ALTERNATE HISTORY MYSTERY
As I mentioned yesterday, I just finished reading Sideways In Crime after two plus weeks. Released during the summer, this Lou Anders-edited anthology features crime fiction set in alternate histories by a wide range of writers. I really enjoyed the Anders-edited Fast Forward (and yes, there is a second volume out that I've not gotten around to yet) and I'm a fan of alternate history SF so I thought I'd give this one a shot.
Before I talk about any of the stories, I need to take a moment to talk about the cover. It has a great design, with the title running along the side (sideways, get it?) and some awesome Bob Eggleton artwork. It's a book I love as an object first and foremost - it pulls you in, makes you to a peek between the covers for what wonders may await you.
In my opinion, you can't have an anthology like this and not have a story from Paul Di Filippo. Fortunately, Lou Anders is a smart man and we are treated to "Murder in Geektopia," set in an alternate reality where geeks are the norm. The story is full of savvy pop culture references and jokes and a woman our detective can't resist. It even ends with a nice twist and is one of the standouts of the book.
My other favorite story in the book was the last one, "Murder on the Crosstime Express" by Chris Roberson. Of course, I'm a sucker for stories about multitudes of realities and worlds and for Chris Roberson. The fact that story is a nifty little locked room mystery on a zeppelin that travels through underspace and ties into his novels about the Carmody-Bonaventure clan is just icing on the cake. Plus, it makes me want his new novel (End of the Century) to arrive in stories now. Great stuff.
There are many other good stories here, from the 60s style death of J. Edgar Hoover in Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "G-Men" to the future pastoral setting of S.M. Stirling's "Murder in Eddsford" to the murder surrounding the brand-new series of Sherlock Holmes stories in Jack McDevitt's "The Adventure of the Southsea Trunk." Of course, that doesn't begin to cover all of the solid work. In fact, there were only 2 stories I didn't care for, which is a great percentage when you have 15 in the book. Lou Anders does it again.