The Guns of the South (Book Review)

It’s time for yet another exciting post from the God of Nothing, Joey “No Nose” Rubass. Here’s to hoping all three of you dig it, baby.

 

 

Alternate History is a fascinating and often overlooked subgenre of speculative fiction (which also includes horror, sci-fi, and fantasy). Intelligent and fresh, it poses the question “What if?” What if Germany had won the Second World War? What if America never gained its independence? What if?

 

One of the most celebrated writers of Alt-History is unarguably Harry Turtledove. As tireless as he is creative, Turtledove has authored in excess of three dozen novels. His most popular remain his long Confederate States series, which imagines a world in which the South won the American Civil War.

 

Turtledove seems obsessed with the possibility, for aside from the aforementioned series, he also published a standalone novel, The Guns of the South.

 

Set in the year 1864, The Guns of the South open with Confederate General Robert E. Lee being approached by a group of strange men bearing AK47′s. These “repeaters” lead to a handy Confederate victory (there is a stunning scene in which Southern soldiers invade Washington, D.C.). As the novel unfolds, the reader learns that the strange men are in fact racist time travelers bent on keeping blacks enslaved. In the end, though, they are killed and Lee assumes the Confederate presidency, whereupon he beings working to free the slaves.

 

Funny, smart, and riveting, populated with a memorable cast of characters, The Guns of the South is a delightful read.

 

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