#19 Time Travel

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Re: #19 Time Travel

Post  weathereye on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:33 pm

I like alternate histories. One of the best is The Years Of Rice And Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson. Its premise is the Black Death wiped out the population of Europe in the middle ages, and the book charts the next several hundred years of an Earth history without, well, white people. China colonizes the Americas but leaves the First Nations to their own devices, so that Canada is the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nation. Asians, Middle Easterners and Africans rise to a prominence we never saw. Christianity is a fringe religion; Islam and Buddhism rule the world. It's a wonderful book.

Any Harry Turtledove is worth checking out.

I also quite like S.M. Stirling's Draka novels, a series set in a world where the United Empire Loyalists who fled the US for Canada in the Revolutionary War were sent to South Africa instead. A minor detail, you may think, but it sets in motion a series of events that lead to a very different world. There are some science fiction elements that I didn't care for, but Stirling (who writes several other excellent alt-history series, and is Canadian) builds his books around characters before concepts. This makes them work.
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Re: #19 Time Travel

Post  yohan on Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:36 pm

I might give The Years of Rice and Salt a shot and see if it changes my mind.
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Re: #19 Time Travel

Post  Jakob on Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:50 pm

I might take up that challenge as well.
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Re: #19 Time Travel

Post  Jakob on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:44 pm

Speaking of alternate histories, I just finished reading Farthing, Ha'penny and Half a Crown which make up the "small change" series by Jo Walton. It takes place in the early post war years of Great Britain which didn't win the war (due to America not joining the Allies) but had signed a peace treaty with NAZI Europe. Each book follows the investigations of an Inspector Carmichael as the country slowly descends into fascism. It works well be because the political story is told in the backdrop of the first two books (in the third it takes a more prominent role) so the alternate history gimmick isn't treated in too heavy handed a manner. Also, it's written in that golden-age-of-British-crime voice I love. Well worth a read and has some interesting parallels with current political climates.
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Re: #19 Time Travel

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