I'm glad everyone liked "The Top 10 Best Alternate History Books (Version 1.0)" on Amazing Stories. I already found a new best of list, so expect a Version 2.0 sometime in the future, but not anytime soon. I may even extend it to a Top 15 or Top 100 list, but that is going to take some time.
What I can do is talk about a couple things that caught my eye when creating this list. As you know I pulled from several best of lists written by others to determine the ultimate list I eventually published. In the process certain trends emerged:
- Name Recognition Matters: Several authors who appeared on the list were well-known...in other genres. These included not only famed horror author Stephen King, but also a few literary authors as well. I started to wonder whether these books made so many lists is because they were more likely to read a book from an author they have heard of, rather then a more obscure SF author.
- Plenty of Male Protagonists: When drafting the plot summaries for all 10 of the books, I noticed that 9 out of the 10 had male protagonists and the only one that didn't (The Man in the High Castle) could be argued that it did not have a protagonist in a first place (although it does have a female POV character). This seems to reflect a lack of diversity in alternate history novels, but to be fair, SF&F in general has been criticized for that as a whole.
Both of the above topics could have whole articles written about them and I may do so in the future either on Amazing Stories or here.
And now the news...
Book of the Week: Thirty Days Later edited by AJ Sikes, BJ Sikes, and Dover Whitecliff
Thirty Days Later. The specific release date is unknown, but they say it will be available before Memorial Day, in time for Clockwork Alchemy (May 27-30) in San Diego.
Thirty Days Later is a sequel to Twelve Hours Later: 24 Tales of Myth and Mystery, which was edited by the same team of editors. Half the royalties of the anthology will also be donated to promote literacy, so that is pretty cool.
Of course, the charity wasn't what got my attention, it was the authors. Last week Thinking Ink Press released the names of the authors and the one they led with was the master of alternate history himself, Harry Turtledove. I'm not sure if Turtledove has ever written a steampunk story, so this may be a first for him.
The other authors are: T. E. MacArthur, AJ Sikes, David L. Drake, Katherine Morse, Anthony Francis, Kirsten Weiss, Steve DeWinter, Michael Tierney, Janice Thompson, BJ Sikes, Emily Thompson, Sharon E. Cathcart, Justin Andrew Hoke, Lillian Csernica, and Dover Whitecliff.
I will keep you posted on any details I find out about Thirty Days Later as I learn about them,
Video of the Week
The Cinema Snob is a cult YouTube reviewer who, in his words, has made a career reviewing porn. This review, however, is for the 1971 Christian film If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? where a Baptist preacher predicts what would happen if the Soviets took over America. Enjoy:
You should also check out...
- Plans to redraw the borders of the Middle East in a post-Islamic state world (via Slate).
- That Lou Antonelli sold Another Girl, Another Planet to WordFire Press.
- The review of Superman: Red Son on Kinja and the review of CSA: Confederate States of America on MoviePilot.
- These 5 fantasy novels set in interesting historical times according to Richard A. Knaak (via Tor).
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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.