Review: The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

Alright we are back with my coverage on SF detectives and we return with the classic SF/mystery novel, written by the grand-daddy of SF himself, The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. This first novel in the Robot series is one of the earliest novels to feature a combination of the SF and mystery genres. It features […]

Review: The Wizard of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure by S.D. Stuart

We interrupt your regularly scheduled coverage on SF detectives to bring you this… As a kid, I used to love watching the 1939 film Wizard of Oz. My parents had recorded it on VHS so I could watch it again and again whenever I wanted. Of course we had to fast-forward through the commercials. This […]

Review: When Gravity Fails by George Alec Effinger

When I punk, it’s usually with steam. Any SF fan, regardless of his particular poison, thinks about the future. With my historical background, however, my gaze tends to be fixed on the past and I am rarely distracted by images of the future. The great thing about Amazing Stories, however, is the wealth of viewpoints and […]

Elementary, my dear Watson-bot 2.0!

Crime and punishment. Both words are synonymous with genre fiction. Whether it is the flashy superhero racing to stop the next crisis or the “I’m too old for this shit” beat cop who stumbles upon a global conspiracy, we enjoy seeing criminals being taken down. For the next few weeks, however, I am going to be concerning […]

Dissecting Our Present: How SF Can Highlight Our Historical Bias

As Harry Turtledove, the master of alternate history, said in the introduction to The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century, even historical memoirs can sometimes be so far from the truth they can be classified as science fiction. He used the example of Civil War veterans who highlighted their successes and blamed superiors or subordinates for the […]

These Fractured States: An Overview of Balkanized Americas

Adventure and excitement waits for those travelers brave enough to explore Anglo-America… Treasure troves of colonial history await in the eastern aristocracies, but current events in the region make this a destination for only experienced travelers. The crusaders from the Christian Confederation of Carolina march north seeking to convert all to their way of life. […]

Guide to Alternate History Literature

I’m often asked to recommend a good alternate history book, but you might as well ask me to name my favorite film.  My mind rebels at the thought of picking just one.  For the sake of all the current and future alternate historians I will do my best to come up with a good list. […]

What Is Alternate History?

What is alternate history? Not as easy question to answer. Historians have been speculating on “points of divergence” since classical times. The Roman historian Livy wrote the first “counterfactual” when he speculated on what would happen if Alexander the Great turned west in 323 BC. Like a true nationalist, he believed Rome would have easily […]