Book Review: Alt.Histroy 101


Book Review

What if? It is a simple question. What if I hadn’t gone to work this morning? Would I still have gotten in a car wreck in the afternoon? What if I had taken Mary to prom instead of Nancy? Would I still be a teenage father? What if?

Alt.History 101 asks, “What if?” on a much larger scale, considering the implications of small changes on a world scale. The collection of short stories is a fun, and often terrifying, glimpse at what might have been if the events of the past had changed. Each author is talented in their own right, but as a collective this work takes, “What if?” to a whole new level.

THE GOOD

The story telling collected in this book is incredible. Personally I am unfamiliar with most of the authors, but there is one I have read and reviewed before (Pavarti K. Tyler), but I think that is a situation I plan on remedying soon. Each story was well done with varying degrees of the fantastic. The personal perspective of the stories is part of what makes them so enjoyable. The dialogue and action feels real and makes the mind bending alternate histories feel like they are possible.

THE BAD

There is very little to complain about in this book or in the individual stories. A few of the stories are less straight forward in what caused the change in history, and without reading the synopses in the front of the book, the reader is left to guess what event might have caused the change. The history tackled is primarily Euro-centric, but this is a minor thing. A more global telling would be welcome, but the history is less familiar to English speakers than the history approached here.

THE TAKEAWAY

This is an excellent piece of speculative fiction. Any fan of the genre would do well to buy this anthology and read it as soon as possible. Since the intent is for this to be the first book in a series, I look forward to the next offering.

 

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