Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly Update #108

Editor's Note

I always smile when I see someone thank me for publishing their work on The Update.

That's it. Just wanted to start off on a positive note.

And now the news...

Aluna Trilogy in the Works

Comic book fans who are looking for something other than the well-muscled, spandex wearing, euro-centric demigods should take note. Aluna, the Latin American superhero created by actress Paula Garces (Maria from the Harold & Kumar franchise) and her creative partner, Antonio Hernandez will be released as a trilogy starting with book one this Fall.

Aluna is the story of a young woman, taken from the New World by the Spaniards and raised as royalty in Spain during the 1500s. As if by fate, she is forced to travel back to the New World, only to discover that she has great powers that she must harness to defend her new homeland.

The creators tapped Seattle based Allegory to develop and publish the series. Allegory is a transmedia company engaged in several aspects of entertainment including publishing, children’s education, games, applications, television and digital platforms.

“I’ve always been a fan of comic books but felt that strong female Latina leads were lacking, so along with my creative partner, Antonio Hernandez, we created Aluna. We’re so happy with how well the character has been received by fans playing the Aluna character in Heroes of Newerth that we can’t wait to release the first of three books this Fall” comments Paula Garces.

Allegory’s publishing imprint will develop the books and will eventually produce a portfolio of digital products and merchandise based on the title.

“We’ve wanted to create a compelling female heroine for two years now. A character who is strong and has a complex back story. When Paula and Tony shared the story of Aluna with us, we knew we needed to be apart of this franchise. This is a groundbreaking book and we feel honored to be apart of it” said Chad Smith, CEO of Allegory.

Dooma Wendschuh and Corey May, founders of sekretagent Productions (yes it is supposed to be a small "s"), have been attached to write all three books. This writing duo is the creative force behind such popular game titles as Assassin’s Creed and Army of Two.

“This story is full of action, but it also has pretty epic romance elements. Aluna is a badass. She’s tough as nails given everything she’s been through. We’re going to help her find her softer side”, remarks Dooma Wendschuh.

Ibraim Roberson, whose recent credits include X-Men, Hellraiser and mostly recently, Max Brooks’s, The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, has been attached to create the art.

“Ibraim Roberson is just the right artist for Aluna.  His work on The X-Men and Clive Barker’s Hellraiser has consistently demonstrated a pacing and organic style that is a perfect mesh to Dooma’s writing. Giving the adventures of Aluna a whole new level of realism, action, and drama. Plus, the artwork produced by Ibraim is going to be lush and beautiful and will perfectly capture the majesty of the old world” remarked Lee Koshe, Allegory’s Creative Director.

Additionally, S2 Games, the creators of the popular online game series, Heroes of Newerth have partnered with Paula Garces’ Further Lane Productions and Allegory to develop an ongoing portfolio of avatars for the Heroes of Newerth game based on the Aluna character. The first avatar, Stardust Aluna, was recently released by S2 games.  The second avatar will be released at Comic Con International this July and will be followed by future avatars.

World SF Blog shuts down after four years of operation

The World SF Blog, a near-daily blog operating continuously from February 2009 to June 2013, will be shutting its doors for good. Published by Lavie Tidhar (author of Osama and other alternate history works), it was dedicated to highlighting international speculative fiction. Over its run it has published hundreds of posts, interviews, articles and, since 2010, over 60 short stories, many of them available in English for the first time. Editors included Charles Tan, Debbie Moorhouse and Sarah Newton.

Initially set up to promote Tidhar’s Apex Book of World SF anthology, the blog had since spawned two further anthologies (with Volume 2 published in 2012 and Volume 3 due next year), as well as the annual World SF Travel Fund, for facilitating the visit of international genre people to a major convention.

In his farewell letter, Tidhar wrote, “It felt to me that we were able to partly-initiate, and to encourage, a conversation that the genre had not had before, and in a very real way is only now beginning to seriously engage in.” He added, “The change I have seen in the four years of the blog is heartening. In a way, I have decided to stop now because the blog has fulfilled everything I ever wanted it to, and so much more.”

The World SF Blog won a 2012 BSFA Award for Best Non-Fiction. It was also given a Kitschies Special Achievement Award, and was a 2011 nominee for the World Fantasy Award.

The blog archive remains online and will also be added to the Merril Collection archives.

Coming Soon: The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez

Historical fantasy is a close cousin of alternate history, hence why I am including this piece on The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez. Here is the description from Amazon:
Mars is supposed to be dead… 
Bizarre quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself. 
Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. 
With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl witha remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.
Edi of Edi's Book Lighthouse called the novel an "amazing mix of alternate history, science fiction and mystery is highly entertaining and stands out like a lighthouse in the fog of books." Available now on Kindle, you can learn more about the book and the author if you check out Michael's guest post on SF Signal where he discusses some of the issues when writing historical fantasy.

Paradox News
Two big announcement from our friends at Paradox. First, War of the Roses, the medieval squad combat title from Fatshark, has a new content update. The latest addition to War of the Roses is entitled “Guns of Burgundy,” and adds a new weapon type: handgonnes, the world’s first portable firearm. Capable of cutting down fleeing foes and punching damaging holes in a knight’s shield, handgonnes come in four types and can be wielded by knights with a steady arm and reliable flint. A new map and new armor pieces are also included in this update, which is now available for download in War of the Roses.

In “Guns of Burgundy,” the new Ravenspurn map is ready for war in Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and Pitched Battle modes, where the sounds of explosive fire from new handgonne weapons will punctuate the ongoing chaos. Combatants will have to rely on their wits and their armor to stay alive, making use of new items such as Brigandine Armour, the Kettle Sallet Helmet, Hand Pavise Shield, and the Burgundian Side Sword.

New user interface (UI) features are also included in this update, including a popup system to alert players of in-game events and news – such as the new 500 coin bonus awarded when a round is successfully won.

Texas Artist Vincent Villafranc​a Announced as Designer of the 2013 Hugo Award Trophy Base

The 2013 Hugo Award base will be designed by Texas-based artist Vincent Villafranca. Villafranca is a Chesley Award-winning sculptor who produces futuristic and fantastic bronzes using a traditional lost-wax casting process. Production of the 2013 bases is already well under way, although in keeping with tradition, the design will not be revealed until the convention.

The actual Hugo Award trophy takes the form of a silver rocket. The original concept by Jack McKnight and Ben Jason was inspired by the gleaming finned rocketships of Willy Ley. The exact design has become standardized in recent years and the rockets are currently produced by British fan Peter Weston. The base on which the rocket is mounted is, however, the responsibility of each Worldcon committee, and the design changes each year, usually inspired by the location of the convention.

LoneStarCon 3 is also pleased to announce that fans may now submit their final Hugo Award ballots online. The voting deadline is Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

The Hugo Awards are the premier award in the science fiction genre, honoring science fiction and fantasy literature, media, artists, and fans. The Hugo Awards were first presented at the 1953 World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia, PA (Philcon II), and they have continued to honor science fiction and fantasy notables annually for 60 years.


July 5-7: The 3rd annual GEAR Con steampunk festival in Portland, OR.

July 13: Off the Beaten Path, a steampunk bookstore, opens in Farmington, CA.

July 14: Last day to fund Time Traveled Tales: A Speculative Fiction Anthology Kickstarter.

August 1: Submission period begins for Alchemy Press' World War I/horror anthology Kneeling in the Silver Light.

August 12: Last day to fund the World War Kaiju graphic novel Kickstarter.

October 26: Deadline for submissions for the Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol.9.

Links to the Multiverse


The 5 Most Unjustly Overshadowed Sci-Fi Classics by Robert Brockway  at Cracked.
7 Bizarre Early Versions of Famous Characters by Joe Oliveto, Maxwell Yezpitelok and Robert Rosati at Cracked.
Andrea Cremer Goes Steampunk With 'Inventor's Secret': Check Out The Cover! by Amy Wilkinson at MTV.
Cold Names by Kate Elliott at Shadowhawk's Shade.
The Coolest Flags in Human History by Vincze Miklos at io9.
Everything You Know About Jules Verne is Probably Wrong by Ron Miller at io9.
Heere be Monsters by John Birmingham at Cheeseburger Gothic.
Just when you thought the editting was just about done... by Grant Gardiner at Tommy Thunder.
Not all self-published work is grey in the night by Alison Morton.
NY Votes To Bring Back The Old Steampunk Lever Voting Machines by Rebecca Fishbein at Gothamist.
Read an Excerpt of The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter at Harper Voyager.
Steampunk Vs. Dieselpunk by Daylina Miller at New Port Richey Patch.
Story behind Necessary Evil by Ian Tregillis at Upcoming4.Me.
Why your world needs History (and probably already has it) by Juliette Wad at TalkToYoUniverse.

Book Reviews

The Last Full Measure by Jack Campbell at Thinking about books.
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson at The Counterfactual History Review.
Once Upon a Clockwork Tale at Blog Critics.


Review of Before Watchmen by Sean Korsgaard.


49ers alternate history: Bill Walsh to the Seahawks? by David Fucillo at SB Nation.
An Alternate History of the Syrian Civil War by John Tabin.
Manziel - Suspended Before the 2012 Season - Nearly Transferred from A&M by John Pennington at Mr SEC.
Ranking the Biggest 'What-Ifs' in the NBA Draft of the Last Decade by Jared Wade at Bleacher Report.
The White House that never was: A behind-the-scenes tour of the would-be Romney administration by Rick Klein, Olivier Knox, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps at Yahoo!


'After Earth II' Tanks At Box Office at The Onion.
Iron Sky Director’s Cut at Dark Matter.


The Best Video Games of 2013 (So Far) by Hanuman Welch, Larry Hester and Michael Rougeau at Complex Gaming.
The Bitmap Brothers’ classic steampunk shooter The Chaos Engine is getting a remake/reboot by Tom Sykes at PC Gamer.
Hornblower meets Steampunk in Guns of Icarus Online by Kieran Salsone at The Chronicle.
March of War Dieselpunk Title Puts Players In Charge Of Story by Adam Gauntlett at The Escapist.
My Top 5 Alternate History Games by Cimmaron Spirit at Gaming Furever.
The Order: 1886's alternate Victorian London detailed by Steve Watts at Shack News.
A return to Nazi-shooting good times: We go hands-on with Wolfenstein at E3 by Patrick Stafford at
Teslagrad puzzler platformer announced for Wii U release at VG 24/7.
Trials Evolution: Trials Files #61 at Achievement Hunter.


Alison Morton at Female First.
Dan Carroll at Steampunk Chronicle.
Christopher Priest (Part 1 and 2) at Amazing Stories.


Dieselpunk Song of the Week - Happy Swingin by Shemian at Tommy Thunder.


Ratchet RetroCast Episode 10 – Our pain, it runs deep, let us share it with you… at Earth Station One.
Unbound: Tania James and Kyle Minor on 'Alternate Histories' by Erin Keane atWFPL.


Revolution Stars Talk Nora's Season 1 Finale Exit at omg!

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. His new story "The Enchanted Bean" can be found in Once Upon a Clockwork Tale from Echelon Press. When not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


  1. Thanks for the shout out! Just wanted to add that while the print version of THE DAEDALUS INCIDENT is due out in July(ish), it's currently available for the Kindle, Nook and Kobo ebook formats.

    1. Thanks for the heads up Mike. I don't know where I saw that July 9th date. Anywho, email if you are interested in doing interview on The Update. If Edi likes your work then I would be very interested in picking you brain.

  2. Count me in. Hit me up at and let's set it up!


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