Written on: 29/02/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Edited by Pamela Sargent
Daw, Apr 2004, $6.99, 320 pp.
This is a terrific alternate history anthology that centers on taking a pivotal moment in the life of an influential individual from the past and showing his or her (yes females can prove critical too especially outside the west) fragility of the time stream with a minor twist or two. The key players are a wide grouping from Philip of Macedonia to John Wayne, LBJ and Mao and many major points in between. The stories are well written, but what grips the audience is how easily history could have been different if some mostly minor event (and some critical real happenings) never occurred as we know it. This what if drill works cleverly and brilliantly as the audience will ponder similar happenings involving diverse crowd from JFK to Hitler to Alexander. Think if Philip failed to unite Macedonia where does that leave Alexander or if Hitler had no air war over England how would he plan his invasion? The key to this collection written by some of the leading science fiction lights of today is that the tales take the audience down one speculative path but leaves readers wondering about other possibilities. Perhaps editor Pamela Sargent should consider a contest for many readers will have their own ideas for Conqueror Fantastic II after this fantastic compilation.
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