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Ha'penny

Small Change: Book 2

Jo Walton

In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.

The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King-and- Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain's Prime Minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.

Against a background of increasing domestic espionage and the suppression of Jews and homosexuals, an ad-hoc band of idealists and conservatives blackmail the one person they need to complete their plot, an actress who lives for her art and holds the key to the Fuhrer's death. From the ha'penny seats in the theatre to the ha'pennies that cover dead men's eyes, the conspiracy and the investigation swirl around one another, spinning beyond anyone's control.

In this brilliant companion to Farthing, Welsh-born World Fantasy Award winner Jo Walton continues her alternate history of an England that could have been, with a novel that is both an homage of the classic detective novels of the thirties and forties, and an allegory of the world we live in today.

Bring the Jubilee

SF Rediscovery: Book 23

Ward Moore

The United States never recovered from The War for Southern Independence. While the neighboring Confederacy enjoyed the prosperity of the victor, the U.S. struggled through poverty, violence, and a nationwide depression.

The Industrial Revolution never occurred here, and so, well into the 1950s, the nation remained one of horse-drawn wagons, gaslight, highwaymen, and secret armies. This was home for Hodgins McCormick Backmaker, whose sole desire was the pursuit of knowledge. This, he felt, would spirit him away from the squalor and violence.

Disastrously, Hodgins became embroiled in the clandestine schemes of the outlaw Grand Army, from which he fled in search of a haven. But he was to discover that no place could fully protect him from the world and its dangerous realities....

The Art of Space Travel

Nina Allan

Sturgeon and Hugo Award nominated novelette.

The Art of Space Travel by Nina Allan is a science fiction novelette. In 2047, a first manned mission to Mars ended in tragedy. Thirty years later, a second expedition is preparing to launch. As housekeeper of the hotel where two of the astronauts will give their final press statements, Emily finds the mission intruding upon her thoughts more and more. Emily's mother, Moolie, has a message to give her, but Moolie's memories are fading. As the astronauts' visit draws closer, the unearthing of a more personal history is about to alter Emily's world forever.

This story is included in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 11 (2017), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Fourth Annual Collection (2017), edited by Garder Dozois.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Swastika Night

Murray Constantine

Published in 1937, twelve years before Orwell's 1984, this novel projects a totally male-controlled fascist world that has eliminated women as we know them. They are breeders, kept as cattle, while men in this post-Hitlerian world are embittered automatons, fearful of all feelings, having abolished all history, education, creativity, books, and art. The plot centers on a "misfit" who asks, "How could this have happened?"

Mammoth

John Varley

Not content with investing his fortune and watching it grow, multibillionaire Howard Christian buys rare cars that he actually drives, acquires collectible toys that he actually plays with, and builds buildings that defy the imagination. But now his restless mind has turned to a new obsession: cloning a mammoth...

In a barren province of Canada, a mammoth hunter financed by Christian has made the discovery of a lifetime: an intact frozen woolly mammoth. But what he finds during the painstaking process of excavating the huge creature baffles the mind. Huddled next to the mammoth is the mummified body of a Stone Age man around 12,000 years old. And he is wearing a wristwatch.

It looks like Howard Christian is going to get his wish--and more...