Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekly Update #151

Editor's Note

So my plan to record the first episode of the podcast this weekend was shattered when my body decided I should better acquainted with the toilet. So after spending a healthy (figuratively speaking) chunk of my weekend recovering I am now physically ready to try again. Although the date is not set yet, I can tell you that my guests are Cody Franklin of the Alternate History Hub and Richard Anderson (a.k.a. Cyrus P. Underwood) author of the short story “A Girl's Best Friend", which can be found in Altered America. We will be discussing war and its overwhelming presence in alternate history. I hope you will enjoy it.

In other news I have began my quest to read all of the Sidewise nominees before the awards are announced later this year. I have begun with The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (Burton & Swinburne #4) by Mark Hodder. Having never read the first three stories in the series, I am getting a sense that this a prequel/alternate universe to the steampunk universe Hodder has created. I know some of you have already closed your browser at the mention of the s-word, but I am actually enjoying this story so far. I have always been curious about Sir Richard Francis Burton after reading about him in Farmer's Riverworld series and then again later when I picked up a biography of the explorer that my dad owned. Expect a review from me shortly.

And now the news...

Coming Soon: The Madonna and the Starship by James Morrow

A curious book coming out later this month that caught my attention is called The Madonna and the Starship by James Morrow. Here is the description from Amazon:

Only Uncle Wonder can save us from the death beam of... 

New York City, 1953. The golden age of television, when most programs were broadcast live. Young Kurt Jastrow, a full-time TV writer and occasional actor, is about to have a close encounter of the apocalyptic kind. 

Kurt’s most beloved character (and alter ego) is Uncle Wonder, an eccentric tinkerer whose pyrotechnically spectacular science experiments delight children across the nation. Uncle Wonder also has a more distant following: the inhabitants of Planet Qualimosa. When a pair of his extraterrestrial fans arrives to present him with an award, Kurt is naturally pleased—until it develops that, come next Sunday morning, these same aliens intend to perpetrate a massacre. 

The description makes the story sound like a parody of all those 1950s sci-fi films that I have only ever seen through the lens of a man trapped in space with his two robot companions. So maybe this book could be just as funny. Paul Di Filippo at Locus seems to think so saying the book has "gonzo charm and buried barbs and offbeat parables galore." One can only hope he is right.

If you would like to learn more about the author, check out the interview Morrow did at SF Signal.

Video Gallery

We start this week's gallery with friend of The Update Alison Morton being interviewed by Sue Cook about her new book Successio:
And we finish with a look at Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw's review of Wolfenstein: The New Order. If you guys have never seen the "Zero Punctuation" review series, you are in for a treat:
That's it for now. Send us your videos to ahwupdate at gmail dot com.

Links to the Multiverse


Mainspring Reconsidered - in memory of Jay Lake at Steampunk Scholar.
Mark’s Notable SciFi/Alternate Histories at Off the Shelf.
Read an Excerpt from James Lovegrove’s SHERLOCK HOLMES: GODS OF WAR at SF Signal.
REVIEW: California Bones by Greg van Eekhout at My Bookish Ways.
REVIEW: The Empire of Time 1: Roads to Moscow by David Wingrove at Falcata Times.

Counterfactual and Traditional History (Plus News)

10 Real-Life Laws That Regulate The Supernatural World by Lauren Davis at io9.
Big 12 Realignment: An Alternate History by ConnerSaurusRex at SB Nation.
Chief Justice Goldberg? A SCOTUS counterfactual by Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg.
Here's ​​Why The U.S. Is Worried About A Major Conflict at Sea by Mark Strauss at io9.
Weird Soviet Civil Defense Graphics from the Cold War May Disturb You by Vincze Mikl√≥s at io9.
What if Mizzou had ended up in the Big Ten? Part 1: Football and EXPANSIONAPALOOZA by Bill C at SB Nation.

Film and Television

An Alternate History of Friday the 13th by John Wiswell at The Bathroom Monologue.
Meet The Sentinels Who Almost Appeared In X-Men 2 by Rob Bricken at io9.
Turn Season 1 Finale: Good Turns at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.


REVIEW: Wolfenstein: The New Order by Bethesda at Falcata Times.


Pip Ballantine at ISBW.


Dissecting Worlds: Competition Winner! at Geek Syndicate.

Short Fiction

Flashing Steel, Flashing Fire Is Here... by Matthew Quinn.

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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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