Innovative author Czerneda brings together major authors and rising stars of the genre for a wide range of tales, with varying levels of success. Alternative history fans will find this work a diverting afternoon's read that provides intriguing food for thought.
Reviewed at length below are some of the reviewer's favorites:
These fifteen original tales of "what if" explore the futures that might have been if scientific progress had taken different pathways.These stories all diverge from perfectly logical and possible departure points in history, as the authors themselves explain.
In Czerneda's Out of China hypothesizes a world without the devastating effects of the Black Death, when a scholar in 1301 A.D. discovers how the plague is spread and prevents it from leaving China.
Silent Leonardo by Kage Baker wonders what might have happened if da Vinci's inventive sketches had been brought to life by a wily partner and the horrors of modern warfare spread across Renaissance Europe.
Mike Resnick theorizes about the effects of cold fusion on our oil-dependent world
Isaac Szpindel takes a guess at where we might be if Galileo kept his ideas to himself.
Other reviewer favorites include the invention of printing by the ancient Sumerians, to the cloning of Albert Einstein, a world where dogs were never domesticated, and an illegal underground Internet.
(Aug., 320 pp., $6.99)