Tag: Alternate History

Aug 29 2020

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus

I read Buffalo Soldier back in May when I was recovering from acute appendicitis, and it did exactly what I needed: took me far away, into imaginary lands where people had thrilling adventures full of reversals and narrow escapes. The circumstances of my reading mean that I have not retained details as well as I …

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Aug 25 2020

American Royals (American Royals #1) by Katharine McGee

What a stunningly awful book. I picked it up thinking I’d enjoy the thought experiment: what if George Washington had accepted the title of King after wresting American independence away from Britain? According to Katharine McGee, this would have dampened the global thirst for revolution, accelerated the abolition of slavery, and paved the way for …

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Jul 28 2020

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

I need P Djeli Clark to write me some meaty 300+ page books! He’s definitely doing great things with shorter works: 2019’s The Haunting Of Tram Car 015 felt fully realized despite its brevity, and I can only imagine that this year’s Ring Shout will only showcase his increasing command of the novella form. Unfortunately, …

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Jun 28 2020

The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

The Fated Sky

Pacing, and the parts of the story not told, shape The Fated Sky the second book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronauts series. The Calculating Stars ended with Elma York, the series’ first-person narrator, on her way to the moon. By the beginning of The Fated Sky, there is a colony on the moon with …

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May 29 2020

Infernal Machines by John Hornor Jacobs

Infernal Machines

Now this is more like it! John Hornor Jacobs concludes his trilogy of cowboys and Romans with style and panache, picking up the pace, tightening the narrative, and never losing the joy of pulpy adventure even as he delivers more complex characters and greater depth in this alternate world. As Infernal Machines begins, longtime partners …

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May 11 2020

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Ah, if only, if only. I’ve enjoyed enough romance novels to be able to differentiate between the wonderful modern-day version and the traditional version described by Sir Walter Scott, and only sometimes do the twain meet in ways more convincing than mere bad plotting. It’s bittersweet to feel that this charming tale of the First …

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Apr 18 2020

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor

A Second Chance, the third book in Jodi Taylor’s series about the time-traveling historians of St Mary’s Institute, shows signs of settling in for a set of tales that is going to continue. Taylor dials the pace back just a bit from madcap to merely rapid, she’s willing to develop the settings the historians visit …

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Apr 13 2020

Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Come for the Alan Turing fanfic! Stay for the… um. Oh, dear. I knew going into this that it would be terrible, but I hadn’t realized exactly how terrible till I finished this utter nonsense of a 21st century novel. Ordinarily, I like to just review a book without taking into consideration anything the author …

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Feb 26 2020

Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs

Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs

Foreign Devils continues the cowboys and Romans mashup started in The Incorruptibles, a story that will conclude in Infernal Machines. I am very glad that I don’t have to wait for John Hornor Jacobs to write the third volume, because boy howdy is Foreign Devils a middle book. As the Ruman Empire strides through its …

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Nov 30 2019

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

A Symphony of Echoes

A Symphony of Echoes is every bit as fun as Just One Damned Thing After Another, the first book chronicling the adventures of the historians of St Mary’s Institute, who definitely do not travel through time. No indeed, they investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Which is how the first quarter of the book …

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