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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Fans of alternate history will undoubtedly enjoy ReVisions, an anthology of 15 never-before-published stories that explore slightly amended scientific discoveries and their effects on civilization. What would happen if the AIDS epidemic had erupted a century earlier? What if humankind looked to the depths of the ocean instead of the stars? What if the Black Death had been averted? Those questions and more are answered within.
Noteworthy stories include "Unwirer," by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, a chilling look at a near-future America where the Motion Picture Association of America won its 1995 bid at the National Information Infrastructure hearings to redesign the Internet and turned it into a centralized, regulated, user-unfriendly nightmare. "Swimming Upstream in the Wells of the Desert," by Mike Resnick and Susan R. Matthews, takes place in a future where cold fusion energy has irrevocably changed the worldwide economy; and "The Resonance of Light," by Geoffrey Landis, speculates about how the Serbian inventor Nicola Tesla could have stopped WWI with an auspicious scientific discovery. Doranna Durgin's "A Call to the Wild" follows a shepherd named Neil, as he tries to do his job in a world where dogs were never domesticated; and "Silent Leonardo," by Kage Baker, takes a look at a 16th-century Europe where Leonardo da Vinci's numerous notes and sketches are developed for military use.
Historic revisionists everywhere will delight in these scientifically and technologically based literary speculations. For readers that frequently ask, "What if?" -- this collection is definitely for you. Paul Goat Allen