Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Update #142

Editor's Note

I was pleasantly surprised by how popular Timeline Thursday: Out of One, Many by Erwin Wodarczak was last week. I am glad people aren't put off by my exploration of retro timelines. I will try to track down a few more oldies but goodies for your reading pleasure.

Speaking of reading, there was a period of several weeks when I wasn't doing any reading. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I finally got back into the habit. If you are ever feeling a little down in the dumps, try restarting some habit you let fall to the wayside.

And if you are going to dive back into reading, remember to click through our Amazon banner and help support The Update!

And now the news...

Preview: The Adjacent by Christopher Priest

A book that continues to get a lot of press is The Adjacent by Christopher Priest. Here is the description from Amazon:

The eagerly anticipated new novel from “one of the master illusionists of our time.” (Wired)

In the near future, Tibor Tarent, a freelance photographer, is recalled from Anatolia to Britain when his wife, an aid worker, is killed—annihilated by a terrifying weapon that reduces its target to a triangular patch of scorched earth. 

A century earlier, Tommy Trent, a stage magician, is sent to the Western Front on a secret mission to render British reconnaissance aircraft invisible to the enemy.

Present day. A theoretical physicist develops a new method of diverting matter, a discovery with devastating consequences that will resonate through time.

I actually just purchased this novel, so expect a review in the near future (unless I get to another book first, but more on that later). If you want to learn more about The Adjacent you can read an excerpt at Bleeding Cool or check out a pair of interviews Priest conducted over at Barnes and Noble Review and Amazon Blogs.

Preview: Age of Shiva by James Lovegrove

James Lovegrove's new novel, Age of Shiva, is the final book in his godpunk Pantheon series. Here is the description from Amazon:

Zachary Bramwell, better known as the comics artist Zak Zap, is pushing forty and wondering why his life isn’t as exciting as the lives of the superheroes he draws. Then he’s shanghaied by black-suited goons and flown to Mount Meru, a vast complex built atop an island in the Maldives. There, Zak meets a trio of billionaire businessmen who put him to work designing costumes for a team of godlike super-powered beings based on the ten avatars of Vishnu from Hindu mythology. 

The Ten Avatars battle demons and aliens and seem to be the saviours of a world teetering on collapse. But their presence is itself a harbinger of apocalypse. The Vedic “fourth age” of civilisation, Kali Yuga, is coming to an end, and Zak has a ringside seat for the final, all-out war that threatens the destruction of Earth.

If you would like to learn more check out an interview with Lovegrove on My Bookish Ways (and if you hurry you still have time to enter into a book giveaway) and learn the story behind the final Pantheon novel over at UpComing4.Me.

Preview: Coldbrook by Tim Lebbon

Here is a curious novel about a zombie invasion from a parallel universe. It is Tim Lebbon's Coldbrook and here is the description from Amazon:

Coldbrook is a secret laboratory located deep in Appalachian Mountains. Its scientists had achieved the impossible: a gateway to a new world. Theirs was to be the greatest discovery in the history of mankind, but they had no idea what they were about to unleash.

With their breakthrough comes disease and now it is out and ravaging the human population. The only hope is a cure and the only cure is genetic resistance: an uninfected person amongst the billions dead.

In the chaos of destruction there is only one person that can save the human race.

But will they find her in time?

Coldbrook has been the darling of SF Signal this week. Not only did they post an excerpt, but also a 4 1/2 star review by Kristin Centorcelli that said Coldbrook was an "intelligent thriller that offers much more than flesh eaters on the prowl." Very curious indeed.

Video Gallery

We begin this week's Video Gallery with a look at the new Wolfenstein: The New Order trailer:
Wow, is that really what happens in soccer? Perhaps more Americans should follow the sport. Anywho, fans of the turn based strategy game Civilization will probably enjoy this trailer for the new game Civilization: Beyond Earth:
We end this gallery with another video from our friend Cody Franklin where he discusses what would happen if Operation Unthinkable took place:
If you have videos you would like to recommend, let us know at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.

Links to the Multiverse


5 Ways to Make Sure You Write Every Day by Mark Lord.
1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies – Snippet 17 and 18 by Eric Flint
Daniel Levine’s ‘Hyde’ reanimates Robert Louis Stevenson’s infamous bipolar doctor at The Washington Post.
Excerpt: The Revolutions by Felix Gilman at Macmillan.
Game Novels 2: The Gladiator at Gamasutra.
How to research historical fantasy by Mark Alder at SFX.
How to Stay Motivated as a Writer by Mark Lord.
Review: The Abominable by Dan Simmons at Thinking about books.
Review: Steam & Strategem by Christopher Hoare at Amazing Stories.
The shortest-lived countries in history at When Gravity Fails.
The Story Behind Truth and Fear by Peter Higgins at UpComing4.Me.

Counterfactual and Traditional History

Dixie Victorious - What if the Confederacy Won the Civil War? by Alex Michael Bonnici at Far Future Horizons.
If Neil Kinnock had become prime minister in 1992 by Martin Rosenbaum at BBC.
Local Republican Caucus Passes Resolution Allowing Wisconsin To Secede by Amanda Terkel at Huff Post.
Photo Of Nikola Tesla Was The First Ever Taken By Phosphorescent Light by Lauren Davis at io9.
The Polish Soldier Who Snuck into Auschwitz by Félix Macherez at Vice.
Time Travel Questions at Wil Wheaton dot Tumblr.
The What If's of History at Storify.


Can You Identify Different Time Travel Movies Based On These Graphs? by Lauren Davis at io9.
Days of Future Past Photos Reveal The X-Men's Dark History And Future by Meredith Woerner at io9.
'Jodorowsky's Dune' review: The (un)making of a science-fiction classic that never was at Oregon Live.
Martians Invade Again in Alternate History WAR OF THE WORLDS: GOLIATH [Review] at Quiet Earth.


“What If?”: Exploring Gaming’s Alternative Histories by Cameron Koch at GameInformer.


Hazel Gaynor at My Bookish Ways.
Alison Morton at Novel PASTimes.


History Podcast Checklist by Jordan Harbour at History Podcasters.
Nerds Assemble episode 83: Chatting with Ack-Ack Macaque author Gareth Powell at Nerds Assemble.

Short Fiction

The Iceberg by Andrea Mullaney – Free Story Extract at Alt Hist.
Review: The Time Traveler's Almanac edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer at Barnes and Noble Review.


Da Vinci's Demons 2.4: Copernican Revelation at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
The da Vinci mode: The historical basis for Tom Riley's unusual portrayal of Leonardo at The Independent.
The time travel movie 12 Monkeys is becoming a TV show in 2015 by Jon Fingas at Engadget.
Turn Premiere: Good Historical Drama in Revolutionary New York at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.


Review: 'Gravity' offbeat history lesson in Cotuit at Cape Cod Online.

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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.

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