Alternative history: Strangelove, 1962

Strangelove, 1962mrblo

1945: During post-war efforts to bring scientists who worked for the Third Reich into the United States, the US War Department obeys President Truman’s order to exclude scientists who supported Nazism, rather than rewriting candidates’ files to conceal the evidence. The United States and the Soviet Union divide the German scientists with more equality. In particular, the Soviet Union acquires Arthur Rudolf, former operations director of the Mittelwerk factory at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps.

 

January, 1946: Rather than anticipating a post-war crisis of overproduction in the USA, Soviet economists predict that the United States will try to avoid the crisis by maintaining its wartime military industry and trying to open the new Europe and Asia to free trade. Based on their advice, Stalin now views the United States as the chief threat to the Soviet Union, instead of the reemergence of Germany or Japan. Continue reading

Alternative History: Mojave, 1946

WHAT IFS? OF AMERICAN HISTORYwhatif

Cowley, Robert (Berkley, September 2004, ISBN 9780425198186)

My contribution to the genre:

Mojave, 1946

1050: Fifty years after Leif Ericsson’s discovery of North America, Norse colonists build a permanent settlement on the island of Newfoundland. Continue reading

The Scandinavian Wit

KILLING HOPEkill

Blum, William (Common Courage Press, updated edition October 2008, ISBN 978-1567512526)

In 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” [1]

Many thought the prize undeserved – on the grounds that Obama appeared too much the enemy of peace. Had he won it, they asked, for prosecuting a war in Afghanistan? Or instead for his proposal to expand the United States military? Or for his plan to send “at least” two additional American combat brigades to Afghanistan? Continue reading

Impressive

 

the_godfatherTHE GODFATHER

Puzo, Mario (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1969, ISBN 9780399103421)

Visiting Matt and Darryl meant sneaking through the lair of a cranky, nocturnal gremlin that had lodged itself in their living room. Tread too hard on a loose floorboard and it would jolt awake. In almost one breath it would shout obscenities, accuse you of freaking it out, demand to know your name and ask to borrow twenty dollars until Sunday.

The gremlin had a fringe of long hair around the edges of a bald scalp. In front, a silvered chain linked a piercing through its nose to a piercing in its right ear. Out in public it affected a knobbed staff and a billowing khaki duffle coat. In Darryl’s living room it wore a bathrobe (supplemented on occasion by something it’d “found spare” in Darryl’s clothes hamper). Continue reading

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      The way other people see us isn’t necessarily the way we see ourselves. This was my first impression of Oliver Sacks, eminent neurologist, when seeing the cover of his memoir On The Move. Rather than providing a photo of himself as a distinguished older gentleman at the end of a … Continue reading