The Way It Wasn'T

The Way It Wasn'T

by Martin Harry Greenberg
     
 

The Way It Wasn't takes an amusing, intellectually stimulating excursion into speculative history. Here are thirteen memorable stories by renowned science fiction writers, telling what things might be like if... Elvis Presley weren't the "King" but the President of the United States ("Ike at the Mike" by Howard Waldrop)... The Black Death had killed the entire… See more details below

Overview

The Way It Wasn't takes an amusing, intellectually stimulating excursion into speculative history. Here are thirteen memorable stories by renowned science fiction writers, telling what things might be like if... Elvis Presley weren't the "King" but the President of the United States ("Ike at the Mike" by Howard Waldrop)... The Black Death had killed the entire population of Europe in the fourteenth century ("Lion Time in Timbuctoo" by Robert Silverberg)... John F. Kennedy had survived the 1963 shooting in Dallas ("The Winterberry" by Nicholas A. DiChario). Included, too, is fascinating short fiction by Mike Resnick, Susan Shwartz, Larry Niven, Pamela Sargent, Fritz Leiber, Greg Bear, Barry N. Malzberg, Harry Turtledove, Gregory Benford and Kim Stanley Robinson. After reading these stories - some of the most compelling examples of alternate history anywhere - your mind will keep spinning the question "What If...?"

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a parallel timeline, perhaps this collection of alternate-history stories is consistently enthralling. In this one, however, it's a hit-or-miss affair. Some stories show great power and creativity, but just as often the reader is left wondering, "What was the point of that?" Larry Niven's "All the Myriad Ways" is the truly fine story of a private detective faced with a huge increase in senseless violence since alternate timelines were discovered. The conclusion leaves the reader breathless, more than a tad uneasy about the whole idea of alternate history. "Suppose They Gave a Peace" by Susan Shwartz spins a disturbing tale about what would have happened in Vietnam if George McGovern had defeated Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election. She argues convincingly that, by 1972, no one could have averted a tragic ending to the Vietnam War. The story is engrossing, sad, powerful and, more impressively, Shwartz avoids letting the story cave in to despair. And "The Lucky Strike" by Kim Stanley Robinson asks the provocative question of what would have happened if the crew responsible for dropping the first atomic weapon had deliberately missed the target. This story forces the reader to confront the conventional wisdom that the bombing of Hiroshima was necessary. It's unfortunate that all the stories in this anthology couldn't reach this high level. Overall, however, the stories that work make this a worthwhile purchase for any reader who likes to ask, "What if...?" (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Alternate-world yarns exert an endless fascination: for one, because other worlds are scientifically respectable (modern particle theory admits the possibility); for another, the godlike power offered by historical what-ifs (for instance, what-if the Nazis had won WW II? Or what-if Christ had never been born? Examples of both are to be found here). Anyhow, these 14 tales, 1968-92, include several famous entries. Fritz Leiber's waggish "Catch That Zeppelin!" features Hitler as an airship salesman. In Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Lucky Strike," the atom-bombing of Japan doesn't go exactly as planned. And Eisenhower plays clarinet with Louis Armstrong while Senator E.A. Presley applauds, in Howard Waldrop's amusing "Ike at the Mike."

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780806517698
Publisher:
Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
04/19/1996
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >