Monthly Archives: May 2015

World War 1 Fantastic – Novels

Maybe it’s because the second one was longer and much bloodier. Maybe it’s because American participation came just as the war was ending. Or maybe because it’s hard to pinpoint a “good side” and a “bad side” – i.e. no Nazis. Or the science of the era was too antiquated from a contemporary standpoint. Whatever the reasons, The War to End All Wars, today known as World War 1, gets overlooked by many speculative fiction authors in favor of its sequel.

But the fantastic stories do exist and my goal is to alert my readers to these stories that take a look at the Great War from a sci-fi perspective. Let’s start with novels (I’ll try my best not to post any spoilers):

Note:  Most summaries come from Amazon.

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Another note: Aren’t these jaw-dropping Russian covers to Behemoth and Goliath simply divine?! 

The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan (2009), Behemoth (2010), Goliath (2011)

Steampunk/Biopunk

In this striking futuristic rendition of an alternate past where machines are pitted against genetically modified beasts, Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides in the First World War. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, and together they embark on an around-the-world adventure….One that will change both their lives forever.

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The Great War Trilogy by Harry Turtledov

American Front (1998), Walk in Hell (1999), Breakthroughs (2000)

Alternate History

When the Great War engulfed Europe in 1914, the United States and the Confederate States of America, bitter enemies for five decades, entered the fray on opposite sides: the United States aligned with the newly strong Germany, while the Confederacy joined forces with their longtime allies, Britain and France.

As President Theodore Roosevelt rallied the diverse ethnic groups of the northern states–Irish and Italians, Mormons and Jews–Confederate President Woodrow Wilson struggled to hold together a Confederacy still beset by ignorance, prejudice, and class divisions. And as the war thundered on, southern blacks, oppressed for generations, found themselves fatefully drawn into a climactic confrontation …

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The Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman

(1995)

Fantasy/Horror/Alternate History

Graf von Dracula commands the German army, Manfred von Richthofen is the best vampire pilot of the skies and Edgar Allen Poe writes his biography. ‘Nuff said.

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1920: America’s Great War by Robert Conroy

(2013)

Alternate History

Imperial Germany has become the most powerful nation in the world.  In 1914, she had crushed England, France, and Russia in a war that was short but entirely devastating.

By 1920, Kaiser Wilhelm II is looking for new lands to devour.  The United States is fast becoming an economic super-power and the only nation that can conceivably threaten Germany.  The U.S. is militarily inept, however, and is led by a sick and delusional president who wanted to avoid war at any price.  Thus, Germany is able to ship a huge army to Mexico to support a puppet government.

Her real goal: the invasion and permanent conquest of California and Texas.

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The Warlord of the Air by Michael Moorcock

(1971)

What would the world have been like if World War 1 never happened? Captain Oswald Bastable, a man living in 1902, is flung into an alternate future, to find out.

It is 1973, and the stately airships of the Great Powers hold benign sway over a peaceful world. The balance of power is maintained by the British Empire – a most equitable and just Empire, ruled by the beloved King Edward VIII. A new world order, with peace and prosperity for all under the law. Yet, moved by the politics of envy and perverse utopianism, not all of the Empire’s citizens support the marvelous equilibrium…

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The Great Undead War

Book 1: By The Blood of Heroes (2012), Book 2: On Her Majesty’s Behalf (2014)

Steampunk/Alternate History/Horror

At the tail end of 1917, the Germans introduced a new type of gas to the battlefield, T-Leiche, or “corpse gas,” and changed the face of the war by resurrecting the bodies of the dead, giving the enemy an almost unlimited source of fresh troops. Among the infested was The Red Baron himself (first a vampire Red Baron and now a zombie Red Baron? The man can’t get a break.)

It’s up to a group of Allied soldiers to brave the zombie – infested battlefield to save Britain from an uncertain fate.

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Fate of the Nations: Einstein Must Die!

(2013)

1916 AD – Impending war with England has given Nikola Tesla the chance to build his dream: a weapon to end all wars. The American steam-powered Beowulf tank is larger than a house, and carries enough firepower to face an army. Beowulf also has a mechanical brain, embedded with the consciousness of Colonel Browning, America’s best military strategist.

But in England, King George has put Albert Einstein to work for his own war effort: zeppelins capable of reaching the former colony, and new, radiological bombs to remind them of the price of disloyalty.

So that’s my list so far. Anything I missed? What sf/fantasy/horror novels have you read that take place during World War 1? Leave a comment.

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30 (Worm)Signs That Prove You’re Obsessed With “Dune”

dune

1. Every time you hear about a newly discovered planet, you demand NASA to name it Arrakis.

2. You wanted to major in bioengineering so that you could secretly create a sandworm and set it free in the Sahara Desert.

3. You exclaim “kull wahad!” (“I am profoundly stirred”) every time you’re surprised.

4. You claim “Zensunni” or “Bene Gesseret” as your religion of choice.

5. Your political party is House Atreides.

6. Whenever you point to a picture of a kangaroo rat, you say, “Muad’Dib”.

7. You think 1965 was the best year in the history of the world.

8. You think 1986 was the worst year in the history of the world.

9. You add cinnamon spice to everything you drink. It’s the closest you’ll get to mélange.

10. You request that your eyes (not just the iris – ALL of your eye) be dyed blue at the beauty parlor.

11. Whenever you ride the train, you pretend the engineer is a guild navigator.

12. You want a copy of the Orange Catholic Bible.

13. If you ever have twins, you’ll name them Leto and Ghanima.

14. You recite the Litany Against Fear every time you give a speech.

15. You prefer to wear a stillsuit to the beach.

16. You shun computers because you’re training to become a mentat.

17. You still resent your high school history class for never discussing The Butlerian Jihad.

18. You use “the voice” whenever you want your children to obey you.

19. You make all your dates take the Gom Jabbar test.

20. When flying, you prefer to travel by ornithopter.

21. In your will, you want all your money to go to the Herbert estate when you die.

22. You constantly send copies of your script for a Dune movie to every studio you can think of. And you won’t stop until they send you an acceptance letter.

23. You’re always walking without rhythm.

24. You shout “kanly!” every time you have a disagreement.

25. You forged your own crysknife in shop class.

26. You demand everyone in your book club read all the Dune books – including the ones by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. That’s right. All 15 of them.

27. Sting has issued a restraining order against you.

28. You play matchmaker to everyone you know in the hope that they will produce a Kwisatz Haderach.

29. You perform prana-bindu every morning after you get out of bed.

30. Your doorbell plays the Main Theme from the 1984 movie.

 

 

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Greetings Earthlings!

I am The Lady From Planet X. I made this blog to express my love for science fiction and because I was tired of the same narrow-minded views many professional “geek” blogs expressed. In this blog, I will discuss SF (and sometimes fantasy) books, film, tv shows, comics and even music. You may not agree with some of my views. That’s OK. It’d be boring if we all agreed on the same things. But be civil about it in the comments. Rudeness is not OK on Planet X.

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