Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekly Update #15

Editor's Note

Got some exciting things coming up this week.  I will be interviewing Sidewise judge and super-fan Steven H Silver, who informed me that the Sidewise Awards votes have been tallied and the plaques have been ordered.  I hope to publish the second part of my series about Back to the Future and I will also be publishing my review on The Other Teddy Roosevelts.  Take a look at the cover of this collection of short stories:

Is it just me or does it look like Cthulu is coming on to Teddy?  Gross.

I created a new Review Archive, which will contain a complete collection of links on all of the reviews and showcases we do.  If there are any published or online alternate history you would like us to review, feel free to contact us at

I would also like to welcome our newest contributor, Korsgaard.  He will be showcasing original works of online alternate history.  You can also check out his personal blog: Korsgaard's Commentary.  Finally, I would like to welcome our first readers from Belgium, Hong Kong and Serbia.  Now the news...

Coming Soon: Age of Empires Online

Sometimes the best alternate history games are the ones that are never intended to be an alternate history game.  These games tend to be based on actual history, but put you in control of a nation, culture or civilization and allow you to make the decision about what will happen to them.  An example of one of these games is the Age of Empires series, which will be releasing the newest entry in the series: Age of Empires Online.

Coming out this Tuesday for the PC, Age of Empires Online will feature the standard gameplay of past games in the series, with the addition of a persistent city that functions when the player is offline, cooperative multiplayer quests and trading. This game will be blending the real-time strategy (RTS) genre with massively multiplayer online gaming.  Playable civilizations will include the Greeks and Egyptians at release, with plans to add the Celtic and Persian civilizations later.  The game will be free to play normally with the option of purchasing premium content if the player so wishes.

You can see an interview with Dex Manlay (Program Manager, Windows Publishing) at Top Consoles.

Interviews Galore

There were a couple of interviews published last week.

First, S. M. Stirling.  No, I am not interviewing Stirling myself, though it would be awesome if I was.  Someone did get a chance to interview him as part of the Interviews with Writers Influenced by Philip José Farmer series at The Official Philip José Farmer Home Page.  You can see the entire interview here.  Among other things, Stirling talks about how Farmer influenced his own writing, some of the issues concerning SF pulp and whether or not we will see another Lords of Creation novel anytime soon (spoiler: no).

Next is Clifford Johnson, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southern California.  Interviewed by NOVA, he discusses the multiverse theory, including what these universes might look like and whether we could ever travel to them.  In summary, there is not enough information to make an educated guess but considering what could happen in infinite universes that have existed for billions of years, the likelihood of seeing ones that even closely resemble ours is very unlikely.  You can see the interview here.

Links to Multiverse

Review of The Big Switch by Harry Turtledove - Reviewed at The Alternative.

Review of Exiled: Clan of the Claw - Set in a world where the meteor that struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago, causing the extinction of the dinosaurs never occurred.  Review located at flayrah.

Review of How Few Remain by Harry Turtledove - Reviewed at That's All She Read.

Review of Under the Yoke by S. M. Stirling - Review at Enigma Cypher.

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