Tales from the Vatican Vaults – New Secret History Published

Alt Hist readers might be interested in a new anthology containing 28 science fiction and fantasy stories based on an extraordinary secret history.

Vatican Vaults is a captivating collection of original science fiction and fantasy stories based on the same alternate world premise: a collection of documents that have been suppressed by the Vatican and hidden away for years, in some cases centuries, are revealed when the vaults are thrown open by a reforming pope.

In this alternate reality, Pope John Paul (I) does not die a month after his accession in 1978; instead he lives on for over 30 years to become the most reforming pope of all time. In addition to relaxing the rules on birth control and priestly celibacy he also opens up the most secret parts of the Vatican Library to scholars . . .

In the Vatican’s deepest vaults, documents are discovered which shed new light on world history, containing information which, if true, would cause many parts of accepted history to have to be rewritten. These include not just the undercover involvement of the Catholic Church in world affairs, but documented accounts of what really happened in historical conundrums, the real lives of saints and popes, miracles, magic, angels and even alien encounters.

For more information visit the publisher’s website.

New Alternate History Book: World Divided: Book Two of the Secret World Chronicle: Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere

World Divided: Book Two of the Secret World Chronicle: Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451638019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451638011

From New York Times best-seller and science fiction and fantasy mistress of adventure Mercedes Lackey together with a team of topnotch collaborators, entry #2 in The Secret World Chronicle, a pulse-pounding saga of superpowers–and the very human men and women who must learn to wield them without losing themselves in the process.

After an Earth-scarring apocalyptic battle, the meta-humans have turned back a massive invasion of super-science powered Nazi war machines–and at least driven whoever is in ultimate control of them to pause and regroup. Now meta-hero organizations Echo and sometime Russian ally CCCP must go on the offense and battle back. Task one: to hunt down the secret puppet masters behind the Nazi robot invasion, the Thule Society. To do so, the heroes of Echo, led by Bulwark and Red Djinni, face the guardians of a hidden trove of Nazi armor. Meanwhile, a sadistic genius super villain arises who is determined to defeat both heroes and Thulians alike–a villain who just may have the wealth and cunning to pull it off.

It’s “go time” once again for the meta-heroes, including fire-bender John Murdock, techno-witch Vicki Nagy, healer Belladona Blue, super-quick Mercurye, chameleon Red Djinni—and for their ghostly ally, The Seraphym. Somehow they must unite in the fight against the evil and slavery that is fast descending upon the entire universe!

via Amazon.com: World Divided: Book Two of the Secret World Chronicle (9781451638011): Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere: Books.

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New Alternate History Book: Tannhauser: Rising Sun, Falling Shadows by Robert Jeschonek

Tannhauser: Rising Sun, Falling Shadows by Robert Jeschonek

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616611804
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616611804

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk

The year is 1954, and in a dark and violent alternate history, the Great War never ended. The forces of the Reich, led by the occult-obsessed Kaiser, have sold their souls to demonic powers as they scour the earth in search of paranormal weaponry. Meanwhile, President Edison has sanctioned the use of potent alien technology recovered at Roswell, in hopes of aiding the beleaguered Union in its fight against tyranny. As the war rages on, can anything – or anyone – tip the balance of power? Enter the Shogunate, a far-eastern warrior sect with their own shadowy agenda. When a small force led by “The Daimyo” Iroh Minamoto sets out toward the evergreen peninsula of Kamchatka, Union Major John McNeal and the 42nd Marines must discover their plans before it’s too late. To make matters worse, the nefarious Hermann Von Heizinger of the Reich’s Obscura Korps seems to be in league with the Shogunate. The race is on to control a weapon that could finally bring the Great War to its climactic end!

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New Alternate History Book: Red-Robed Priestess by Elizabeth Cunningham

Red-Robed Priestess by Elizabeth Cunningham – part of the Maeve Chronicles

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982324693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982324691

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Product Description from Amazon:

After a long, eventful life that has brought her through slavery to the Resurrection garden, through the controversies of the early Church to a hermit cave in southern Gaul, Maeve, the Celtic Magdalen, comes full circle. With her daughter Sarah, Maeve returns to the British Isles to seek her first-born daughter taken from her by the druids more than forty years ago. The night before her channel crossing, Maeve encounters a man she first mistakes for Jesus’ ghost. He is equally haunted, and the two are drawn into a moonstruck liaison that will entwine their lives in “an impossible Celtic knot.” He is none other than General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, the newly appointed Governor of Britain, destined to defeat the Iceni Queen Boudica in one of the bloodiest battles in history.

And Boudica is none other than Maeve’s lost child.

Fully accessible to new readers, Red-Robed Priestess will be deeply satisfying to fans who have accompanied Maeve on her journey, reuniting them with beloved characters from the earlier novels, especially Magdalen Rising. At sixty something, Maeve is as feisty as ever with her distinctive sense of irreverent humor very much intact, but she has also grown—and so has the author. In this final volume of the acclaimed Maeve Chronicles, Elizabeth Cunningham confronts a political and emotional complexity that speaks to our times. Maeve’s courageous and compassionate witness of an epic tragedy she cannot prevent will challenge and comfort all of us who have ever faced intractable circumstances of our own.

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New Alternate History Book: The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age by Robert Rankin

The Mechanical Messiah and Other Marvels of the Modern Age by Robert Rankin

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (December 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0575086351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575086357
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Book Description from Amazon:

The newest opus from the Master of Far Fetched Fiction features magic, mayhem, mechanical marvels, messianic madness, and the music hall
Colonel Katterfelto has returned to London, having departed America under something of a cloud—of smoke, issuing from his Spiritual Laboratory, which the townsfolk of Wormcast, Arizona, marched upon with their flaming torches. This catastrophic conflagration caused considerable concern to the pious colonel, who had been engaged in the creation of “Heaven’s last and best gift to Mankind,” The Mechanical Messiah—he was, after all, being guided in this Great Work by holy angels, communicating to him through his monkey butler, Darwin. It is 1897, the British Empire encompasses Mars, and an uneasy peace exists between the peoples of Venus, Jupiter, and Earth. In London the marvels of the modern age to be experienced include The Electric Alhambra Music Hall, where crowds thrill to The Earl Grey Whistle Test—a musical extravaganza featuring such top turns as Hayward’s Acrobatic Kiwis, The Travelling Formbys, and the newly-arrived Colonel Katterfelto’s Clockwork Minstrels. But all is far from well in old Whitechapel, where a monster is once more abroad in the night-time streets, committing hideous acts of murder. Can this be the return of Jack the Ripper, or has something altogether unearthly and Hellishly evil materialized? Famed consulting detective Cameron Bell is already on the case, but it may take nothing less than the New Messiah Himself to save London, The Empire, and all of the solar system from the impending apocalypse!

About the Author

Robert Rankin is the author of The BrightonomiconThe Da-Da-De-Da-Da CodeHollow Chocolate Bunnies of the ApocalypseKnees Up Mother EarthNecrophenia, Retromancer,The Toyminator, and The Witches of Chiswick

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Reviews of Taylor Anderson’s Firestorm

Firestorm: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson is a new Alternate History book published on 4th October 2011

Hardcover$25.95
ISBN 9780451464170 | 432 pages | 04 Oct 2011 | Roc | 9.25 x 6.25in

Available from Amazon.com

And Amazon.co.uk

We featured news of Taylor Anderson’s new Firestorm novel a while ago, and with the book now published I thought it would be good to see what the reviewers think of it!

Michael Jones and Blogcritics.org, enjoyed the book and found it a good read – and he hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series!

Kirkus Reviews however recommended starting at the beginning of the series for newbies, but they also liked the fast paced, action packed story.

SfRevu also liked the book, but was anxious to know more about certain details of this alternate history world.

So everyone likes it, but it’s a question of where you start – with this book, or  at the beginning with Into the Storm.

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New Alternate History Book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 by Stephen King

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Original edition (November 8, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1451627289
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451627282
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 2.7 inches

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk

The Book Trailer:

From the Publisher’s Website:

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTSRANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENTKENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED.WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

You can read an excerpt here.

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New Alternate History – Stone Spring: The Northland Trilogy by Stephen Baxter

Stone Spring: The Northland Trilogy by Stephen Baxter

Hardcover, $25.95
ISBN 9780451464187 | 512 pages | 01 Nov 2011 | Roc | 9.25 x 6.25in

Available from Amazon.com

Available from Amazon.co.uk – published by Gollancz in the UK on 10th February 2011 in paperback – the hardback was published in the UK in 2010!

From Roc’s website:

Alternate history at its most mindblowing-from the national bestselling author of Flood and Ark.

Ten thousand years ago, a vast and fertile plain exists linking the British Isles to Europe. Home to a tribe of simple hunter-gatherers, Northland teems with nature’s bounty, but is also subject to its whims.

Fourteen-year-old Ana calls Northland home, but her world is changing. The air is warming, the ice is melting, and the seas are rising. Then Ana meets a traveler from a far-distant city called Jericho-a city that is protected by a wall. And she starts to imagine the impossible…

And from the description for the Hardback on Amazon.co.uk:

8,000 years ago Europe was a very different place. England was linked to Holland by a massive swathe of land. Where the North Sea is now lay the landmass of Northland. And then came a period of global warming, a shifting of continents and, over a few short years, the sea rushed in and our history was set. But what if the sea had been kept at bay? Brythony is a young girl who lives in Northland. Like all her people she is a hunter gatherer, her simple tools fashioned from flint cutting edges lodged in wood and animal bone. When the sea first encroaches on her land her people simply move. Brythony moves further travelling to Asia. Where she sees mankind’s first walled cities. And gets an idea. What if you could build a wall to keep the sea out? And so begins a colossal engineering project that will take decades, a wall that stretches for hundreds of miles, a wall that becomes an act of defiance, and containing the bones of the dead, an act of devotion. A wall that will change the geography of the world. And it’s history. Stephen Baxter has become expert at embedding human stories into the grandest sweeps of history and the most mind-blowing of concepts. STONE SPRING begins a trilogy that will tell the story of a changed world. It begins in 8,000 BC with an idea and ends in 1500 in a world that never saw the Roman Empire, Christianity or Islam. It is an eye-opening look at what history could so easily have been and an inspiring tale of how we control our future.

About the Author
Stephen Baxter is the pre-eminent SF writer of his generation. Published around the world he has also won major awards in the UK, US, Germany, and Japan. Born in 1957 he has degrees from Cambridge and Southampton. He lives in Northumberland with his wife.

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New Alternate History Book: Firestorm by Taylor Anderson

Firestorm: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson is a new Alternate History book published on 4th October 2011

Hardcover$25.95
ISBN 9780451464170 | 432 pages | 04 Oct 2011 | Roc | 9.25 x 6.25in

Available from Amazon.com

And Amazon.co.uk  – seems to be simultaneous publication on 4th October on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here’s some more information from the publisher’s website:

“I cannot recommend Taylor Anderson too highly.” -David Weber, author of Out of the Dark

Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker find themselves caught between the nation they swore to defend and the allies they promised to protect. For even as the Allies and the Empire of New Britain Isles stand united against the attacks of both the savage Grik and the tenacious Japanese, the “Holy Dominion”-a warped mixture of human cultures whose lust for power overshadows even the Grik-is threatening to destroy them both with a devastating weapon neither can withstand.

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