Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekly Update #55

Editor's Note

Sorry for not posting anything on Friday.  I was in Philadelphia for my sister's birthday and college graduation (never stop exploring Jackie).  Good news, now that she is done with school she is going to put some of her marketing education to work by helping me spruce up the blog for the one year anniversary!

Speaking of the one year anniversary, you probably have already noticed a few changes.  First we have a new Facebook group to supplement our Facebook page.  I hope that the group will be useful for those readers who prefer the group format over the pages in getting updates on the things they like.  Plus it is a much better format to get real feedback from fans.

Also I have signed up with Google Adsense, hence why you now see ads on the blog.  As much as I love writing about alternate history, updating and maintaining Weekly Update can be a full time job.  Plus it is hard to try new things or attract new contributors without a way to finance both.  So if you see something you like in the ads, please click on them.  I and everyone else who contributes to Weekly Update will sure appreciate it.

I would also like to give a shout-out to Jordan Harbour for his suggestions on forming a Facebook group and signing up with Adsense.  Go check out his podcast, Twilight Histories, . With a time travel theme, the show takes you on an adventure in the style of the Twilight Zone and Dan Carlin. Learn more about it by reading my review of the podcast.

Got some good stuff coming this week.  Tomorrow I will share with you the new releases of the week and Wednesday I will have an article from Chris on the Russo-Japanese War.  The rest of the week will be rounded-off with two reviews, both on the works of John Birmingham.

And now the news...

NBC's Revolution

Probably the biggest news of the week was the debut of the trailer for NBC's RevolutionThe new fall show (brought to us by Jon Favreau, Eric Kripke and JJ Abrams) is sci-fi drama set in a world where technology no longer works.  Sounds like a rip-off of SM Stirling's Emberverse series, as some have suggested, but let us watch the trailer first before casting judgment:

Though the show share elements from Stirling's work, I think it is safe to say that the show takes from Emberverse just as much as the Emberverse takes from the stories that preceded it.  For lack of a better term, Revolution is just another entry in the "alien space bats stole our toys" genre.  So we will likely not be seeing headlines such as "Science Fiction Author Sues NBC for Copyright Infringement" in the near future.

The more important question, however, is whether the show will be worth watching.  Perhaps our good friend Seb can sum up some of the issues I had with the trailer:

A magical macguffin locket that stores electricity. Planes just tumbling out of the sky. Way too much overgrowth for 15 years. Everybody super healthy, clean, with good clothes and with good teeth (they are self-taught farmers, and 85% of the population most likely died off in a massive Battle Royale). Katniss Everdeen stand-in. Didn't run out of razors and shaving foam apparently. Only organized force is an "Postman" stand-in of evil-for-the-sake-or-evil dudes: "the Militia", using muskets and Crossbows (contrary to JJ Abrams belief bullets were already made in huge quantities before the advent of electricity).
Seb makes some good points, but  he leaves out a crucial omission by the show's creators.  No where do we see the use of steam power to replace the loss of electricity.  Revolution, at least judging from the trailer, is in a perfect position to be a post-apocalyptic steampunk universe, though it does not look like the creators are going in that direction with their show.  That is disappointing, especially with the growing popularity of steampunk, NBC could have tried appealing to that crowd to build a strong and loyal fan base for the show.  That being said, I will still probably watch the premier and you can expect a review in the months to come.

Links to the Multiverse


6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America by Jack O'Brien and Elford Alley.

51st Parallel North: the Lost Russian Border by NuclearVacuum at Soviet Moonshot.


Clash of Eagles Campaign Update by Sebastian P. Breit.

Excerpt from Coldest War, sequel to Tregillis's fantastic supernatural alternate WWII novel Bitter Seeds at Boing Boing.

Guest Post by Author K. Reed with Awesome Post-Apocalypse Giveaway and a Chance to win an iPOD with a simple comment! at Live to Read.

Matt Ruff reads from ‘The Mirage’ on Berfrois.

Most Mind-Blowing Surprise Endings from Science Fiction and Fantasy Books by Jennifer Griffith Delgado at io9.

SF/Fantasy Reviews, May 15, 2012 by Jackie Cassada at Library Journal.


Never-Before-Seen Concept Art from David Cronenberg’s Total Recall! by Ron Miller at io9.


Exclusive: Kim Harrison on 'The Hollows' TV Show by Joseph McCabe at

*      *      *

Mitro is founder, editor and contributor of Alternate History Weekly Update. When he is not busy writing about his passion for alternate history, he spends his time working as a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois and dreams of being a published author himself one day.

1 comment:

  1. REVOLUTION does seem interesting, and I do look forward to when the premiere airs this fall. That being said, and going back to my points cited in the article, the greatest danger to REVOLUTION is the show not taking its own premise serious. And going by the few trailer clips out there I'm not too hopeful. I recommend everybody interested in the potential pitfalls of REVOLUTION to read this thread.
    It get's going after the first page.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.