Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Book Review For: "The Guns Of The South"

A Civil War "What If" scenario.
Having recently read: "The Guns Of The South," by Harry Turtledove, I figured that I might recommend it to my own readership as a fairly well-written book of periodic science fiction. Although the physical setting is in 1864 amidst the backdrop of The American Civil War, Turtledove has carefully and painstakingly woven certain elements from our own era into the mix - producing a very interesting tale of purely entertaining fiction and fantasy. I was, actually, quite pleasantly surprised, by [precisely] how well it turned out in the end. As far as "What If" Scenarios can go, this one is far better than most!

As most of us already know, The Confederacy was no longer fairing too well - by the Winter of 1863 and Spring of 1864. They had taken far too many physical losses in the previous year, their ports were largely blockaded, their currency was functionally debased, and everything was in very short supply. Without European support and/or material assistance, The Confederacy would soon crumble under the sheer physical weight of their Northern brothers. And yet, this book renders them their much needed assistance - in the form of individuals resupplying them and minimalistically re-equipping them from 150 years in the future.

The "America Will Break" Faction - which maintains some warehousing facilities in Rivington, North Carolina - produces: AK47's, MRE's, and some medicines, over the course of that last pivotal winter. However, the AWB has its own political agenda to substantially promote and this lays certain groundwork for a future contention between them. General Robert E. Lee, who has learned from his past mistake of fighting a strictly defensive war, takes advantage of his new found abilities and ends the war quickly by marching upon Washington, D.C. - after breaking the Northern Spring Offensive... and all of this happens, in just the first two hundred pages!

However, here is where the story gets even more interesting. Who are these mysterious strangers from Rivington, North Carolina... a town which sprang up virtually overnight? What are their true intentions with respect to The Confederacy? And will General Lee - who knows that they're from the future - be able to protect his beloved southern homeland, from their insidious plans for it? After all, these Rivington men have access to far more than just modern medicine, pre-packaged foods, and machine guns....

Our beloved Civil War Characters are brilliantly reproduced in this particular book. Surprisingly, for a
Californian author, this includes their: individual personalities, character traits, and strategic military peculiarities. However, he does over do it sometimes with the periodic cliches... lending the book a slightly amateurish quality - which, at times, distracts somewhat from the book. But it is still an excellent work of its genre and well worth the purchase price to read it! If you're looking for Historically Accurate Escapist Literature, then this is right up your alley. I can assure you!

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