Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekly Update #157

Editor's Note

So it looks like I will once again fail in my goal to read all of the Sidewise nominated works before the awards are announced. I just was unable to read 1920: America's Great War by Robert Conroy in time. O well it happens. Perhaps I will get to it eventually and if Conroy wins I will especially make an effort to read and review it.

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And now the news...

Cosmonaut Anatolii Artsebarskii to appear at Loncon 3 

Those interested in the history of space exploration will be please to hear that former cosmonaut Anatolii Pavlovich Artsebarskii will be attending Loncon 3 and has agreed to participate in the program. He will speak on Sunday, August 17th.

Born on September 9, 1956, Artsebarskii was the commander of the Soyuz TM-12 mission in 1991. He flew it to the Mir space station with crew Sergei Krikalev and British astronaut Helen Sharman, and spent a total of 144 days in space. Artsebarskii carried out six spacewalks, with a total time of more than 32 hours, most of which was spent building the Sofora space tower onto Mir's engine control module.

Artsebarskii and Krikalev were in orbit during the attempted Soviet coup in August 1991. He also holds the awards of Hero of The Soviet Union, Pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR, the Order of Lenin, and the medal "For accomplishments in exploration of outer space".

And if you are interested in the alternate history of space exploration, may I recommend Ian Sales' "Adrift on the Sea of Rains", "The Eye with Which the Universe Beholds Itself" and "Then Will The Great Ocean Wash Deep Above" (all of which I reviewed).

Out Now: Necropolis by Chris Nuttall

Friend of The Update Chris Nuttall has a new book out. It is called Necropolis and its the third book of the Royal Sorceress series. Here is the description from Amazon:

The British Empire is teetering on the brink of war with France. A war that may, for the first time, see magicians in the ranks on both sides. The Royal Sorceress, Lady Gwendolyn Crichton, will be responsible for the Empire’s magical resources when the time comes. Still struggling to overcome prejudice within the Royal College of Sorcerers, she has at least earnt the gratitude of much of the aristocracy, if not their respect. Just when Gwen needs to be firmly focussed on training new sorcerers, her adopted daughter Olivia, the only known living necromancer, is kidnapped. Her abduction could signal a terrible new direction in the impending war. But Intelligence soon establishes that it was Russian agents who took Olivia, so an incognito Gwen joins a British diplomatic mission to Russia, an uncertain element in the coming conflict. Once she has arrived in St Petersburg, she discovers that the Tsar is deranged and with the help of a mad monk has a plan that threatens the entire world. 

Immediately following on from ‘The Great Game’, ‘Necropolis’ sees Gwen thrust into the wider international arena as political unrest spreads throughout Europe and beyond, threatening to hasten an almighty conflict. Once again Christopher Nuttall combines exciting fantasy with believable alternate history that is almost close enough for us to touch.

Videos for Alternate Historians

Only one video this week per se. Its a review of the WWI action-adventure game Valiant Hearts done by History Respawned:
However it did remind me that Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation fame did an earlier review that I never showed you before:
Still very cool that someone made a video game about World War I.

Links to the Multiverse

Books


1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 10 and 11 by Eric Flint.
The Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway at The Qwillery.
Eric Brown on the exploration of change in steampunk at A Fantastical Librarian.
The Mechanical – the stunning new Ian Tregillis novel at Orbit.
This Month's Book Pick ~ Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti by Gail Carriger.
The Story Behind Hild by Nicola Griffith: Freed by Constraint at Upcoming4.Me.
Up Now–Necropolis (The Royal Sorceress III) by Chris Nuttall at The Chrishanger.

Counterfactuals, History and News

Can an Independent Kurdistan Reshape the Middle East? by Jonathan Foreman at Newsweek.
Ron Rosenbaum on Whether the Holocaust Would Have Happened Without Hitler by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld at The Counterfactual History Review.
The Weirdest Micronations That Have Ever Existed by Vincze Miklos at io9.

Film and Television

10 Alternate Versions Of Characters That Were Better Than The Originals by Charlie Jane Anders at io9.
Check Out These Incredible Unused Jurassic Park Posters by John Alvin at IGN.
STARZ "Outlander" combines genres in a satisfying mash-up by AK Easton at Examiner.com.
Stunning Concept Art From The Battlestar Galactica You Never Saw by Charlie Jane Anders at io9.
Undead: ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’ Resurrected With Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote To Star by Nancy Tartaglione at Deadline.

Games

80 Days is the Alternate-Reality, Anti-Colonialism Adventure We All Deserve by Jess Joho at Kill Screen.
Dwarf NORAD: A Glimpse of Counterfactual Computing History by Peter Christiansen at Play the Past.

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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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