Tag archives for alternative history

  1. Never Let Me Go / Kazuo Ishiguro

    Cover of Never Let Me Go
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading. This is one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in years. It’s so good you won’t think of it as science fiction. I’m a little resentful of that phrase. It irritates me that science fiction as a genre is popularly thought to only include the schlock, and the good stuff by definition just can’t be science fiction. A co-worker said this to me the other day when I pointed out The Sparrow as it came across the receiving station and I recommended it to her. I knew she didn’t like science fiction generally, and thought she might read it…
  2. Dragon America / Mike Resnick

    Cover of Dragon America
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading. Dragon America looked like a more serious work by Mike Resnick because the cover has a nice painting rather than the typical Resnick pulp space opera artwork. I was wrong. It’s not part of his Birthright Universe books, but it is definitely an adventure tale. It doesn’t have the same qualities as Kirinyaga (the one serious Resnick work) though. And at first I thought it would be a fantasy work in the vein of Card‘s Tales of Alvin Maker. In reality it falls somewhere in the grey area between fantasy and science fiction, very similarly to Harrison’s West of Eden. It…
  3. West of Eden / Harry Harrison

    Cover of West of Eden
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading.I purchased and read this book years and years ago, remembering it quite fondly. But my memory of the actual story faded in the 15+ years since I read the book. Particularly for the last half of the book. For the first few chapters, I kept on running into parts that jogged my memory but later in the book that no longer held. The premise for Harry Harrison‘s novel is a what-if scenario. What if the cataclysm that destroyed the dinosaurs never happened and reptiles were the basis for the dominant sentient species on earth? Harrison doesn’t eliminate humans (or something that…
  4. The Years of Rice and Salt / Kim Stanley Robinson

    Cover of The Years of Rice and Salt
    This review appeared on my previous blog, Rat’s Reading. I read Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt last year on my vacation in India. I really didn’t like this book, though I pushed myself to read the whole thing. The premise of this alternate history is that the black plague decimated Europe, leaving it nearly empty. As a result, China and the Muslim kingdoms dominate the world, with some influence from India. It’s really a series of shorter stories set along various times in history tied together by the idea that the characters are re-incarnating into the characters in subsequent stories. These souls are fighting a battle…