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Brand: Harry Turtledove
Feature: Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Del Rey
Manufacturer: Del Rey
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 415
Publication Date: 2001-10-02
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: 2001-10-02
Studio: Del Rey
• Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century
Explore fascinating, often chilling “what if” accounts of the world that could have existed—and still might yet . . .
Science fiction’s most illustrious and visionary authors hold forth the ultimate alternate history collection. Here you’ll experience mind-bending tales that challenge your views of the past, present, and future, including:
• “The Lucky Strike”: When the Lucky Strike is chosen over the Enola Gay to drop the first atomic bomb, fate takes an unexpected turn in Kim Stanley Robinson’s gripping tale.
• “Bring the Jubilee”: Ward Moore’s novella masterpiece offers a rebel victory at Gettysburg which changes the course of the Civil War . . . and all of American history.
• “Through Road No Wither”: After Hitler’s victory in World War II, two Nazi officers confront their destiny in Greg Bear’s apocalyptic vision of the future.
• “All the Myriad Ways”: Murder or suicide, Ambrose Harmon’s death leads the police down an infinite number of pathways in Larry Niven’s brilliant and defining tale of alternatives and consequences.
• “Mozart in Mirrorshades”: Bruce Sterling and Lewis Shiner explore a terrifying era as the future crashes into the past—with disastrous results.
. . . as well as “The Winterberry” by Nicholas A. DiChario • “Islands in the Sea” by Harry Turtledove • “Suppose They Gave a Peace” by Susan Shwartz • “Manassas, Again” by Gregory Benford • “Dance Band on the Titanic” by Jack L. Chalker • “Eutopia” by Poul Anderson • “The Undiscovered” by William Sanders • “The Death of Captain Future” by Allen Steele • and “Moon of Ice” by Brad Linaweaver
The definitive collection: fourteen seminal alternate history tales drawing readers into a universe of dramatic possibility and endless wonder.
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
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