What If?

Science Fiction and Fantasy is all about “What if?” What if aliens landed on the White House lawn, tomorrow? Or, what if they landed in a small, mid-Western town, and blended in perfectly? What if the Colonial armies had lost their bid for independence? What if Countess Lovelace had built Babbage’s Difference Engine?

lovelaceThat last is the premise of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sidney Padua (Pantheon Books, April 2015). For a certain sort of geek, this was the most anticipated story of the year and, according to all reports, it doesn’t disappoint, even among those of us who are not huge fans of graphic novels. I am generally distracted by pictures, but I’m still looking forward to getting this one.

Also, bonus! Lovelace and Babbage is apparently rife with foot-notes and end-notes. I love foot-notes. Whee!

GuildIn the same vein is Shya Scanlon’s The Guild of Saint Cooper (Dzanc Books, May 2015), about an obscure author tasked with rewriting history. The project grows into an actual alternate history featuring Special Agent Dale Cooper of Twin Peaks fame. (Scanlon has a whole Twin Peaks thing. I’ve never understood the appeal of the show, myself.)

The novel is set in Seattle, which is a big part of my interest. I love picking apart media set in Seattle, whether it’s a movie, TV show, or novel. I do not then send the author or creators scolding emails, because that’s insane, but I do take a sort of perverse pleasure in the Pike or Pine issue, which is a perennial local hobgoblin. (Seriously, watch the clip.)


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