Great Alt History Anthology
Tales From Alternate Earths 2: Ten new broadcasts from parallel dimensions
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tales from Alternate Earths 2 is a collection of 11 short stories that each look at how small changes in history, or slightly different realities, might have changed or reshaped our world. Within this collection you will find tales that range from a booming Soviet space program that rivals that of the US (Andy and Tina, by Gideon Marcus), to a look at how the US space program might have turned out had the conspiracy theories about the moon landings been correct (1969: A Space Oddity, by Jessica Holmes). There are tales that cause you to flip your reality and consider how equally damaging alternate paths could have been (The Emperor of the North, by Rob Edwards), as well as ones that just make you laugh and enjoy the imaginative ride (The Fairy Courts, by Jeff Provine).
Overall I greatly enjoyed all of the wonderful tales presented in this volume. Any one of them would make a fan of alternate history stand up and cheer. But of course, I do have a few favorites. The Emperor of the North by Rob Edwards is a wonderful dance through the looking-glass to see a world that has been turned into a new ice age because of global cooling. The reason for this is entirely plausible and is enough to make one pause and consider our own actions as a species and to realize that even something that we consider to be benign, and necessary to save our planet now, could have been the cause of a similar environmental catastrophe. Pillars of the Past, by Brent A. Harris is another wonderful tale that looks at the consequences of our actions and how zealotry and hatred can lead to dire consequences. As a good alternate history will do, it holds up a mirror to our own world that allows us to see an alternate reflection of what could have been, while pointing out the dangers and folly of our own world. Lueger's Wager, by Bonnie Milani is another powerful story, and one that tackles a subject often bandied about among writers and readers of alternate history - what if you could have stopped Hitler before he came to power and caused so much evil and death? Bonnie tackles this subject eloquently with a story that takes real-world events and history and tweaks them just enough to be believable.
While those are my favorites, I consider all of the stories within Tales From Alternate Earths 2 to be a great collection. I did come across some minor typos and edits that were needed, but they were few and far-between and do not distract from the wonderful tales presented in this volume. I highly recommend this anthology to anybody who loves stories of alternate history, or just a really good yarn.