The End of Baseball

April 30, 2008

Author: Peter Schilling Jr.
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee

Started: 4/30/08
Completed: 5/7/08

This is a historical novel about baseball in the 1940s and about the racial integration of the game. It is an alternate history of baseball.

The novel is based on the question:what if, instead of single-player by single-player, baseball was integrated by someone putting together a whole team of the best players from the Negro Leagues. How would that look? How would Major League Baseball react?

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Author: S. M. Stirling
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Tor

Started: 4/24/08
Completed: 4/30/08

It has been a while since I pulled a science fiction selection from the shelves. I was not being hugely inspired by my most recent visit to the Lewes Library, though, and the title of this one seemed interesting; it seems like a quote of something from the recent past, but I can’t think what.

I am also interested to see where science fiction is these days. As a youngster, I read widely among the classics of the genre, and the pulp of my youth (the 1970s). What is happening in this area of fiction in the 2000s?

This novel is set on a Mars that was “terraformed” long, long ago and supports an advanced, but decaying humanoid civilization. Visitors from Earth get caught up in local political intrigue. It is an interesting and well-written novel.

The True Account

April 17, 2008

Author: Howard Frank Mosher
Copyright: 2003
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Started: 4/17/08
Completed: 4/24/08

I knew when I finished On Kingdom Mountain that I would be pulling more of Mosher’s books off the shelf. This one was interesting; it has connections to Don Quixote, and the history of the US.

An American knight-errant sets off to race to the west against Lewis and Clark. He may be insane, but happily and highly-functioning. He brings with him the miracle of cannabis and charms the native tribal leaders that he meets along the way with his own peace pipe and a variety of inventions, entertainments and activities.

He is accompanied by a young nephew who discovers himself into manhood on the trip. This young man narrates the tale and provides an alternate history of the young United States, the Louisiana Purchase, and the civilizations that thrived in the west before the Americans came and changed things.

Johnny One-Eye

April 10, 2008

Author: Jerome Charyn
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: W.W. Norton

Started: 4/10/08
Completed: 4/16/08

This is a picaresque sort of a novel, set in New York City during the Revolutionary War. The main character is a ne’er-do-well who is caught up in events and bounced around among the leading players of that part of history. The book cover features a blurb by Michael Chabon; always a plus on my book.

On Kingdom Mountain

April 5, 2008

Author: Howard Frank Mosher
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Started: 4/5/08
Completed: 4/9/08

I have read, and enjoyed, at least one other of Mosher’s books, so I thought I’d take a chance on this one. It is set in northern Vermont (a favorite place) in about 1930 and has action, romance and comedy. A very good book. It will lead me to seek out more of Howard Frank Mosher!