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More books - Historical/Alternate History Fiction.

Through a recommendation from a site other than this one I picked up this book for .99 on Amazon by a (I assume) new author. Reviews were good, started reading it today.

It's futuristic but a future where past technology is all they have. Supposedly a good look into sailing history wrapped around a fun story of a post apocalyptic world.

Westerly GalesCenturies after a "perfect storm" of nuclear war, plague, famine, and disorder has caused the greatest population crash in the history of the human species, a tiny group of refugees on a sub-Antarctic island maintains what they believe to be the last vestige of technological civilization. The Kerguelenians, as they begin to think of themselves, manage to survive, grow, and colonize other islands in the Southern and Indian Oceans -- until they are attacked by a mysterious seafaring group they call "the pirates". Who are the pirates, why are they hostile to the Kerguelinians -- and, most importantly, how can the peaceful islanders defend themselves against a force apparently determined to eradicate them? Kerguelenian master mariner Sam Bowditch takes on the enormous task of building a Navy from scratch to preserve the fledgling maritime civilization from utter destruction. First volume of a planned series.

Aubrey-Maturin I've read. What's the general no-spoilers version of Belisarius? I

That one purports to be history, I think. Haven't read it to see whether it is accurate or not.

AH: Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman's Union is a very fun read, a combo of hard-boiled detective fiction and alternate history, with (as the title implies) Jewish themes. I'm not Jewish, but I really enjoyed it.

Historical novels: Someone above already mentioned Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, which is great Napoleonic Royal Navy fiction. C.S. Forester's Hornblower series, in the same vein, is, if anything, even better. I endorse both.

Just finished reading The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell, set in Anglo-Saxon England. Very good read, and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series.

I very much recommend Walter Scott's work (especially Ivanhoe and the Waverly series), and Alexandre Dumas's work (especially the Three Musketeers series, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Queen Margot. 19th century stuff, so the writing style isn't as accessible as contemporary stuff, but these are classics that will appeal to anyone who likes interesting plots and good characters in historical settings.

Basic gist of Belisarius series (which I liked a good deal BTW).

Evil thing from the future takes over one of the Indian empires to warp the course of history. Good machine from the future enlists Belisarius to stop it. Byzantine led alliance vs massive evil empire, both with early gunpowder weapons. A fair dose of intrigue to go along with the battlefield action.

Michael Stackpole's At the Queen's Command is the start of a series called Crown Colonies. It's what would happen if the British had flightless dragons and the Native Americans were sorcerers... during the Revolutionary War.

So far, it's amusing and entertaining. I've only dug about 150 pages in, so there's potential for greatness or borkness. But it's Alt History with Fantasy.

I absolutely love Historical Fiction, it livens things up for me between the non-fiction stuff I read (for fun, as sad as it sounds).

As mentioned earlier, the Aubrey-Maturin series is absolutely excellent, and, in my opinion, better than the Hornblower one. (Though this is something that will be debated until the end of time.)

Cornwell's Saxon tales are good, as was also mentioned, though I found much of his earlier work to be... well... good fodder. They made for quick, enjoyable reads, but with unchanging characters and a very defined plot cycle. (Small skirmish, evil rising, random woman he'll fall in love with, large battle, evil vanquished, wins woman.)

A few of my favorite pieces are done by the Shaara father and son set (Michael and Jeff), you may recognize "The Killer Angels" but I've yet to be disappointed by anything by his son, notably, "Rise to Rebellion" and "The Glorious Cause" (the build up to the Rev. War, and the war itself, told in a style similar to "The Killer Angels")

If you're in the mood for more nautical fiction, the Kydd series is enjoyable, to the point where I'm looking forward to the next book, and, if you like Sci-Fi but want more of a historic approach to it, the Honor Harrington series is inspired by the Horatio Hornblower series, and that was (and is) quite good as well, though I've not caught up with whatever's come out over the last three or four years.

As for good, solid, alternative history? Turtledove had a decent set that took it from Lee's Antietam orders not being lost and took it up through the closing of WW2 (with a the CSA winning the Civil War). I enjoyed it when I first read it some years ago, though never re-visited it, though it didn't involve the AK's appearing through time-travelers, which I was rather grateful for.

Harry Turtledove does a lot of alternative history, including several intertwined series (trilogies and tetrolagies) wherein the Confederacy wins the American Civil War, all of which are awesome. He also has a fantasy version of WW2.

It isn't fiction but is the source for every historical novel written about the Napoleonic Wars: The Recollections of Rifleman Harris. First person account of being a soldier in the Peninsular Campaign. Everyone's telling detail comes from this, from the young soldier who tried to stop a rolling cannonball with his foot (oops!) to passing on "wives" of deceased comrades. An illiterate private dictated the account years later to a military man. Absolutely wonderful.


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