Sunday, November 20, 2005

Science Fiction - "Bring the Jubilee"

"Bring the Jubilee", by Ward Moore, is an alternate history of the United States. In this version the South had won the war of Southron Independence and by the 1930s the United States is a backwards, nearly a third world country.

The hero of the book is a man named Hodgins McCormick Backmaker. When the story starts he leaves his family farm in Wappinger Falls, New York and goes to New York City to seek his fortunes. He describes himself as "lazy boy" who is only interested in reading books - a skill that is not particularly useful in the 1930s United States.

In this altername history, airplanes have not yet been invented and the most common mode of transportation is horse an buggy.

In any case, Hodgins finds work in a New York bookstore and spends his time studying the War of Southron Independence. Over the years he becomes an expert on the topic and is invited to join a Haggershaven - a college of sorts, in which resident scholars can pursue their work. This institution had been founded by a Confederate officer who decided to settle in Pennsylvania after the the Southern victory at Gettysburg and the end of the war.

At Haggershaven Hodgins meets Barbara, a brilliant physicist, who just happens to invent a time machine. As a historian of the war, Hodgins travels back in time to Gettysburg to witness the battle.

As you may expect his presence changes the course of events and the rest is history - our history.


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