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Saturday
Apr242004

Conqueror Fantastic Is Out

Conqueror Fantastic, an original anthology of historical fantasy edited by Pamela Sargent, is now available from booksellers everywhere. Here is a review of the anthology from the Barnes & Noble Web site:

Conqueror Fantastic is a collection of 13 original short stories speculating about what might have transpired if the hands of fate had touched certain famous -- and infamous -- leaders differently. Featured authors include Paul Di Filippo, George Zebrowski, Michelle West, Jack Dann, and Kij Johnson.


Noteworthy selections include "Twilight of Idols" by Stephen Dedman, a horrific tale in which Adolf Hitler's life comes to a gruesomely fitting end, and Pamela Sargent's "Spirit Brother," an intensely intimate story about the relationship between Genghis Khan and Jamukha, a beloved boyhood friend who later turned into Khan's deadly enemy. After Jamukha's death, his spirit returns to the steppes, where he communicates with his estranged friend through the body of Khan's conspiring shaman.


"Intensified Transmogrification," Barry N. Malzberg and Bill Pronzini's first collaboration in more than 20 years, depicts President Lyndon B. Johnson as an alcoholic madman obsessed not only with the Vietnam War but also with the military machinations of Red China. As his mania grows, so does his certainty that China is going to nuke the States. With his finger on the button that will begin a nuclear war, something must be done to stop him: "not assassination -- euthanasia."


George Orwell wrote: "He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past." Included in this anthology are a baker's dozen of diverse stories -- some alternate history, some fantastical, some horror -- that support Orwell's viewpoint. Conqueror Fantastic is highly recommended for fans of alternate history as well as speculative fiction.

--Paul Goat Allen

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