Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekly Update #186

Editor's Notes

You know what I think about the Hugos...sorry, not going to read it here. I decided not to jump into that debate with this blog. Perhaps things would be different if some major alternate history work of 2014 was involved, but as far as I know, none is. Hopefully the Sidewise Award announcement is a lot less dramatic.

And now the news...

Stephen King's 11/22/63 Gets a Cast

Last week multiple actors were cast to join James Franco (Jake Epping) in Hulu's adaptation of Stephen King's 11/22/63. For those who don't know, this time travel novel follows our hero as he attempts to prevent the assassination of JFK in order to make a better world. Here is the cast we know of so far:
  • Sarah Gadon: Sadie Dunhill, outspoken 1960s librarian at a school where Jake teaches at
  • Chris Cooper: Al Templeton, the owner of Al’s Diner who convinces Jake to travel back in time to save JFK
  • Daniel Webber: Lee Harvey Oswald, the man destined to assassinate JFK
  • Cherry Jones: Marguerite Oswald, Oswald’s mother and all-around awful person
  • George MacKay: Bill Turcotte, 1960s bartender who befriends Jake
  • Lucy Fry: Marina Oswald, Oswald’s Russian wife who is abused by Oswald
  • Leon Rippy: Harry Dunning, mentally challenged janitor at Jake’s school in 2015 who Jake decides to help while in the past
Kevin Macdonald has also been chosen to direct. Stay tuned to The Update for more 11/22/63 news.

Update: The Diamond Conspiracy by Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris 

For steampunk fans, you have the next Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel, The Diamond Conspiracy by Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris to check out. Here is the description from Amazon:

For years, the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has enjoyed the favor of Her Majesty the Queen. But even the oldest loyalties can turn in a moment…

Having narrowly escaped the electrifying machinations of Thomas Edison, Books and Braun are looking forward to a relaxing and possibly romantic voyage home. But when Braun’s emergency signal goes off, all thoughts of recreation vanish. Braun’s street-wise team of child informants, the Ministry Seven, is in grave peril, and Books and Braun must return to England immediately.

But when the intrepid agents finally arrive in London, the situation is even more dire than they imagined. The Ministry has been disavowed, and the Department of Imperial Inconveniences has been called in to decommission its agents in a most deadly fashion. The plan reeks of the Maestro’s dastardly scheming. Only, this time, he has a dangerous new ally—a duplicitous doctor whose pernicious poisons have infected the highest levels of society, reaching even the Queen herself...

Regrettably, one of the reviews I found wasn't great. Melanie of The Qwillery says she was "disappointed" even though she still thought it was a good book. Nevertheless, if you are still interested in The Diamond Conspiracy, check out an interview with Ballantine at Eating Authors.

Links to the Multiverse

Books & Short Fiction

AURELIA cover image! by Alison Morton.
Battalion 202: The Sheep and the Goats by Jonathan Doering – Free Extract at Alt Hist.
'Before Tomorrowland': A deep-dive into the new alt-history novel by EW's Jeff Jensen at EW.
Doug Molitor (Memoirs of a Time Traveler) Explores Time Travel Logic in SFF at SF Signal.
Five Books about Time Travel by Karen Akins at Tor.
Review: 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies by Eric Flint and Chuck Gannon at BCPL.
Review: Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove at Bookwraiths.
Review: The Sound of His Horn by John William Wall at Graeme Shimmin.
What if Petunia Dursley Had Been a Good Person? at Tor.
WINNERS: 2014 James Tiptree, Jr. Award (+ Honor List) at SF Signal.

Counterfactuals, History & News

The Civil War After the Civil War by Eric Herschthal at Slate.

Film & Television

5 Famous Movies With Insane 'What If' Scenarios by Daniel Dockery at Cracked.
Lost in Animeland: Strike Witches and KanColle at SF Signal.
Review: 12 Monkeys Season 1 Finale at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.
Review: Outlander 1.9 at Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress.


Age Of Empires II, A Game From 1999, Is Getting Another Expansion at Kotaku.


Lavie Tidhar at The Gutterbound Stargazer.

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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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