Comments: Christian Nation

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Thanks for the link to Ace, will read it in a sec.

But you know what? As much as I might be crucified, I'll admit that OSC's excuse would work here as well.

Requote: "It isn't my work as a writer of science fiction and fantasy that prepares me to write about unlikely events. My job in writing sci-fi is to make impossible events seem not just possible but likely. Inevitable."

Though, like all art, how well does the author pull off his effort? In short, which makes the impossible seem more plausible? (though we must be honest that it will be hard to answer without our biases influencing our choice)

Posted by Nate Winchester at August 20, 2013 10:17 AM

Yeesh is right, Hube. I like alternate history as well, but this is implausible in the extreme. Not to mention insane in the extreme. The author of the book must be a regular MSNBC viewer or something. I like how Kirkus acknwoledge that with the reference to the Maddow crowd, because that's the only people (and she maybe has an audience of 5 viewers)

I haven't read Kratman's Caliphate, although I have heard that he got called "racist" for writing it. Blogger Ed Trimmell talked about it here (I don't know how to insert links into the comments here). He also talks about a writer named Dan Simmons, who wrote a book with a similar premise:

And you can bet that the same won't happen to Rich. Like you said, they'll view it as "prophetic." The whole premise is just a petty attack on religious conservatives, Palin and Republicans in general.

Posted by Carl at August 20, 2013 01:56 PM

Indeed, one glaring problem I had with "Prayers for the Assassin" was the key part of the book was unconvincing. How exactly did the US become an Islamic nation. The author tries (and fails IMNHO) to convince me how it happened but it kept nagging at me and detracted from an otherwise enjoyable book. YMMV.

To wit: Can anyone recommend any alternate history novels not written by someone who's last name ends in "urtledove"?

Posted by Duffy at August 20, 2013 02:04 PM

The majority of the comments seem to tell exactly what this "novel" is: a POS. I'm glad to see that some people still have common sense.

Posted by Carl at August 20, 2013 02:05 PM

Pastwach: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card is really good. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, which involves the computer revolution happening in the 19th century instead of the 20th, isn't bad. Those are two I can think of at the top of my head. There are differently more out there.

I've never read anything by Harry Turtledove; is he any good?

And BTW, I was referring to the comments in the video, but for some reason it wouldn't submit me referring to Youtube.

Posted by Carl at August 20, 2013 02:10 PM

Duffy, how about John C Wright's current ongoing series?

I recommend both Count to a Trillion and the Hermetic Millennia though these look at the world as a whole, and deal with futures thousands and THOUSANDS of years into the future.

I've written reviews of both books on my blog for those interested.

Posted by Nate Winchester at August 20, 2013 02:26 PM

Duff: The Philip Roth book The Plot Against America is good. I have several anthologies with cool stories in 'em, including "The West is Red" and "Bring the Jubilee." Fatherland, about the 1960s detente between the US and Nazi Germany with a Nazi officer determined to discover what happened to Europe's Jews is very good. I'm sure I have more in my collection; I'll post 'em after I check 'em out.

Carl: Turtledove's Guns of the South may be his best work. It shows a victorious Confederacy due to time-traveling [white] South Africans helping them out (ie, giving them AK-47s).

Posted by Hube at August 20, 2013 02:42 PM

Oh man, how did I forget Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle? It's considered a classic, if you can get past Dick's quirky style.

John Birmingham's "Axis of Time" trilogy from a few year's back is very good. It shows what happens when an Allied naval battlegroup is whisked back to 1942 from 2021 after a teleportation experiment goes awry. Leaves open a sequel possibility, a new Cold War between the USSR and the Allies with future tech.

Posted by Hube at August 20, 2013 03:01 PM

I've read "Man in the High Castle" and some of the "Guns of the South" stuff but the latter left me cold. I've also read Roth's book as well as Fatherland. There's also What If? and What If volume 2. (NB: these have no connection to the comic book series)

Personally SS-GB by Len Deigton (sp?) was really good and worth reading.

Thanks for the suggestions on the other stuff I'll be sure to check them out.

Posted by Duffy at August 20, 2013 03:15 PM

I'll have to check "Guns of the South" out some time. The premise sounds interestingly. I've also been wanting to read "Axis of Time" for a while.

Posted by Carl at August 20, 2013 04:57 PM

If we are discussing alternate history or SF that deals in a future when there is a religious dictatorship in America, then it's important to remember that Robert Heinlein did it first in 1940 with "If This Goes on--"

It is a clunky story by today's standards, partly because of eviscerating editing by John Campbell and Kay Tarrant and an uneven Heinlein rewrite (to match his more libertarian ideology by then) in the 1950s. (I'm actually working with a team of scholars trying to reconstruct his original version from the fragmentary typed drafts that we still have of it.)

But it was groundbreaking in its day. Heinlein consciously patterned it after Sinclair Lewis' "It can't happen here," and his short novel might more accurately have been titled "It did happen here."

Posted by Steve Newton at August 20, 2013 05:27 PM

Interesting, Steve... that's one Heinlein story I've never heard of.

Posted by Carl at August 20, 2013 07:14 PM

Hube, you *liked* The Plot Against America? I read it in college, and couldn't stand it.

Besides being irritated by the lazy trope of "Lindbergh was a Nazi" (and by inference, "isolationists/Republicans were all secret Nazi sympathizers"), I also quickly noticed that it was also being set up as an allegory to George W. Bush (as the left portrayed him), as soon as Lindbergh made a campaign appearance strutting around in a flight suit. ("Does this remind you of anything? Huh? Huh? Huh?")

The only thing which really intrigues me about the book, in retrospect, is its portrayal of Walter Winchell. Without knowing it, Philip Roth basically predicted Glenn Beck, 5 years before it happened. (He just put him on the wrong side of the aisle.)

Posted by Jeffrey at August 24, 2013 11:48 AM

Hi Jeff. Thanks for commenting. Yeah, I was intrigued by TPAA. Perhaps the "Lindbergh was a Nazi" trope was a bit lazy, but I thought it was intriguing how ... well, subtle the insidious nature of the dismantling of Jewish families/neighborhoods was. It really freaked me out.

Posted by Hube at August 24, 2013 12:20 PM

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