An Alternate History of the 21st Century | Line Break
An Alternate History of the 21st Century

Stories

By William Shunn

'An Alternate History of the 21st Century' by William Shunn

Release date: 3 September 2019

“William Shunn is one of those SF writers who, because they specialize in short fiction, are not given quite the recognition they deserve—no novels, no mass-market publication, so only the plaudits of the cognoscenti of the short form. Yet Shunn is a fine writer; ingenious, stylish, closely in touch with current global trends and expert in producing thought-provoking near-future SF, and at last he has a collection to show off that keen ability . . . including two impressive original novelettes.”

—Nick Gevers, Locus Magazine

A presidential inauguration in a fascist America eerily similar to our own. A man who broadcasts his every sense and emotion to a national audience. A space station unequipped to deal with alien visitors. Welcome to an off-kilter 21st century as only Hugo and Nebula Award nominee William Shunn could envision it.

From time travel to nanoterrorism, Los Angeles to Lagrange Point 2, the six stories in this collection span not just the length of a century but the breadth of a unique and provocative imagination. Step inside, settle in, and discover a world that’s always surprising but never unfamiliar. Discover the 21st century.

“[These stories] tellingly and concisely ironize the clichés and tropes of genre SF, but without destroying their use as toolkit.”

“[William Shunn] has the sure instincts of a twenty-first century science fiction writer. He is keenly attuned to the present (in the twenty-first century, there's no point keeping track of the future). He recognizes those truly present-day moments that could only come now, today, in this futuristic present that we swim through without ever really seeing. This extraordinary book is a journey through our present. From the bitingly political (‘From Our Point of View We Had Moved to the Left’) to the sad and personal (‘Not of This Fold’—a gorgeous novella about faith and humanity that could only have been written by a lapsed Mormon sf writer), and everything in between, this collection is the kind of thing that you can never unread, a book that will awaken you to the present all around you.”

—Cory Doctorow

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