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ATLANTIS AND OTHER PLACES
Genre: Fantasy, Anthology
This collection of stories ranges from the sublime “News From the Front” and “Audubon in Atlantis” to the ridiculous “Someone Is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy,” which features a space cadet hamster and a lot of really bad puns. The silly bits are meant to be fun — and they are — but their weightlessness is made conspicuous by their nestling in with far more serious pieces with genuine points to make about conservationism, the effect of the media on politics, fanaticism and human nature. And in one instance (“The Genetics Lecture”), Turtledove disappointingly sacrifices what could have been a fascinating exploration of the randomness of human genetic superiority in favor of demonstrating how clever he can be.
A collection of 12 alternate histories, including two stories set in his Atlantis Universe: “Audubon in Atlantis” and “The Scarlet Band.” Also included are the pastiche “The Catcher in the Rhine,” the Peloponnesian War novella “The Daimon,” and “News From the Front,” a World War II story told through newspaper articles and editorials. (ROC, Dec., 448 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed By: Donna M. Carter
Published: December 2010