An original and comic take on alternative history SF.

THE NECKLACE OF TIME

From the Snapshot series , Vol. 2

An author travels to another dimension to solve a mystery that has plagued him all his life in this sequel.

Simon Royale, a bestselling writer of horror novels, lives in a copy of the world that only contains North America—or, North America as it was on Halloween 2014. His writing is fueled, in part, by the mysterious disappearance of his sister, Cynthia, when he was 7 years old. The guilt he feels over the event is so intense that he is willing to take advantage of the opportunity to investigate a different copy of North America: one made in 1953. The two worlds have continued to develop along different paths, and US-53 (as it’s called) has its own Simon Royale—though he’s a failed, unpublished writer instead of a successful one. What’s more, the sister of US-53 Simon never disappeared. The Simon from US-2014 is going to meet his counterpart from US-53 in neutral territory: a third realm called Mega-Madagascar, which is overrun by German neo-Nazis from an alternative 1939 Europe. Confused? So is Simon US-2014. But as he attempts to solve the mystery of his sister’s disappearance and prevent his doppelgänger from stealing his identity and book sales, Simon US-2014 quickly finds himself in over his head. The SF book is even more convoluted than it sounds, but Cozort (Snapshot: Book 1 of the Snapshot Universe, 2014, etc.) unspools his Möbius strip of a plot with skillful ease. He has a lot of fun with its metafictional premise: Businesswoman Ella Smoot “still thought it was a great idea: Organize self-published writers from US-2014 for a book tour to the relatively untapped US-53 book market. No e-books there. No personal computers to speed up novel writing and create a gigantic, ever-growing glut of aspiring authors.” While not as straightforward as many popular alternative history novels, Cozort’s story explores the idea more fully and imaginatively than most. What’s more, he hinges his narrative on the small, personal problems of individuals rather than world historical events. The sequel is accessible to those who have no previous experience with the author’s Snapshot universe, and it will likely convince them to come back for more.

An original and comic take on alternative history SF.

Pub Date: July 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-07-434380-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

Did you like this book?

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

A WEEK AT THE SHORE

A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more