Monday, May 5, 2014

Weekly Update #145

Editor's Note

So great news from last month. We clocked in at 18,647 views, our second highest month to date. Thank you everyone so much for your continued support. I couldn't do any of this without all the people who take the time to read and comment on this blog. I do apologize if I can't always respond, but hopefully I will get better.

Thank you also to everyone who clicks through our Amazon banner. As you should know by now you can support the blog by making your Amazon purchases through The Update. I appreciate all the help I can get as I prepare to create a new company to handle all of the alternate history projects I have planned.

And now the news...

Gold Award for Bookworm confirms Christopher Nuttall as star of indie fiction

Congratulations to Friend of The Update, Christopher Nuttall, for winning the Gold award in the Adult Fiction category of the 2013 Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards for his novel Bookworm. The winners of the awards were announced at AuthorConUK in Manchester on April 26.

For those who don't know, Bookworm is a high fantasy novel in which the main protagonist, Elaine, an inexperienced witch in Golden City, has her life turned upside down when she triggers a magical trap hidden within a book. All the knowledge of magic in the Great Library becomes crammed inside her head, making her the "Bookworm" of the title. Avoiding the Inquisition, she tries to understand what has happened to her, but in reality she is a pawn in the dark plans of one who wants the Grand Sorcerer’s power.

Published in 2013, a review on Risingshadow described Bookworm as “fluently written escapism” and said that Nuttall has “woven an exciting and entertaining story of secrets, dark history, books, werewolves and magic, and knows how to keep the story on the move.” In June 2013 it was announced that the German translation rights to Bookworm had been acquired by RandomHouse Germany for publication under their Blanvalet imprint in 2015. The second in the series, Bookworm II: The Very Ugly Duckling, was published by Elsewhen Press in January 2014 and it will be followed by Bookworm III: The Best Laid Plans sometime early 2015.

One again congratulations to Chris and I hope to hear more good news in the future.

Amazing Stories Licenses Classic Name to FuturesPastEditions and Open Road Brands

Amazing Stories made some major announcements last week. First, it announced it licensed their iconic trademark to FuturesPastEditions Ebooks Publisher for the creation of a new imprint that will publish science fiction, fantasy and horror classics from Amazing Stories and it’s companion magazines Amazing Stories Quarterly and Amazing Stories Annual.

The new imprint will be titled Amazing Stories Classic Reprints. The imprint will feature the comet tail Amazing Stories logo, made famous by the magazine in the 1940s and 50s. Works will be published in both electronic and print formats. FuturesPastEditions publisher and editor Jean Marie Stine will be selecting works of historical importance as well as works that should be commonly available but haven’t been for one reason or another. The series is expected to launch with two anthology volumes featuring stories from past Amazing Stories anniversary issues.

Additionally, Amazing Stories online magazine will feature a regularly monthly classic reprint, branded under the FuturesPastEditions name; the first such classic reprint, Don Wilcox’s The Voyage That Lasted 600 Yearswas featured in the Amazing Stories 88th Anniversary Edition, currently being published on the Amazing Stories website.

Following that announcement, on the next day Amazing Stories declared that they also licensed the Amazing Stories trademark to to Open Road Brands, LLC. They will be creating and distributing reproductions of early Amazing Stories covers in formats suitable for display and decoration.

Open Road Brands, LLC will be distributing a selection of Amazing Stories cover art to major retail chain stores such as Hobby Lobby and others. Artwork is currently in production, but the Amazing Stories website will be sure to keep you informed of availability sometime later this year.

As one of the original bloggers of the relaunched Amazing Stories I am delighted that the site continues to grow. Please, if you haven't already, become a member of the site and be a part of SF history.

Video Gallery

This week there were two videos that caught my eye. The first was a saucy time travel short from the guys at The Warp Zone:
Okay so maybe the product placement was a little overdone (and I apologize for my pun), but still funny. Now lets watch a short documentary on the history of grand strategy gaming from the folks at Paradox:

Links to the Multiverse


Just finished reading “Zhirinovsky’s Russian Empire: An Alternate History.” at Moe Lane.
Review: The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump by Harry Turtledove at Science Fiction & Fantasy.
Review: Long Live the Queen by Kate Locke at Thinking about books.
Review: The Will of the Dead by George Mann at James A. Stewart's Weblog.
Signing with A for Authors by Alison Morton.


The Art Of Heb Mueller - Tinges Of Diesel Punk at Awesome Robo.
Comic Preview: Atomic Robo And The Knights Of The Golden Circle #1 at Geek Syndicate.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century in One Hard-Cover Volume at Geek Syndicate.

Counterfactual and Traditional History (Plus News)

The 10 Biggest Misconceptions About the First World War by George Dvorsky at io9.
Minneapolis changes Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day by Aaron Rupar at CityPages.
The Political Science of Game of Thrones by Jacopo Della Quercia at Tor.
Sarah Palin’s Call To Alternate History by Chris Morgan at The Daily Caller.
Steampunk Events for May 2014 at Tor.
The Ten Most Bizarre Theories About Why the Dinosaurs Went Extinct by Mark Strauss at io9.
The Weakness of a Ukrainian Nuclear Deterrent: Counterfactuals and the Stability-Instability Paradox by Matt Fay at Hegemonic Obsessions.
The 'what if' question by Vivek Dehejia at Business Standard.

Film and Television

Da Vinci's Demons 2.6: Meets Charles Dickens at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
Elementary: Season 2, Episode 22. Paint It Black (2014) at Thinking about books.
Exit Log: An Excellent Short Film That Involves Time Travel at SF Signal.
Prairie Nerds: "Jodorowsky's Dune" is an insane study of the biggest "what if" in film history at Tulsa World.
Revolution 2.19: No to Nanites, Yes to Post-Apocalypse at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
The Star Wars Sequel That Never Happened by Mike Ryan at Screen Crush.


First Play: In Her Majesty's Name at The Wargame Shed.
Sweet Old Man Tells You to Kill Nazis. You Damn Well Better Kill Nazis by Evan Narcisse at Kotaku.


Beth Bernobich at SF Signal.
Dru Pagliassotti at The Qwillery.
Christopher Priest at Lit Reactor.


Dissecting Worlds: Series 8, Episode 5: Alien Gods at Geek Syndicate.
ELEVATOR PITCH: The Springheel Saga, Series Two at Geek Syndicate.
Ratchet RetroCast Episode 29 – Babylon 5: The Last Best Hope for RetroCast at Earth Station One.

Short Fiction

Table of Contents: FUTUREDAZE 2: REPRISE Edited by Erin Underwood and Nancy Holder at SF Signal.
When Shots Rang Out by Lynda M. Vanderhoff – Free Story Extract at Alt Hist.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update and a blogger on Amazing Stories. Check out his short fiction. 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.


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