Worlds That Weren't

Worlds That Weren't

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Four award-winning authors.

Four amazing alternate histories.

In this collection of novellas, four masters of alternate history turn back time, twisting the facts with four excursions into what might have been.

Bestselling author Harry Turtledove imagines a different fate for Socrates (now Sokrates); S. M. Stirling envisions life "in the wilds of a re-barbarized Texas" after asteroids strike the earth in the 19th century; Sidewise winner Mary Gentle contributes a story of love (and pigs) set in the mid-15th century, as European mercenaries prepare to sack a Gothic Carthage; and Nebula nominee Walter Jon Williams pens a tale of Nietzsche intervening in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101212639
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/05/2005
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 480,953
File size: 615 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Harry Turtledove—the New York Times bestselling author of numerous alternate history novels, including The Guns of the South, How Few Remain, and the Worldwar quartet—has a Ph.D. in Byzantine history. Nominated numerous times for the Nebula Award, he has won the Hugo, Sidewise, and John Esthen Cook Awards. He lives with his wife and children in California.

S. M. Stirling is the author of numerous novels, both on his own and in collaboration. A former lawyer and an amateur historian, he lives in the Southwest with his wife, Jan.

Table of Contents

Worlds That Weren'tThe Daimon
Harry Turtledove

Shikari in Galveston
S. M. Stirling

The Logistics of Carthage
Mary Gentle

The Last Ride of German Freddie
Walter Jon Williams

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Worlds That Weren't 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Hill_Ravens More than 1 year ago
Four short stories taking a journey through four historical points in a time and what the possible out comes could have been. The first about historical Greece and what would have happened if Socrates had died before his time. Great development by the Author, even with limited knowledge of the period in time it was set, I was able to follow the story and understand the implications. The second story was centered around a world change which plunged Northern Hemisphere into the dark ages, letting the Southern Countries become dominant and successful. A little too graphic in some of the death scenes for my taste, but an overall delight on how precarious our successful countries hold on to their positions. The Third story dives into the battle of Carthage and how the Middle East and Asia could have easily tipped in another direction. This story centered more on personal beliefs of people from that era and how these beliefs helped shape some of our current religions, superstitions and politics. I know very little of this battle and the people from that time frame, but the pieces linking us through history rang true and was a little unsettling. The last story was the best, or maybe I am partial because it deals with a story I love, Tombstone and the Earp's. This story takes the classic Tombstone setting and slightly changes the decisions a few of the well known characters take. Josie ends up with another man, Wyatt is killed instead of Morgan and the Cowboys find their demise in an un-traditional way. Very good read of this history and how something as minor as a girl changing her lovers takes the town down a new road. Yeah! I have found a new genre of books to read and I didn't think that was possible. For anyone interested in history and a touch of science fiction, alternate history is a great read. I look forward to reading more books from this genre and the alternate worlds it will create in my imagination.
rivkat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Four alternate history novellas. The first has Socrates participating in a successful campaign against Sparta. The second posits a near-extinction event in the nineteenth century, leading to a renewed British Empire run out of India and an America returned mostly to wilderness, full of cannibals and Americans who speak in painful dialect. The third features a female mercenary in a fifteenth-century Turkish Empire fighting with/for the followers of the Green Christ and having visions of the future. And the fourth sends Nietzsche to America where he participates in the shootout at the OK Corrall. Frankly, I didn¿t see the point, though maybe it was all just residual irritation from the dialect.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First story suffered from the usual problem - I didn't know what had actually happened, so couldn't see the differences. I didn't know Plato's name was Aristocles, either - still don't know if he was the same person or just a namesake. It sounds like an interesting world, but it's hard to tell how things would work out - less science and more war in the short term, in the long term who knows? Especially the question of Rome. The second story - nice to see Eric and Ranjit again. I don't know if the setting - the fork point - would have been understandable if I hadn't read Peshawar Lancers. I wonder if the plan really was all one man, or if the Czar was backing it - but apparently they were as disorganized as Eric had hoped. And that last comment may come back to bite the Empire in a few generations.... Third - this one definitely needs the book to explain it. Given her afterword, the characters are mentioned or even important in the book, so if I had read Ash it would be interesting to see how things began. As it is, it's a series of rather nasty and futile vignettes, including some from the future (and apparently her future is similar enough that the equivalent of UN soldiers wear blue helmets...). A clear, vivid evocation of a universe I have no interest in visiting again. And the last - again, a period I know little about, populated (according to the author) by various unpleasant people with assorted wild ambitions. Freddie doesn't understand what people see in Wyatt, but I don't understand what drives Freddie - what he says makes very little sense and what he does even less. And again - a sordid, nasty little story. The Peshawar Lancers story is mildly interesting, the other three are completely uninteresting. Overall - ugh. Well-written, vivid, and highly unpleasant, with no payoff to make it worth my while to wade through the presented muck.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very mixed bag of stories where people take a different path and change the history of the world. Where Sokrates takes part in the battle against the Spartans (in The Daimon by Harry Turtledove); where society is completely different when western Europe isn't a major power (Shikari in Galveston by S M Stirling); Mary Gentle re-visits her Carthage stories and gives some background to her big series and Walter John Williams has Nietzsche in the west.The stories are interesting but in some ways I lost some of my interest at some stages in some of them, still it's a good read.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
¿The Daimon¿ by Harry Turtledove. Though his admirers inform Sokrates that he has done his public duty and need not accompany the Army in the Sicily campaign, he insists on joining General Alkibiades. War with Sparta is inevitable and with Sokrates to guide him, General Alkibiades might be able to lead Athens to the victory.

¿Shikari in Galveston¿ by S.M. Stirling. Several years have passed since the comet changed the earth. Now Peshawar Lance Eric King is hunting in barbaric Texas where one mistake could lead to him being on the menu.

¿The Logistics of Carthage¿ by Mary Gentle. A few years have passed since the Turks conquered Constantinople, but now they target the Gothic capital Carthage. Though the present looks bleak, Yolande sees her city-state surviving into the twentieth century and beyond, but how to endure the ashes of the fifteenth century is the question?

¿The Last Ride of German Freddie¿ by Walter Jon Williams. On the eve of the street brawl between the Earps and the Cowboys, Frederich Nietzsche arrives in Tombstone. He quickly debates philosophical issues with the participants of the upcoming gunfight.

All four of these short novellas are well written hooking readers as each tale feels genuine due to the real figures fitting smoothly in their substitute environs. The award winning authors provide alternate historical readers with quite a quartet in WORLDS THAT WEREN¿T to include continuity from previous books (at least on the parts of Stirling and Gentle). This is a strong anthology that takes readers on a brilliant what if trek.

Harriet Klausner