SM Stirling does alt WW1!

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by modelcitizen, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    I learned he was doing this when I saw Black Chamber and Theater of Spies on our library's new fiction shelf.

    Apparently it's quite new. "Jun 2019" stamped inside the cover.

    Some claptrap comparing it to James Bond in a couple blurbs.

    Stirling did a shout-out to Ian Fleming in Marching Through Georgia. Anyone besides me know of it?

    Anyhow. I am reading it.

    So far...

    a total Teddy-wank.


     
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  2. KeeCoyote Well-Known Member

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    Not hard to do Teddy Wanks.
     
  3. Emote Control Plenty of genius, not enough sense.

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    Oh, those poor teddies!
     
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  4. Catsmate Well-Known Member

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    Started it, couldn't finish. Terrible dreck. Badly written, awful characterisation, utter lack of grasp of technology et cetera.
     
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  5. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    I don't mind a Teddy wank, but I took a look at this one in the local bookstore when I was in Providence (they actually have some AH books down in the token sci-fi section!) and it was wretched. The characters, if you can call them that, have at most one personality trait and they're all stock archetypes, the structural writing is tepid and snooze-inducing, Stirling's penchant for techwanking returns, and the Germans are at best cartoon caricatures who belong on Hogan's Heroes.
     
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  6. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    Oh yeah, and he has Ernst Röhm show up as 1916's Otto Skorzeny equivalent in book 2. His death squad of elite supercommandoes use automatic rifles. He's like a freaking supervillain, which would be great if Stirling weren't trying so hard to burnish his AH cred.

    And there's a nuclear deterrent in the form of "annihilation gas".

    Stevie boy is kinda adorable in his own way.
     
  7. regnak Well-Known Member

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    LOL isn’t that expected from him?
     
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  8. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

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    What? No warrior lesbians? Not even Alice?

    He's lost a step.
     
  9. Catsmate Well-Known Member

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    Well actually...
    I haven't finished the book but IIRR he was setting his protagonist-heroine (Luz O’Malley Aróstegui) with both Ciara and Helmut.
     
  10. Catsmate Well-Known Member

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    He could do better.
     
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  11. ennobee Well-Known Member

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    Still waiting on an alternate history of The Great War by BRUCE Sterling.... That one I'd buy in a minute
     
  12. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    The LGBT rep is nice, but I wish Stevie boy could branch out just a bit. He always writes the same story, with basically the same villains, and he hasn't developed as a writer hardly at all.
     
  13. TripleCitizen Well-Known Member

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    I don’t really think it’s about representation....
     
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  14. Alex1guy First Of His Name

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    Yeah he's writing those girl on girl scenes for other reasons...
     
  15. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    I always figured he threw in a lesbian in every book to polish his progressive cred to avoid people calling out his British Empire nostalgia. I've never really felt comfortable throwing around the "male writers writing about lesbians for the titillation" card.
     
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  16. theg*ddam*hoi2fan Beware of the Leopard

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    My own theory is that he writes sympathetic lesbian characters as a kind of apology for writing Evil Depraved Lesbians in the Draka books - a sort of ‘no, I’m not a homophobe, please like my books’ thing.

    I’d agree, Worf. Men can and do write lesbian characters for non-titillation purposes, as we both prove...
     
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  17. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    I was about to say, yeah, she mentioned her bisexual orientation fairly early--ish and a couple times before the blimp-trip even concludes.
     
  18. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    I was almost embarrassed to admit it, but, yeah. The fucking interplay between Heroine and German Guy was not gathering any momentum of enthusiasm, one could say.


    The Equal Rights Amendment became part of the constitution. America running Mexico as a protectorate. Women's fashion, altered!
     
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  19. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    I enjoyed Conquistador, Peshawar Lancers, the Drakaverse, isot and dies the fire, etc.

    So maybe it is just me.


    Hey SM: laughter of the guns! Come on.
     
  20. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    In that dystopia, Ms. Ingolfson was practically a protagonist. Not a terribly sympathetic one, but yeah.