you would like a sneak peak at The Afrika Reich then read the excerpt posted on

Portlandia Goes Steampunk

Never watched Portlandia before, but I might have to check out a couple of episodes now. The satirical sketch comedy show, set and filmed in Portland, OR and starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein has gone steampunk. The sub-culture was skewered in a recent sketch which you can see a clip below:
So far reaction seems positive. Matt Staggs at SUVUDU called it "a parody with love" and real members of the Rose City Steampunk Society did star in the show. Still its only IFC, but in the future steampunk might penetrate basic cable or even network television.

Submissions Wanted

So good news and bad news for aspiring authors out there.

First the bad news: Nightmare Magazine will be temporarily closed for submissions. Don't worry, you won't have to wait long. They plan to reopen on May 15, 2013.

In the meantime if you have a horror related work you need to publish check out Dark Moon Books who are looking for young adult horror stories. Deadline is April 15 and entries should be between 500 to 4000 words. Also if your story is a tad Lovecraftian, might I recommend this helpful list of magazins and publishers who may be in the need of some good mythos tales or just weird fiction in general.

As always good luck...and don't worry if you hear something go bump in the night. It is probably just your subconscious helping you craft a new horror story and certainly some demonic hell beast coming to steal your soul.

Things to do

Bored? You shouldn't be. Another universe is just next door:

March 2 to April 14: The Ipswich Art Gallery (Ipswich, Australia) will host a high tea to open a steampunk art gallery.

May 3-5: H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon in Portland, OR...but wait! You have to kickstart it first.

May 17-19: 2013 Steampunk World's Fair at Piscataway, NJ.

Also I need to post more reviews from guests at these cons and events. Like the one our own Junior Editor Jake posted about his visit to this year's AnachroCon. He even met author and contributor to The Update, Matthew Quinn. I love it when alternate historians network, there are so few of us to begin with. Let us hope Jake's mention of podcast is more than just idle speculation...

Links to the Multiverse


6 Famous Things From History That Didn't Actually Exist by Matt Martin and Paige Turner at Cracked.

An ‘alternative universe’ will eventually destroy ours, says Higgs researcher by George Dvorsky at io9.

Clockwork Mafia Cover Reveal by Suzanne Lazear at Steamed!

Cover Reveal - ODD MEN OUT by TK Toppin.

February 19, 1942: On this day in history, Nazi Germany launched it's only successful invasion of North America. Sort of... at Doctor Grumpy in the House.

The Future of Slavery Sans Civil War: Counterfactual Ponderings by Brooks D. Simpson at Crossroads.

How the Nazis Tried to Bomb New York by Ron Miller at io9.

Is this period? by Cindy Spencer Pape at Steamed!

The Mongoliad: Book Three (Excerpt) by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo at Tor.

On Bill Carmody, Alternate Histories, and Dumb Luck by Loretta8 at SB Nation.

Physicists discover what a multiverse might really be like by Esther Inglis-Arkell at io9.

Steampunk Romance: Resources & Books at SFR Brigade.

Steampunk Update, Part 2 - Old & New Cogs in the Steampunk Machine by John DeNardo at Kirkus.

Throwback Thursday: Corsets, clockwork and steampunk by Jessie Potts at USA Today.

Trend-spotting: Steampunk... by Kasmin Fernandes at The Times of India.

Winston Churchill’s plan to fight Nazis with massive aircraft carriers made from ice by George Dvorsky at io9.

Book/Story Reviews

The Aylesford Skull by James P Blaylock at Thinking about books.

Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis at The Ranting Dragon.

Bronze Summer by Stephen Baxter at Thinking about books.

Once Upon a Time Machine at Kirkus Reviews.

Society of Steam Trilogy at Black Gate.

"Under St. Peter's" by Harry Turtledove at Leeds Book Club.


Review of The Manhattan Projects #9 at Geek Syndicate.

WEB COMIC REVIEW: Boston Metaphysical Society – Issue 1 at Geek Syndicate.


Help Fund ‘Cowboys & Engines: A Steampunk Film’ Starring ‘Totally Rad Show’s Jeff Cannata by Angie Han at /Film.

Quentin Tarantino plans 'Inglorious Basterds', 'Django Unchained' history trilogy with third film at NME.

Rhoda Uxbridge and The Multiverse by Inappropriate Factory at Kickstarter.


Assassin's Creed 3's wacky Tyranny of King Washington DLC features superpowers, hallucinogens and an alternate history storyline by Tom Phillips at

BioShock Infinite new trailer - Take 2 Interactive at Falcata Times.

Free running Steampunk themed platformer Grudger now available on Google Play by AndrewH at Droid Gamers.


The BBC Presents a New Dramatization of Orwell’s 1984, with Christopher Eccleston as Winston Smith by  Josh Jones at Open Culture.

Budget Steampunk with “Try This At Home” at Nerdist.

Review of Elementary: Season 1, Episode 15 and 16 at Thinking about books.


Kevin J. Anderson at AISFP.

Gail Carriger at Lytherus.

Genevieve Valentine at Lightspeed Magazine.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a volunteer editor for Alt Hist magazine. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and The Were-Traveler. 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.

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