The Fantastic World War II (Review)

The Fantastic World War II (Review)

The cover of this old paperback is a true eye-catcher: A Nazi officer and a Japanese solder whirl as a Corsair fighter flashes over them, guns blazing, against a backdrop of the crumpled Statue of Liberty.

This collection was released by Baen back in 1990, and quite the collection it was. Like all collections, it had its not-so-goods, and its goods. Some of my favorites:

Vengeance in her bones: An old tramp freighter hates U-boats so bad, it repeatedly wrenches the wheel out of the captain’s grasp to ram subs, or sit over them until the destroyers get to the scene. Very cute.

Secret Unattainable: A strange break-through invention for the Germans that has consciences most unexpected. It took a long time to get to the punchline, though.

My name is Legion: What happens when some pseudo-Germans can mass-produce their leader, each copy one minute apart. Again, a tale of unexpected consciences, but usually that’s a staple of short stories, right?

Barbarossa: We’ve all heard of Japanese stragglers on their flyspeck islands. But what if a German U-boat was biding its time over the long decades, waiting for the perfect moment.

Two Dooms: An objector at work on the atomic bomb gets a look at the world that might be. Okay, so it’s time to rethink passiveness.

The Last Article: An old favorite of mine: Gandhi was able to turn the British strengths against them. Had the Germans pushed all the way to India, would such things have worked against the battle hardened generals of the Reich?

I like books like this – they are perfect airplane fodder (that’s where I read this one). If you don’t like a story, you can stick with it a few more pages or just dump it (as you see fit). And it also represents the reason I’m cool to eBooks – its another gem plucked out of a dusty used bookstore. Anyway, a great collection, and one worth amusing oneself with.