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How Few Remain

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Harry Turtledove

In 1862, the Confederacy won the War of the Rebellion (not by interference of time travelers, as in Turtledove's Guns of the South, LJ 9/1/92, but by their own skillful military and diplomatic efforts). The defeated North has stewed for nearly 20 years. … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Harry Turtledove
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
1 review about How Few Remain

A stunning start to a lengthy series

  • Dec 15, 2007
Rating:
+5
Good ol' Turtledove. Love him or hate him, in many ways he's responsible for the recent surge in alternate history stories. At his best he puts out books like Guns of the South, Ruled Britannia and In the Presence of Mine Enemies. At his worst... well, even at his worst he's still pretty darn readable.

Thankfully this book, which starts the mammoth so-called "Timeline 191" series, is one of the better books. Taking place in a world where the CSA survived the Civil War, and is now about to go to war against the USA again in 1881, the book is an excellent vision of what might have been.

Most fascinating in the novel are the uses of historical characters. Fredrick Douglass, frustrated at the continuation of slavery in the South. Abraham Lincoln, voted out of office in 1864 and now hated by the nation. Sammuel Clemmens, newspaper editor and all around smart-ass. Stonewall Jackson, the great Terror. And my personal favorite, Teddy Roosevelt, assembling Roosevelts Unauthorized Regiment to fight those dirty Canuks!

This book sets up many events that will come into play later. The Mormon uprising starts here. The Socialist Party begins to come into its own. Roosevelt and Custer make their first appearances. And we start to see the slow transformation of the United States into the sort of country that would, a few decades down the line, consider it entirely acceptable to, when a soldier is attacked, round up civilians and murder them as punishment.

This book holds up well as a stand-alone novel, but much better if you then go from this to the Great War books. It's probably the best of the series, which isn't saying THAT much because the other ones are pretty good, too. While the reader might not always agree with the tracks Turtledove takes the world onto in this book it is at least always an entertaining voyage, and there's far worse things to be.

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