Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Update #176

Editor's Note

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day everybody!

So I am sure you guys are all waiting to hear my opinion on Amazon's The Man in the High Castle. I do have a review coming out on Amazing Stories and, spoiler alert, I liked it. In fact from all the reviews and commentary I have seen on the pilot, I am not alone in  my opinion. There was just so many reviews and commentaries that I put off writing a summary and instead added a section on the show in the Links to the Multiverse below, so you can check that out if you want more details. It certainly seems like it is the hit of the Amazon pilot season, which is good news for alternate historians, but more on that later.

No Map Monday this week. I really didn't see a map I thought was good enough to feature and instead of blogging about a mediocre map just for the sake of content, I decided to skip this week and just take the hit in page views by not posting the next installment in my most popular series. I am sure that won't have any negative side effects.

I know I promised last week two important announcements, but I am still working out the kinks. Hopefully I can make at least one of them this week.

And now the news...

New Releases: The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

Out now is the sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Steh Grahame-Smith's The Last American Vampire. Here is the description from Amazon:

Vampire Henry Sturges returns in the highly anticipated sequel to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter-a sweeping, alternate history of twentieth-century America by New York Times bestselling author Seth Grahame-Smith.


In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln's shocking death. Henry's will be an expansive journey that first sends him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash. 

Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia's October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination.

Expansive in scope and serious in execution, THE LAST AMERICAN VAMPIRE is sure to appeal to the passionate readers who made Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a runaway success.

If you want to learn more about the author you can see his interviews on Red Eye, Reddit and B&N.

Author Updates: Jo Walton and Greg van Eekhout

Last week I talked about Jo Walton's The Just City and Greg van Eekhout's Pacific Fire. If you want to learn more about those books I highly recommend you check out the last Weekly Update. Nevertheless I would be remiss if I did not cover what people are still saying about both authors' works.

Joel Cunningham of the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog called The Just City a "richly written, deeply imaginative story" and also praised the author for her ability to write "amazing" books for almost every genre. One of those books was My Real Children, which was recently discussed on The Sometime Seminar podcast.

And lets not forget about Greg. Paul Di Filippo, writing a review for Locus, praised the language of Pacific Fire and called the conclusion "highly satisfactory and resonant". If you want to learn more about the California Bones universe, check out this article these pictures and descriptions of the characters at Tor.

Videos for Alternate Historians

This week in videos we learn what Patton Oswalt thought about Snyder's Watchmen:
Next we see at incredibly creepy animated trailer for the upcoming The Order: 1886 PlayStation game:
And finally here as game engine trailer for Total War: Attila:

Links to the Multiverse

Amazon TV's The Man in the High Castle

Amazon Comes Out Swinging at The New York Times.
Amazon’s ‘Man in the High Castle’ off to a fantastic start at The Seattle Times.
Amazon pilot reviews: 'The Man in the High Castle' is king at Entertainment Weekly.
Competition for Netflix May Be Found in Amazon's 'The Man in the High Castle' at Latin Post.
Finally! The Man in the High Castle is Streaming on Amazon at The Counterfactual History Review.
First Footage From Philip K Dick's Man In The High Castle Looks Good at io9.
Get Your Streaming On With Amazon’s Pilot Of The Man In The High Castle at
I would willingly watch another one, which is more than I can say about...these other series at Slate.
The Man in the High Castle, Amazon pilot, review: 'stylised and stylish' at The Telegraph.
Man In The High Castle Is Wildly Different From The Book But Still Great at io9.
Man in the High Castle Pilot: Philip K. Dick and Bald Hitler Build a Nazi America at iDigitalTimes.
New Amazon pilots include a promising Philip K. Dick adaptation at AV Club.
You Can Probably Skip Amazon’s New TV Pilots—Except for One at Wired.

Books and Short Fiction

Adam Christopher announced he’ll be writing Elementary tie-in novels for Titan Books.
The Eterna Files (Excerpt) by Leanna Renee Hieber at Tor.
The Exploding Spaceship Reviews Our Favorite Anthologies of 2014 at Bull Spec.
MIND MELD: SF Stories That Predicted the Future — Or Didn’t at SF Signal.
New WOLFHOUND CENTURY Covers… at Civilian Reader.
Review: Hive Monkey by Gareth L Powell at SFFWorld.
Review: Jani and the Greater Game by Eric Brown at Telegraph & Argus.
Review: The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow at SF Signal.

Counterfactuals, History and News

Alternate history: Passing off fiction as fact by Sitharam Yechury at Hindustan Times.
Even Robert E. Lee Wanted the Confederate Flag Gone at The Daily Beast.
Hacked news companies tweet Chinese fired on U.S. warship at CNN.
The Jesus Sutras: Some Thoughts on What Might Have Been by James Ford at Patheos.
John Kerry’s Nose and the Transcript That Changed History at The Counterfactual History Review.
This Legal "No Man's Land" Hosted Outlaws For Forty-Five Years at io9.
Native Hawaiians debate best path to sovereignty at Yahoo!
Science friction by Samit Basu at The Times of India.
A tour through New Zealand's amazing steampunk town by Tom Fassbender at Boing Boing.
Understanding World War II-Japan & Synthetic Rubber by Dale Cozort.
What 5 Dead Celebrities Would Be Up to Today at Cracked.
Year's Surprise Bestseller Turns the Holocaust into a Sentimental Mess at New Republic.

Film and Television

9 Baffling First Drafts of Classic Movie Posters at Cracked.
Brand New Concept Art of Back to the Future Part II's 2015 Technology at io9.
Idris Elba Will Bring Demon-Fighting Edgar Allan Poe to the Big Screen at Tor.
Review: 12 Monkeys at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
Review: Agent Carter at Amazing Stories.
Syfy to Launch Futuristic Prison Drama 51st State at Geek Syndicate.
Whatever Will Be Will Be: Predestination and The Time Travel Movie at Tor.
Wolf at the door by Emily Hourican at


Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order at The Hypno Realm.
This War of Mine: Don't miss this Mac game! at iMore.


Guy Adams at SF Signal.
Gillian Polack at SF Signal.


Announcing Dissecting Worlds Live! at Geek Syndicate.

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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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