Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekly Update #170

Editor's Note

Who said I wouldn't have a Weekly Update for this week? Turns out I had more time than I thought to write this. Oddly not much to report and the New Releases are pretty slim as well, so I combined my Monday and Tuesday posts this week. Enjoy!

I also wrote over 5000 words on "Warping History", my Sideways in Time paper. I managed to reach the beginning of the 21st century so I just started on the early history of AlternateHistory.com and Changing The Times. More details on all this later.

And now the news...

New Releases

Relativism, Alternate History, and the Forgetful Reader: Reading Science Fiction and Historiography by Derek Thiess


The writer of alternate history asks “what if?” What if one historical event were different, what would the world look like today? In a similar way, the postmodern philosopher of history suggests that history is literature, or that if we read certain historical details differently we would get a distinctly different interpretation of past events. While the science fiction alternate history means to illuminate the past, to increase our understanding of past events, however, the postmodern approach to history typically suggests that such understanding is impossible. To the postmodern philosopher, history is like literature in that it does not offer the reader access to the past, but only an interesting story. Building on criticism that suggests personal psychological reasons for this obscuring the past, and using a literary theory of readership, this book challenges the postmodern approach to history. It channels the speculative power of science fiction to read the works of postmodern philosophy of history as alternate histories themselves, and to map the limits and pathology of their forgetful reading of the past.

Videos for Alternate Historians

We begin with another episode of Epic Rap Battles of History featuring the two gods of thunder, Zeus and Thor:
The stop motion Lego animation was pretty cool. I like how they are experimenting with different styles. Next up, in preparation for the new film The Imitation Game, Because Science with Kyle Hill released this new episode about the Enigma Machine:
I don't always watch videos on the Nerdist channel, but I got to admit this one was interesting.

Links to the Multiverse

Books and Short Fiction

Angry Robot Announces a New Gas-Lit Empire Novel, plus a Cover Reveal! at Tor.
Coming Out of Stealth Mode: Snapshot by Dale Cozort.
Macaque Attack by Gareth L Powell: exclusive preview at When Gravity Fails.
New Treasures: Steampunk Soldiers: Uniforms and Weapons from the Age of Steam by Philip Smith and Joseph McCullough at Black Gate
Steampunk (and Parasol Protectorate) Holiday Gift Ideas by Gail Carriger.
Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King at Lacombe Globe.
Review: Endsinger by Jay Kristoff at SF Signal.
Review: The Last Rite by Jasper Kent at Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.
Review: Snodgrass and Other Illusions by Ian R. MacLeod at Alt Hist.

Counterfactuals, History & News

The 10 Greatest and Weirdest JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories by Cheryl Eddy at io9.
10 Monarchs Whose Madness Changed History by Esther Inglis-Arkell at io9.
Obituary: Stu Shiffman at SF Site.
A Texas Lawmaker’s Bizarre Plan To Secede From The Union One Law At A Time by Ian Millhisher at Think Progress.
UK Strikes Deal To Grant Scotland More Powers To Counter Separatists at International Business Times.
What If? Convicting Darren Wilson Would Have Been Difficult by Alex Johnson at NBC.

Film & Television

The Future Of Lunar Life, 1965 Russian Style at Geeks Are Sexy.
Star Wars Deleted Scenes Reveal The Utter Disaster That Could Have Been by Lauren Davis at io9.
Stop Complaining, ‘Jurassic World’ Almost Featured Dinosaur-Human Hybrids; Filmmaker Defends Genetically Modified Dino Concept by Peter Sciretta at Slash Film.

Interviews

Gail Carriger from her Reddit AMA.
Fred Van Lente at Comic Book Resources.
Gavriel D. Rosenfeld at Writers Read.
Colin Taber at ABC Brisbane.

Podcasts

Dissecting Worlds Series 9, Ep 3: Horror Espionage at Geek Syndicate.
Happy Thanksgiving 2014 at Angry History.
Show 18 - To Kill a King at Twilight Histories.

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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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