So it looks like we got another Hugo Award controversy on our hands this year. I really don't have much to say about it since most alternate history works are either a) not read by those who vote in the Hugos or b) not considered good enough to be nominated (I talked more about this phenomenom with Dale Cozort here).
That is a shame since there are a lot of good works in the genre and alternate history does attract a lot of literary authors who want to be a little more creative, but don't want to attach themselves to the stigma that goes with "sci-fi". O well I have better things to do then throw my opinion around. Instead I will wonder what would happen if George RR Martin's Doorways had been picked up by its network...
And now the news...
Book of the Week: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle
A book I have been sharing a lot of social media, but haven't featured it on the blog proper yet is The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavalle. It is a Jazz Age tale of the Cthulhu Mythos that tackles the racism found in Lovecraft's work. Here is the description from Amazon:
People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there.
Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.
A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?
If you want to learn more about The Ballad of Black Tom, check out its review on Horror Talk which describes the story as "a complex psychological journey for a black man pushed to the brink in an inherently racist society."
Definitely adding to me to-read list.
Video of the Week
Today's featured video is Cinema Sins break down of everything that is wrong with The Good Dinosaur, which is Pixar's first alternate history film and first flop. So don't expect another one from them in the near future.
You should also check out...
- Paul Levinson's review of Outlander Season 2, Episode 3.
- Shannon Selin's profile of The Palace of the King of Rome, the home Napoleon never built.
- Joseph Kaminski's review of The Guns of South by Harry Turtledove.
- The time traveler who is running for President of the United States (and no this is not The Onion).
- SFFWorld's interview with Matthew De Abaitua, author If Then.
- War History Online's profile of the real order of assassins.
- How Elastic created the title sequence for Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.
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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger for Amazing Stories, a volunteer interviewer for SFFWorld and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judge. When not exploring alternate timelines he enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.