Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly Update #161

Editor's Note

If you guys liked my brief history of alternate history fandom, you will be happy to know I am planning a more in depth look at the people who play the what if game that I hope to submit to the Sideways in Time conference. Already my research has uncovered the year we realized World War II and American Civil War alternate histories were the most popular in the English language, the time Del Rey declared October the alternate history month and other defunct communities like Other Timelines.

In the meantime, if you have any important events you think I missed, let me know by emailing me at ahwupdate at gmail dot com. I am also hoping to contact some of the big names in fandom, so if you know how please consider making introductions. Thanks!

And now the news...

Preview: Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato is a debut steampunk, historical fantasy novel that has blown up the Geek Net. For those who don't know, here is the description from Amazon:

Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

Want to learn more about Clockwork Dagger? Author Beth helpfully provided a lot of supplemental info last week. You can read about the cast at Literary Escapism, learn how Beth went from loving historical fiction to writing steampunk at SF Signal and read about her favorite bit over at Mary Robinette Kowal's website. You can also check out interviews with Beth on Reddit, Fran Wilde's Cooking the Books and the Qwillery, where Beth described the setting of Clockwork Dagger being inspired by "post-World War I Europe, while the geography is based on western Washington state."

No reviews yet, so if you have read this book, let us know.

I won Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon by David Barnett!

And just because I like trolling certain alternate historians, lets talk about another STEAMPUNK book, except this one is actually listed as an alternate history on Uchronia, so there you go. I am of course talking about Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon by David Barnett, the sequel to Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl (see my review on Amazing Stories). I was lucky enough to win a copy from My Bookish Ways, an excellent site for SF literature that I have linked to often and you should definitely check out.

Now I have talked about this book enough that there is no need to included the book description, but there were some other sites talking about the sequel that you may want to check out. First up, David talked about the five things he learned writing Brass Dragon over at Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds. He also described his weird and broken America over on John Scalzi's Whatever.

Expect a review from me in the near future.

Links to the Multiverse

Books and Short Fiction

Cover & Synopsis: THE ETERNA FILES by Leanna Renee Hieber at SF Signal.
Excerpt Thursday: PERFIDITAS by Alison Morton at Unusual Historicals.
Free eBook: CHASING THE QUEEN OF SASSI by Paul Di Filippo at SF Signal.
Historic fantasy to inspire youth: Author Daisy Lee Yang speaks about inspiration and thoughts behind her new book at The Korea Herald.
Invasion Porn – Britain’s Curious Pre-WW1 Obsession With Novels About Foreign Occupation at Military History Now.
It's About Time by Dennis O'Neil at ComicM!x.
Review: The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter by Rod Duncan at Nocturnal Book Reviews.
Review: California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout at Bookworm Blues.
Review: Last Plane to Heaven by Jay Lake at Locus.
Review: The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond at The Children's War.
Steampunk gears up for a broader audience by Jason Heller at Entertainment Weekly.

Counterfactuals, History and News

Congress takes up bill to make D.C. the 51st state by Aaron C. Davis at The Washington Post.
Counterfactual Chatter in "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki" by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld at The Counterfactual History Review.
How This Time-Traveling Professor Is Re-Defining Play And Learning by John Converse Townsend at Forbes.
Imagine a world where Hillary Clinton didn’t run for president in 2016 by Philip Bump at The Washington Post.
Iranian Prof: Suspicion of Nuclear Program Results From Iran’s Threats Against Israel at The Tower.
Islamic State group issues new curriculum in Iraq by Sinan Salaheddin and Vivian Salama at Yahoo.
Israeli Archaeologist Discovers Huge Monument Older Than The Pyramids by Mark Strauss at io9.
Meticulous Visual Recreation Of Moon Landing Shows It Wasn't A Hoax by George Dvorsky at io9.

Film and Television

In Outlander, It's the Man's Bodice That Gets Ripped by Sara N at Stellar Four.
Outlander 1.7: Tender Intertemporal Polygamy at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
TV REVIEW: Doctor Who, S8, E4: Listen at Geek Syndicate.


Nicola Griffith at Locus.
Mary Robinette Kowal at Lightspeed.
Dru Pagliassotti at Mary Robinette Kowal.

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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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