Friday, January 14, 2005

A Really Long Weekend

I was away for four days, and it's taken me another three to get over it.

While out of the house, I tried reading some alternative history. I have a relative who's very fond of Harry Turtledove, who is a big name in that subgenre of sci-fi. It took me years, but I finally got around to trying some alternative history short stories this past weekend, not being willing to commit to a whole novel.

Now alternative history is fiction that's set in a world in which history isn't what we know it to be. I don't mean that someone from the present went back in time and changed history like in that famous Ray Bradbury short story about the guy who went back in time and stepped on a butterfly. I mean things are just different and none of the characters are aware of it. For instance, I'm always hearing about alternative history stories that involve John F. Kennedy living to finish his term as president.

So I'm reading these stories, and I'm really not getting what's the big deal. So Elvis Presley was a U.S. senator instead of a hot singer? I found it so hard to care that I didn't even finish that story.

Now what, you may ask, does this have to do with kidlit, which is the subject of this blog? Well, I thought there was a connection, but I was wrong. One of the stories I did finish reading was written by Pamela Sargent who I confused with Pamela Service. And Pamela Service wrote Stinker From Space and Under Alien Stars, which I particularly liked because the mom had an alien boyfriend.

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