|October 7, 2004|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 22|
|LC Class||PS3570.U76 C87 2004|
|Preceded by||Gunpowder Empire|
|Followed by||In High Places|
Curious Notions is an alternate history novel by Harry Turtledove. It is a part of the Crosstime Traffic series. In Curious Notions, the Central Powers won World War I prior to the United States entering the war. Subsequently, the German Empire invaded and conquered the United States in the 1950s. The story is set 150 years later, in German-occupied San Francisco. The main plot deals with time travelers from our universe establishing an electronics shop in San Francisco, coming under the suspicion of both the German authorities and the tongs while preventing the Germans from duplicating the time travel technology.
Lead Up to the Plot
The Central Powers win by managing to knock out France and the British Expeditionary Force in the west towards the beginning of the war. Then they defeated the Russian Empire before the United States intervened. A few years later, the German Empire intervenes in the Russian Revolution and defeats the Bolsheviks, but the Russian Empire is mostly divided and therefore no longer a power. Britain and France tried to stop Germany's power again in the 1940s but since the United States did not intervene, they lost and Germany had control over Europe and its sphere of influence. Since Germany never persecuted the Jewish peoples of their country, they discovered the atomic bomb and had further dominance. The United States was largely ignorant of the power of these bombs and as a result lost World War III when it broke out in 1956. It resulted in the nuclear destruction of most of the United States. San Francisco, the setting, is intact because the United States got lucky and was able to shoot some of the German bombers down.
Literary significance and reception
Roland J. Green reviewing for Booklist said that this novel had a "well-constructed world, superior characterization, and some serious analysis of the ethics of cross-time travel all make the yarn a winner."
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