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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Curious Notions by Harry Turtledove

Curious Notions by Harry Turtledove. New York: Tor, 2004. ISBN: 0-765-30694-8

This is the second novel in Turtledove's “Crosstime Traffic” series. The first, Gunpowder Empire, I blogged a couple of months ago. This story is even better than the last one, although the basic premise of the plot seems a little more far fetched to me. This time we have a world in which the German Kaiser won World War I, WWII, invented the atomic bomb first, and dominates the world, including the US.

Why anyone would want to traffic with a dangerous society like this one is beyond me, and the rationale that they need to keep tabs on these folks, and make sure that the Kaiser's Germans don't learn the secret of traveling across realities doesn't really make sense. And even if it did, it wouldn't justify setting up a storefront and selling stereos and other devices that are better than anything else normally available there, a ploy that is bound to raise suspicion, and in fact, does just that. Instead, common sense suggests you'd expect them to just send some agents, and try to infiltrate the government or something.

But, the Turtledove's story is built around these premises, and it is a good one, and carries you along. Good reading, and certainly recommended for all Turtledove alternate history fans.

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