Sunday, May 27, 2007

Alternate Presidents

Alternate Presidents

Mike Resnick, editor

Date: February, 1992   —   Book

product page


Fiction, Science Fiction

This is a book of limited utility. It is based on the What If? concept, wher one wonders what would happen if a different person were to win a presidential race. Some of the writers use this to great effect, spinning tales that are both plausible and interesting, while some work on the one-shot joke level. (One author annoyed me by the cutesy trick of having history as we know it published as a What If? in his alternate universe, and derided as unlikely by the narrator.) The best highlights were centered far away from the election in question, dealing instead with seemingly incidental occurrences, such as the first woman President (one woman ran in the nineteenth century) turning up with all of her supporters— to vote, because women still did not have the vote. And praising another woman for voting for her husband instead, because the event, and not the outcome, was the important thing.

I much prefer the What If? 2 book written by historians, as the solid research foundation makes their stories both more plausible and intriguing. But this book is worth a glance-through, if only at used prices.

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