Alternate history books can be pretty interesting, but I'm finding the Emberverse books (by Stirling) very irksome. I enjoyed the Island on the Sea of Time books. The technological aspect was pretty interesting in terms of adapting to not having the infrastructure and resources of a modern civilization. I've enjoyed other Alternate History books as well like Guns of the South (a favorite). I think what really annoys me about the Emberverse is how it seems there's this constant attack on modern civilization. It starts out fairly tame, but by the third books in the first trilogy people are fairly often commenting on how life is better after the Change and even some thoughts how it was a good thing. Rudi in particular is problematic for me since he is constantly thinking such thoughts. Stuff like how our history is boring and uninteresting (when I think actually it would seem fantastic and magical), and even has thoughts about how more modern buildings should just be torn down (and of course he hates any learnings like math). There's this crazy theme going on about how life is better which is then juxtaposed with the fact it ISN'T better. I believe Signe or Havel even think about how they don't remember the last time they didn't have to worry about their life being in danger. I decided to grab some spoilers about how the series goes and talked to my brother about it a bit, and it seems like this doesn't stop. Half the point of the books seem to be that we're going to kill ourselves or the like (though one future possibility seems like we might just transcend our humanity, which is different). The ASBs hence had a crazy plan to destroy civilization so we can learn to live better... how does that even make sense? When you examine cultures that actually lived at roughly medieval age technology for hundreds and hundreds of years (like China and Japan) you don't see any great ethical advances. In fact ethical improvements go hand-in-hand with advancing technology, generally speaking, since better tech lets us (as a society) behave better. For instance, if we developed non-lethal weapons that worked like guns, then the police would basically never kill anyone since that could be avoided. Of course, the books kind of mock this by having characters deride safety and similar concerns of the pre-change world -- which is a bit ironic perhaps, since it was life being so safe in general that allows us to worry about the little things (again, generally speaking). The whole series seems to be a giant (ham-fisted) attack on modern civilization and one of the defining characteristics of humanity; our ability to increase our understandings of the world. So, I don't think I'll read anymore after this third book...the series just kind of pisses me off to no end. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. I had hoped at first it might develop along steam-punk lines or at least look at the things that could be done with pressurized air if you were just limited to that. It would be very interesting to read some books that went over that sort of alternate history in accurate detail. Any recommendations on what books are good at that? PS/Edit: This is my first post here. So...err...hi!