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Weapons of Choiceby John Birmingham
Synopses & Reviews
On the eve of America’s greatest victory in the Pacific,
a catastrophic event disrupts the course of World War II, forever changing the rules of combat. . . .
The impossible has spawned the unthinkable. A military experiment in the year 2021 has thrust an American-led multinational armada back to 1942, right into the middle of the U.S. naval task force speeding toward Midway Atoll—and what was to be the most spectacular U.S. triumph of the entire war.
Thousands died in the chaos, but the ripples had only begun. For these veterans of Pearl Harbor—led by Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, and Spruance—have never seen a helicopter, or a satellite link, or a nuclear weapon. And they’ve never encountered an African American colonel or a British naval commander who was a woman and half-Pakistani. While they embrace the armada’s awesome firepower, they may find the twenty-first century sailors themselves far from acceptable.
Initial jubilation at news the Allies would win the war is quickly doused by the chilling realization that the time travelers themselves—by their very presence—have rendered history null and void. Celebration turns to dread when the possibility arises that other elements of the twenty-first century task force may have also made the trip—and might now be aiding Yamamoto and the Japanese.
What happens next is anybody’s guess—and everybody’s nightmare. . . .
"At the start of Australian author Birmingham's stellar debut novel, a United Nations battle group, clustered around the U.S.S. Hillary Clinton (named after 'the most uncompromising wartime president in the history of the United States'), is tasked in the year 2021 with stopping ethnic cleansing by an Islamist regime in Indonesia. When an experiment goes horribly wrong on a special ship doing research on wormholes, most of the battle group is deposited in the middle of the U.S. fleet on its way to Midway in 1942. The WWII carriers and supporting vessels attack a Japanese Self-Defense Force ship, triggering devastating computer-operated defensive fire from the 21st-century fleet. While the action sequences are outstanding, this book really shines in depicting the cultural shock that both navies experience. The Clinton group reflects a multicultural society that finds the racist and sexist attitudes of 1942 America almost as repugnant as those of the Axis powers, while the mere thought of non-whites and women not just serving in uniform but holding command drives many Allied officers and civilian officials apoplectic. The author also subtly shows the ways in which 20-plus years of the War on Terrorism have changed our attitudes. Unlike many alternate histories, the novel avoids the wish-fulfillment aspect inherent in the genre. This is the first of what should be a hugely (and deservedly) successful series. Agent, Russ Galen at Scovil, Chichak, Galen Agency. (June 1)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[C]ombines the manner of Tom Clancy with a subject worthy of Harry Turtledove....Birmingham does action sequences well, and he vividly portrays the conflicting attitudes of the past and near-future." Kirkus Reviews
"This is an excellent combination of near future military SF and alternate history, and a riveting story to boot." Eric Flint, author of 1632 and 1634: The Galileo Affair
"This book has everying: time travel, the British royalty, things that go boom, and unrelenting action. Read the opening at your own risk: you won't be doing anything else until you finish it." Sean Williams, co-author of Heirs of Earth and Star Wars: Force Heretic: Reunion
In a first installment of a three-part alternate history epic, America's World War II fleet is decimated by a multi-national task force sent back in time from the year 2021, forcing Admiral Nimitz and Rear Admiral Spruance to make the potentially consequential decision to fight their own possible descendants. Original.
About the Author
John Birmingham was born in Ipswich, Queensland, in 1964. In 1994 he published his first book, He Died with a Felafel in His Hand, which became a cult youth book and eventually a bestseller in Australia. For his second book, the pulp fiction The Search for Savage Henry, he used the pseudonym Harrison Biscuit. His other books include The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, How To Be a Man (written with Dirk Flinthart), and Leviathan, a history of Sydney. Weapons of Choice is his first novel to be published in the U.S.
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