quarta-feira, 27 de maio de 2009

The Best Alternate History - Stories of the 20th Century

What if...

Most science-fiction ideas don’t come naturally. Most take a degree of intellectual sophistication that came only with the Industrial Revolution.

It’s hard to write about the effects of technology before there’s much in the way of technology to write about. But alternate history isn’t like that. It’s as natural as those two mournful little
words up there. What if...

What if I’d married Lucy instead of Martha, George instead of Fred? What would my life be like? Would I be richer? Happier? What would our kids have been like, if we’d had kids? What if there hadn’t been that traffic accident that clogged three lanes of the freeway, so I wasn’t late to the interview? How would things have looked if I’d got that job? Or—let’s not think small—what if I won the lottery? How would I live if I had sixty million dollars in the bank?

In our own lives, we endlessly imagine these scenarios. We can’t help it. There’s always the feeling that we’re inside God’s pinball machine, bouncing through life and off bumpers at random, and that we could have ended up elsewhere as easily as where we did.

It’s certainly true for me. If I hadn’t read a particular book— Lest Darkness Fall, by L. Sprague de Camp—when I was about fourteen years old, I wouldn’t have ended up with the degree I have (a doctorate in, God help me, Byzantine history), wouldn’t have written much of what I’ve written (I surely wouldn’t be working on this introduction now), wouldn’t have met the lady I’m married to, wouldn’t have the kids I have. Other than that, it didn’t change my life a bit. If someone else had taken that novel out of the secondhand bookstore where I found it...

Introduction by Harry Turtledove
The Lucky Strike by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Winterberry by Nicholas A. Dichario
Islands in the Sea by Harry Turtledove
Suppose They Gave a Peace by Susan Shwartz
All the Myriad Ways by Larry Niven
Through Road No Whither by Greg Bear
Manassas, Again by Gregory Benford
Dance Band on the Titanic by Jack L. Chalker
Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore
Eutopia by Poul Anderson
The Undiscovered by William Sanders
Mozart in Mirrorshades by Bruce Sterling And Lewis Shiner
The Death of Captain Future by Allen Steele
Moon of Ice by Brad Linaweaver
Permission Acknowledgments
About the Editors

The Best Alternate History - Stories of the 20th Century - Harry Turtledove e Martin H.Greenberg [ Download ]