Monday, November 5, 2012

The Good Hand by Robert Reed

Here was an interesting story, an alternative history tale, where the USA and only the USA has The Bomb. How would have US foreign policy been different if that was the case?

We follow Kyle Betters, a sales rep for a US company, on a business trip to France. There he discovers that folks in other parts of the world don't really love Americans, or America to be more accurate.

The US has even more influence in world affairs than they do now and have an acute need to control just about anything that could jeopardise "American interests." We are treated to one such event, the bombing of the French space program facilities in Northern Africa. This sweeps Kyle into a situation he cannot control.

I usually stay away from alternative history stories mostly because Eric Flint seems to be the go-to guy of this genre and his covers really turn me off. Firstly, I'm not well versed in the history of the 1600's, so stories set in and around that time have no effect on me. I've seen one cover in particular where there is a bunch of present day red neck yahoos driving through a battlefield in a big red pickup truck. The cover alone was enough to tell me that a story like that is not for me.

If the past is altered I'd much rather read about how it is effecting the present that I know. Like this story does. It's a bit of a thought experiment using the classics SF question: "what if?" I found myself drawn more to the Geo-political side of the story and could have kept on reading this into a novel length story.

Showing the effects of a large scale event on the life of just one man is a perfect way to illustrate how different the world could have been.

I really liked this one.
Robert Reed

The author's website is HERE

The author's bibliography is HERE

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