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The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories by…

The Mammoth Book of Alternate Histories (2010)

by Ian Watson (Editor), Ian Whates (Editor)

Other authors: A. A. Attanasio (Contributor), Stephen Baxter (Contributor), Gregory Benford (Contributor), Eugene Byrne (Contributor), Pat Cadigan (Contributor)23 more, Suzette Haden Elgin (Contributor), Esther M. Friesner (Contributor), Pierre Gévart (Contributor), Harry Harrison (Contributor), Marc Laidlaw (Contributor), Fritz Leiber (Contributor), Ian R. MacLeod (Contributor), Ken MacLeod (Contributor), Paul McAuley (Contributor), James Morrow (Contributor), Kim Newman (Contributor), Sissy Pantelis (Translator), Frederik Pohl (Contributor), Chris Roberson (Contributor), Keith Roberts (Contributor), Kim Stanley Robinson (Contributor), Rudy Rucker (Contributor), Pamela Sargent (Contributor), Tom Shippey (Contributor), Robert Silverberg (Contributor), Judith Tarr (Contributor), Harry Turtledove (Contributor), George Zebrowski (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 4 of 4
A mix of different alterante histories from different authors and periods. A few of them were really interesting and made me research new periods. A couple were more of a what would have happened if this impossible invention had happened, but it was ok overall. ( )
  Guide2 | Nov 22, 2015 |
The Raft of the Titanic (2010) by James Morrow - delightful and slightly whimsical.
Sidewinders (2010) by Ken MacLeod - imaginative and humorous.
The Wandering Christian (1991) by Kim Newmanand Eugene Byrne - long-winded, dull, unimaginative.
Hush My Mouth (1986) by Suzette Haden Elgin - found the premise implausible.
A Letter from the Pope (1990) by Harry Harrison and Tom Shippey - excellent
Such a Deal (2010) by Esther M. Friesner - enjoyable with a black humour ending
Ink from the New Moon (1992) by A. A. Attanasio - dull
Dispatches from the Revolution (1991) by Pat Cadigan - chilling and plausible
Catch That Zeppelin! (1975) by Fritz Leiber - enjoyable
A Very British History (2000) by Paul J. McAuley - dull
The Imitation Game (2008) by Rudy Rucker - unmemorable
Weihnachtabend (1972) by Keith Roberts - unmemorable
The Lucky Strike (1984) by Kim Stanley Robinson
His Powder'd Wig, His Crown of Thornes (1989) by Marc Laidlaw - ok
Roncesvalles (1990) by Judith Tarr - dull
The English Mutiny (2008) by Ian R. MacLeod - good
O One [Celestial Empire] (2003) by Chris Roberson - good
Islands in the Sea (1989) by Harry Turtledove - ok
Lenin in Odessa (1990) by George Zebrowski - dull, didn't finish
The Einstein Gun (2010) by Pierre Gévart - ok
Tales from the Venia Woods [Roma Eterna] (1989) by Robert Silverberg - excellent
Manassas, Again (1991) by Gregory Benford - dull
The Sleeping Serpent (1992) by Pamela Sargent - ok
Waiting for the Olympians (1988) by Frederik Pohl - excellent
Darwin Anathema (2010) by Stephen Baxter - ok ( )
  SChant | Dec 9, 2013 |
I've always been fascinated by alternative history stories, the 'what if's' of history. What if Churchill had been hit by a car before the Second World War? What if Roosevelt hadn't had polio, what if Henry IV hadn't gone to Canossa? So I couldn't help but pick up this collection of stories and novella's of Alternate Histories.
The collection was pretty good. There were some good stories in here, like one about the Roman Empire lasting to the year two thousand (having a serious effect by cancelling out the industrial revolution it seems), or the one about the crew of the Enola Gay dying before dropping the bomb and the replacement bomber refusing to drop the bomb on Hiroshima.
However, reading alternate history requires knowledge about the pivotal change in the story. If I don't know the effects of the bomb on Hiroshima, or the shooting of Franz Ferdinand, it isn't interesting at all from an alternate history point of view to read about a change in this history. Then it is just a story, pretty nice, but it loses its power. This was a problem for me in several of the stories. It was still a fun collection to read, with some nice classics. Four out of five stars. ( )
  divinenanny | Oct 2, 2012 |
A mixed section of stories, but overall I found this disappointing. I think alternate history generally does not flourish within the short story format as it needs more room to breath and create its alternative version of history in a way that explains itself in sufficient detail to convince.

My favourite stories in this collection were the four below, three of which are by legends in the SF/alternate history fields. The rest were a mixed collection of tales, some reasonable, others dull and unengaging.

The Lucky Strike (Kim Stanley Robinson)

The pilot due to drop the atomic bomb on Japan dies in an air accident and his place is taken by another who has doubts about his mission and deliberately drops the bomb on uninhabited land away from Hiroshima. He is court marshalled and shot but the Japanese surrender due to the power of the demonstration and the post-War world is largely non-atomic. Powerful stuff though not sure it is too realistic in terms of the Japanese surrender.

Islands in the Sea (Harry Turtledove)

A fascinating exploration of the clash of religions. Constantinople has fallen to Islam in the 8th century of the Christian era instead of the 15th. The Khan of the Bulgars summons Islamic and Chistian thinkers to present to him the arguments for their respective religions and he will make his choice, affecting the future development of history. As this is alternate history, he chooses Islam and Christianity is restricted to western Europe, with the momentum in Islam's favour.

The Einstein Gun (Pierre Gevart)

The assassination of Franz Ferdinand fails and WWI never happens. As Emperor he appoints Hitler as Chancellor in 1934 and repression against the Jews begins and world war looms in 1945. A Jewish university lecturer, dismissed from his job, is friends with Einstein, in exile in socialist France. Einstein has invented a primitive time machine,which the ex-lecturer hopes touse to assassinate Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevoin 1914 and thereby prevent this repression and drive to war....

Tales from the Venia Woods (Robert Silverberg)

The Roman Empire lasted 2000 years and was then overthrown by the Second Republic. The last survivor of the imperial family is an old man hiding deep in the woods. This is one of a series of stories set in this alternate universe created by Robert Silverberg. ( )
  john257hopper | Aug 14, 2011 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Watson, IanEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whates, IanEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Attanasio, A. A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baxter, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benford, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Byrne, EugeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cadigan, PatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elgin, Suzette HadenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friesner, Esther M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gévart, PierreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, HarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laidlaw, MarcContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leiber, FritzContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, Ian R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, KenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McAuley, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrow, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Newman, KimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pantelis, SissyTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pohl, FrederikContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberson, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, KeithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, Kim StanleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rucker, RudyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sargent, PamelaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shippey, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silverberg, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tarr, JudithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turtledove, HarryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zebrowski, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, JoeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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“There is an infinitude of Pasts, all equally valid,” wrote André Maurois, the French novelist and biographer.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0762438428, Paperback)

Every short story in this wonderfully varied collection has in common some diversion in history, some alternate reality from what we know, resulting in a very different world. In addition to original stories specially commissioned from bestselling writers such as James Morrow, Stephen Baxter, and Ken MacLeod, there are genre classics from Kim Stanley Robinson, Harry Turtledove, and George Zebrowski: over 20 stories in all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:44 -0400)

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