Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekly Update #41

Editor's Note

Not much to report other then we got our first reader from Taiwan.  Welcome!

And now the news...

Gingrich Writes More Alternate History on Wikipedia

So the results are in for whether our readers could recommend any of Newt Gingrich's alternate history.  35% of you said you could not recommend them and 30% of you did not even know Gingrich wrote alternate history.  On the positive side, 20% of you said you could recommend some of them and 15% said you could recommend all of them.

For those interested in reading more works of alternate history by Newt Gingrich, you should check out his Wikipedia page.  Newt Gingrich's communications director has been criticized by editors on Wikipedia for dozens of edits he has made and requested in defense of his candidate.  This kind of behavior is not unknown to Wikipedia.  Even a member of Vice President Joe Biden's staff was caught once editing his boss' Wikipedia page.

This just goes to show you that you can get a fancy title and earn a salary just because someone is wrong on the Internet.

New Book: Mirage by Matt Ruff

A new alternate history novel has hit the mainstream media.  It is called The Mirage by Matt Ruff and below is the product description from Amazon:

A mind-bending novel in which an alternate history of 9/11 and its aftermath uncovers startling truths about America and the Middle East.

11/9/2001: Christian fundamentalists hijack four jetliners. They fly two into the Tigris & Euphrates World Trade Towers in Baghdad, and a third into the Arab Defense Ministry in Riyadh. The fourth plane, believed to be bound for Mecca, is brought down by its passengers.

The United Arab States declares a War on Terror. Arabian and Persian troops invade the Eastern Seaboard and establish a Green Zone in Washington, D.C. . . .

Summer, 2009: Arab Homeland Security agent Mustafa al Baghdadi interrogates a captured suicide bomber. The prisoner claims that the world they are living in is a mirage—in the real world, America is a superpower, and the Arab states are just a collection of "backward third-world countries." A search of the bomber's apartment turns up a copy of The New York Times, dated September 12, 2001, that appears to support his claim. Other captured terrorists have been telling the same story. The president wants answers, but Mustafa soon discovers he's not the only interested party.

The gangster Saddam Hussein is conducting his own investigation. And the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee—a war hero named Osama bin Laden—will stop at nothing to hide the truth. As Mustafa and his colleagues venture deeper into the unsettling world of terrorism, politics, and espionage, they are confronted with questions without any rational answers, and the terrifying possibility that their world is not what it seems.
Acclaimed novelist Matt Ruff has created a shadow world that is eerily recognizable but, at the same time, almost unimaginable. Gripping, subversive, and unexpectedly moving, The Mirage probes our deepest convictions and most arresting fears.
Early reviews of the book are positive.  Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing said: This is one of those books that you read while walking down the street and long after your bedtime, a book you stop strangers to tell about.  I may post a review of this novel in the near future, but in the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the author and the novel check out this interview with Ruff at CBS News.

More Shattered World e-books

The next two Shattered World ebooks by Bobby Hardenbrook (Storm in the West and Global War), covering up through part 43 of his WWII alternate history timeline, are now published on the Amazon kindle store for $.99.  Those sections of the timeline are no longer available online, you will have to buy the e-books instead. The rest of the existing timeline will be released as e-books in the near future. Bobby has also stated that he will begin working on new Shattered World content as well.

Links to the Multiverse


Chrysler, Dirty Harry and the bailout by Jon Talton at The Seattle Times.

Class, cricket and the French Revolution by BBC News.

A Counterfactual Buildup by Michael Bevacqua at Marianas Variety.

Deathless prose: the vampire novel of the century by David Barnett at The Guardian.

Pastwatch Reflections: Cause, Counterfactual and Fracturing the Past by Trevor Owens at Playing the Past.


Jacqueline Carey at Gollancz Blog.

Online Alternate History

Alternate History: Super Bowl XXI by Jesse Lamovsky at The Cleveland Fan.


Review of Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood done by Axie at The Figment Review.

Review of 1635: The Cannon Law by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis done by Master of All Things at Geeky Scifi.

Review of Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett done by Ay-Leen at


  1. I might check out "The Mirage" if only to see whether the scenario makes even an ounce of sense.

  2. It seems to be more parallel history, then alternate history.

  3. From the sound of it, "Mirror History" may be the best term. Anyway, sounds interesting.


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