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The Best Alternate History Stories of the…

The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century; Linaweaver,… (edition 2001)

by Bear ed. Harry Turtledove; Poul Anderson, Gregory Benford, J. L. Chalker, N. A. DiChario, (Editor), Martin Harry Greenberg

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Title:The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century; Linaweaver, W.Moore,
Authors:Bear ed. Harry Turtledove; Poul Anderson, Gregory Benford, J. L. Chalker, N. A. DiChario,
Other authors:Martin Harry Greenberg
Info:Del Rey (2001), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, fantasy, anthology, alternate history

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The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century by Martin Harry Greenberg (Editor)



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The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century is a nice collection of stories, many by authors which were new to me. There is even one novella which postulates the South winning the War Between the States. I very much enjoyed reading these stories and thought that this volume would be a good introduction to the Alternate History subgenre.
  hailelib | Mar 20, 2016 |
Although this is titled 'The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century' I have to say that some of these stories barely qualified, particularly the 'The Death of Captain Future' and everyone's mileage varies as to 'best'.

The best one of the bunch is (IMO) Ward Moore's 'Bring the Jubilee', which is, on the face of it, one of that plethora of AHs that deal with a Southern Victory in the American Civil War but with it's own particular twist on the theme. Both Brad Linaweaver's 'Moon of Ice' and Greg Bear's 'Through road No Whither' take a look at the other perennial AltHist favourite; Nazi Germany winning WW2, though both stories have very different takes on the theme. A rather interesting tale was Harry Turtledove's 'Islands in the Sea', which took a look at what might have happened had Islam taken Constantinople several hundred years before it did in our time line one wonders how well this sort of story would go downthese days ( )
  JohnFair | Feb 27, 2015 |
A very enlightening and entertaining group of tales. This prompted me to investigate some areas of history, as I found I was so unfamiliar with the period in question that I was unable to pinpoint how the story differed from reality. A couple, particularly one set in the future, I question their categorization as an 'alternate history' tale.
Are they the "best"? I'm not sure.
Appreciated the inclusion of author bios with the entry. Some either omit these entirely or stick them all at the end.
  EmScape | Jun 11, 2014 |
Harry Turtledove introduced me to the whole alternate history genre way back in the early nineties with The Guns of the South, his brilliant take on the American Civil War. Turtledove is all over the alternate history map with books that even include aliens invading Earth during WWII, and the like, but my other favorite of his, Ruled Britannia, sees William Shakespeare using his writing skills to motivate the populace to overthrow their Spanish oppressors. It is only fitting then that Mr. Turtledove is the editor of this collection of some of the alternate history stories considered to be the best ones written last century.

The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century includes fourteen stories (one of which is 100 pages long) that offer “what if” re-imaginings of everything from the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan, to George McGovern’s Vietnam-era election victory over Richard Nixon, to Shakespeare lost in the New World and living with an Indian tribe, and on to more commonly-themed tales involving a German victory in World War II and a Southern one in the Civil War.

The longest, and oldest, of the stories (“Bring the Jubilee”) dates to 1952 and the most recent (this collection was published in 2001) was written in 2000 – with the majority of the tales having been first published in the eighties and nineties. Some of the more recognizable author names are: Harry Turtledove, Kim Stanley Robinson, Larry Niven, Greg Bear, Poul Anderson, and Ward Moore.

My personal favorite is one of the more oddball ones in the collection, a story by Nicholas A. DiChario called “The Winterberry,” in which John F. Kennedy survives the head-wounds he suffered in Dallas on November 22, 1963. It is a touching tale of innocence, family love and loyalty, and overwhelming sadness. Even if you never read another alternate history story, I think the ones like this one – the non-military themed ones – will appeal to most any reader. And, who knows? You just might find yourself intrigued enough to read others in this fun genre.

Rated at: 3.0 ( )
  SamSattler | Jan 13, 2013 |
Group M1
  gilsbooks | May 20, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greenberg, Martin HarryEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turtledove, HarryEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, PoulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bear, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benford, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chalker, Jack L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
DiChario, Nicholas A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harry TurtledoveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Linaweaver, BradContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, WardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Niven, LarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Kim StanleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sanders, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shiner, LewisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shwartz, SusanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steele, AllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tutledove, HarryIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crawford, CathyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345439902, Paperback)

What if? Harry Turtledove, renowned alt-historian and the editor of this anthology, calls that question "those two mournful little words." But little though they might be, they inspired some of the previous century's most brilliant speculative fiction, including the 14 short stories collected here.

And with contributors like Poul Anderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Larry Niven, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, and Turtledove himself, there's truly not a clunker in the bunch. All of these stories revolve around Turtledove's central beard-tugging question, but they vary wildly in style, mood, and approach. Many toy with how the future might be altered had some particular event turned out differently (what if the Confederates had won at Gettysburg, or the Enola Gay had crashed before making its fateful flight?), while others follow dimension-hoppers traveling through tangled branches of our timeline (as in Sterling's "Mozart in Mirrorshades," Anderson's "Eutopia," and Jack L. Chalker's surreal ferry ride through "Dance Band on the Titanic").

All but four of these stories were written in the last two decades of the century--before then, Turtledove suggests in part, we weren't scientifically certain about whether Martians and "oceans on Venus full of reptilian monsters" might exist, so we were satisfied by more conventional, planet-faring SF. But the ideas that the contributors wrestle with here, and that irresistible human urge to speculate about the implications of our actions (and whether our decisions matter at all), prove timeless. --Paul Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:17 -0400)

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YA fantasy. Superb anthology.

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