Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Road to the Sea

Guest post by Joseph T. Major.

It seems like every series has to have a middle book, but going from a troubled beginning directly to a triumphant ending is somewhat unrealistic.  So, here is the middle book of my alternate WWII, titled The Road to the Sea.

By now the little changes from the point of departure are beginning to take effect. It’s not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning (to steal from Churchill, always steal from the best) is done, and we can see how the characters and the war situation are both beginning to change and develop. The Allied superiority is beginning to take effect, but there are still problems and difficulties both within and without.

The Allied war effort is beginning to tell, but the enemy is still capable of resistance and of surprises.  I am trying to avoid both the “Victorious Axis Arms” problem, where the Germans and Japanese can pull off all sorts of tricks, and the Allies can’t respond, and the Brute Force problem, where everything goes right for the Allies.  How well I’ve succededed is up to the reader.

Much of the action here is at sea; reading too much Dan Gallery, I suppose.  I am trying to reflect the shift in how naval action went.

As for the secret and covert world . . . One advantage of this is that there were some real colorful characters in that line of work.  There were more covert warriors at that time than just Otto Skorzeny, and British intelligence did have more people working for it than just Kim Philby.

Let’s discuss a few minor matters. Is anyone noticing the “Easter eggs”? The very first book had my lead character have some very strange dreams, and there are more yet to come.  Also General Patton has a few more comparisons to uncork, some of which the widely-read reader will see where they were put on – if you catch the drift before it drives you mad.  (That’s another one.)  Also, I tried to put in references to existing culture, mainly science fiction but others. Having a protagonist who is a wealthy man engaged in spy work makes him look critically at Upton Sinclair’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Lanny Budd series – about a wealthy man engaged in spy work.

Which leads to another matter. I once wrote an essay complaining about how protagonists in science fiction and fantasy never seemed to have any families.  So I gave my protagonist a family. This had the side benefit of making it possible to examine many facets of the war without having to have one character rush about the world seeing everybody and doing everything.

The war is building to a dramatic and surprising climax, so keep a lookout for the next book, which is coming soon with its own set of surprises, references, and family.

Thank you, and everyone please buy the new book The Road to the Sea, available from for a very reasonable price, along with my other works..

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Joseph T. Major learned to read at the age of two and a half and is reported to have stopped to sleep occasionally, if you can believe rumors. Check out his new book The Road to the Sea.

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