Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekly Update #152

Editor's Note

Short editorial today, not much really to talk about. Just wanted to let you know I am also reading The Windsor Faction by DJ Taylor, another Sidewise nominee. Expect a review soon.

And now the news...

Harry Turtledove to Be Recognized as Literary Guest of Honor at Dragon Con 2014

Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy and SF convention, has selected author and Master of Alternate History Harry Turtledove as its Literary Guests of Honor. He will be recognized at the Guests of Honor Awards Banquet on Aug. 30.

“With the increasing popularity of alternative history, Harry Turtledove was chosen as our Literary Guest of Honor for his popular tales that take readers to alternate worlds and immerses them in fantasy action," said Convention Co-chair Rachel Reeves. Although this blogger is still surprised when he hears that alternate history is popular, he can't disagree with the gist of Reeves praise.

Turtledove is probably best known for his novel, Guns of the South, which combines time travel, social commentary, and a Confederate victory into a widely praised and internationally top-selling novel. For more than four decades, Turtledove has been at the forefront of many innovations in science fiction literature, equally at home writing about alien invasions or historically based epics. His many well-received series even include an alien race invading Earth in the midst of WWII.

Congrats to Harry Turtledove for receiving this honor and hopefully he will add another Sidewise Award to the mix as well at Worldcon.

Paradox Unveils New Europa Universalis IV Mini Expansion to the Public

Paradox Interactive revealed the third expansion for Europa Universalis IV. The new mini expansion, entitled Res Publica, will introduce new systems of governance and trade to the game, including an all-new government type and several new Idea Groups for ambitious strategists to explore. The mini expansion is scheduled to release this summer for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs.

Res Publica, a Latin phrase meaning “Public Affairs,” provides players with even more ways to rewrite history and tell their unique stories of conquest. In Res Publica, dictators and diplomats will discover new ways to manage and govern their empires, including additional ways to influence growth, sway the balance of power, and maintain – or shatter – a nation’s stability.

Res Publica adds the following features to the game’s affairs:
  • Republic Affairs: Grow your influence with the Merchant Republic faction to create new trade posts and reap bonuses, or exploit the inner power struggles of the Dutch Republic and their unique election events
  • Meet the New Boss: Try the all-new Republican Dictatorship government type, and decide between increases in power or Republic Tradition in new in-game opportunities and events
  • Don’t Fight the Power: Retain power for the ruling family by backing heirs in Elective Monarchies; boost your growth with the National Focus bonus and spend your points on Administrative, Diplomatic, or Military Power
Res Publica will provide grand strategy fans with their broadest set of choices and tactics yet when it releases this summer. If you plan to check it out, please let us know.

Video Gallery

Several good videos this week. First up, Epic Rap Battles of History returns featuring a battle between Isaac Newton and Bill Nye (featuring Weird Al Yankovic):
Next up, another shout out to Paradox with their War of the Vikings: Berserker trailer:
And we finish with How to: Papers Please, from the always funny guys at Rooster Teeth:

Links to the Multiverse

Books


‘1636’ is great as stand-alone part of series by Mark Lardas at The Daily News.
The Peril of Making eBooks Free by Mark Lord.
Review: Afrika Reich by Guy Saville at Other Times.
Review: California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout at The Qwillery.
Review: The Madonna and the Starship by James Morrow at The Little Red Reviewer.
SUCCESSIO goes on a blast! by Alison Morton.
Why Do We Love Sherlock Holmes? by Maeve Alpin at Steamed.

Comics

Preview: Steampunk Battlestar Galactica: 1880 #1 (Unlettered) at Comic Book Resources.
Review: Brass Sun #2 at Geek Syndicate.
That Time The United Nations Condemned Superman (In Real Life) by Mark Strauss at io9.
What If Batman Had Been In Watchmen? by Lauren Davis at io9.

Counterfactual and Traditional History (Plus News)

Beware the Confident Counterfactual by Jay Ulfelder at Dart-Throwing Chimp.

Games

E3 2014: Hands on The Order: 1886 by Reagan Morris at Stuff.co.nz.

Interviews

Gail Carriger and Cindy Spencer Pape at USA Today.
SM Stirling at Nightflier's Bookspace.
Daniel Suarez at SF Signal.
Greg Van Eekhout at SF Signal.

Podcasts and Audio Dramas

Aztec Steel by Jordan Harbour at Twilight Histories.
The Springheel Saga Audio Drama Takes the Gold at Geek Syndicate.

Television

Fight on for TV's fantasy throne by Sarah Hughes at The New Zealand Herald.
Shoot-Out at the Undead Corral: Penny Dreadful Ep. 6 “What Death Can Join Together” at Tor.

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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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