The work week begins. I quickly slip into my business suit and head back into the office to save a few innocent people. But while I try to fool myself into being excited about the grind, deep down, I’m not, so I’m going to escape dreary reality by reading some great books. Without any further ado, here is one of the novels I will be giving a try this week.
In his acclaimed novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove has scrutinized the twisted soul of the twentieth century, from the forces that set World War I in motion to the rise of fascism in the decades that followed. Now, this masterly storyteller turns his eyes to the aftermath of World War II and asks: In an era of nuclear posturing, what if the Cold War had suddenly turned hot?
Bombs Away begins with President Harry Truman in desperate consultation with General Douglas MacArthur, whose control of the ground war in Korea has slipped disastrously away. MacArthur recognizes a stark reality: The U.S. military has been cut to the bone after victory over the Nazis—while China and the USSR have built up their forces. The only way to stop the Communist surge into the Korean Peninsula and save thousands of American lives is through a nuclear attack. MacArthur advocates a strike on Chinese targets in Manchuria. In actual history, Truman rejected his general’s advice; here, he does not. The miscalculation turns into a disaster when Truman fails to foresee Russia’s reaction.
Almost instantly, Stalin strikes U.S. allies in Europe and Great Britain. As the shock waves settle, the two superpowers are caught in a horrifying face-off. Will they attack each other directly with nuclear weapons? What countries will be caught in between?
The fateful global drama plays out through the experiences of ordinary people—from a British barmaid to a Ukrainian war veteran to a desperate American soldier alone behind enemy lines in Korea. For them, as well as Truman, Mao, and Stalin, the whole world has become a battleground. Strategic strikes lead to massive movements of ground troops. Cities are destroyed, economies ravaged. And on a planet under siege, the sounds and sights of nuclear bombs become a grim harbinger of a new reality: the struggle to survive man’s greatest madness.
About the Author:
Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart, The Guns of the South, and How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the War That Came Early novels: Hitler’s War, West and East, The Big Switch, Coup d’Etat, Two Fronts, and Last Orders; the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters—Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca—and one granddaughter, Cordelia Turtledove Katayanagi.
Praise for Bombs Away
“[Harry] Turtledove is an undisputed centerpiece of the alternate-history genre, and now, to his already grand display, he’s adding the ambitious tale of a WWIII that could have happened. . . . Turtledove’s thorough research and grounded imagination work to create a frighteningly realistic past where world leaders act out of desperation and fatalism, and a large cast of common folk suffer the consequences. . . . The vicarious sense of eschatological dread is always powerful and personal.”—Booklist
“Alternate-world warrior extraordinaire Turtledove delivers the opening barrage of a new speculative conflict: What if President Harry Truman had ordered nuclear weapons to be used in the Korean War? . . . Those familiar with Turtledove’s distinctive method, however, know the focus will remain on ordinary characters and how they cope with their particular circumstances. . . . Definitely worth a try for Turtledove fans and armchair warriors in general.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Harry Turtledove
“Turtledove is the standard-bearer for alternate history.”—USA Today