Fans of alternate history are in for a treat! One Lamp is a collection of some of the best speculative short stories from the pages of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. From Golden Age classics like "The Men Who Murdered Mohammed" by Alfred Bester and "Two Dooms" by C. M. Kornbluth to stories from modern-day masters like Paul Di Filippo and Bradley Denton, this anthology is absolutely superb.
Although the collection is full of big-name authors like Harry Turtledove, Ben Bova, Poul Anderson, and James Morrow, some of the most memorable stories are by relatively unknown writers like Dana Wilde and Charles Coleman Finlay. Wilde's "The Green Moon" chronicles a man living through past history that is actually changing before his eyes, blurring the line between perceptiveness and insanity. Finlay's "We Come Not to Praise Washington," set in the late 18th century, has Aaron Burr pleading the case of the exiled Thomas Jefferson to President Alexander Hamilton.
Also included are stories built around the following premises: an America ruled by Nazi Germany; a post–global warming society in which infertile infants are killed by priests in the name of God; a surreal meeting between Philip K. Dick and Richard Nixon; a time traveler's attempt to avert the sinking of the Lusitania; and a Roma Eterna story by Robert Silverberg. In the introduction, editor Gordon Van Gelder describes the alternate-history genre as "the purest form of 'what if' speculation."
This collection contains 14 literary gems of unadulterated "what if." In a word: brilliant. Paul Goat Allen