Monday, February 23, 2015

Edi's Spotlight: Alt Hist Issue 7 edited by Mark Lord

Dear Readers,

so far I reviewed   Alt Hist Issue 4 and Alt Hist Issue 5.
Now Alt Hist Issue 7 is available and editor Mark Lord asked me if I would like to get a copy in exchange for an honest review and I agreed to do that.

For all of you who do not know  Alt Hist: Historical Fiction and Alternate History, let me repeat the explanation by editor Mark Lord.

"Alt Hist,, is the new magazine of Historical Fiction and Alternate History. Lovers of historical fiction for too long have been denied outlets for short pieces of fiction, as the number of print and online magazines for historical short fiction is very limited compared to the popularity of fiction set in past times. Alt Hist’s mission is to provide readers with entertaining and well-written short stories with a historical setting, whether portraying actual events or events that could have happened. If you read and enjoy historical fiction, alternate history or historical fantasy then we think you will like Alt Hist." [Source]
And now without further ado my review of Alt Hist Issue 7.

Alt Hist Issue 7 (digital and print, February 2015) 
edited by Mark Lord 

You can purchase eBook and Print copies from:
And eBook copies from:

The Delivery
Alt Hist Issue 7 features seven stories by six authors and editorial by Mark Lord.

At the end of each story you get basic information about the author and a link to a website or a blog which I appreciate.
I could not detect any obvious mistakes which means the proof-reading has been done well. I mention this because it seems no matter of course when it comes to digital publishing. Also the formatting worked well on my reader.

Before I go into detail I would like to talk about the cover image. Mark Lord mentioned  the name of the painting and the name of the artist. Surrender of General Burgoyne has been painted by John Trumbull (June 6, 1756 – November 10, 1843) who was notable for his historical painting. I'm no adept which means I can't deliver an in depth review of the painting. If you would like to know more please follow the previous two links.

Editorial by Mark Lord

Mark explained that he is happy with the development of Alt Hist followed by additional information about the authors of the stories and the stories itself. He emphasized that the main purpose of Alt Hist is to provide a home for quality short fiction with a historical setting.
Anyway you get enough input to raise your nosiness.

It is always a balancing act not to give away too much of a short story. I decided to give you a short information of the content of each story based on the information you get in the editorial.

The first story of Alt Hist Issue 7 is The Vivisectionist's Daughter by Jason Kahn. He delivered an alternate view of the last days of the famous physician and anatomist Andreas Vesalius through the eyes of the construction worker Qadri.

My thoughts
What is the secret of the soul? The story give a hint and is a perfect trigger to think about the soul. well written in a prose which hooks you on soft feet.

Cold Flesh by Andrew Knighton take the reader back into Medieval England. It is a story of sow and reap. It has been a harsh life and one should not kick people who are already on the ground.
Mark Lord mentioned that this was not the first story by Andrew Knighton in Alt Hist.

My thoughts
Medieval England was not the land of milk and honey. This dark story let you think about moral and superstition.

The third story has been delivered by Pavel Nikiforovitch and the title Independence Day give the first hint what the story is about. The 4th July set in an alternate version of present day America looks really different. How patriotic must an American be?

My thoughts
I really liked the story because the end was completely different to what I expected. Patriotism can be a burden or a lighthouse in the dark. I assume that my perception of the story will differ from an American reader. 

Heff in Dearborn by Michael Fertikis set in early 20th century America. What happens when a Greek god in disguise (Hephaistos) meets the synonym for modern factory assembly lines Henry T. Ford?

My thoughts
The story give a possible explanation how  Henry T. Ford While became the the synonym for modern factory assembly lines. For me it was like reading a fable. Finding: Take care when you deal with goods.

Regularly readers of Alt Hist Issue will know Battalion 202 which is the what-if tale of British resistance to a Nazi Invasion in WW2. he following two stories belong
Author Johnathan Doering contributed two new Battalion 202 stories.

In Battalion 202: The Sheep and the Goats Jonathan Doering returns to the local policeman Harold Storey who is forced to work together with the occupying Gestapo. 

My thoughts
This is a heartbreaking story because it is about the decision on consequences for Harold Story: Should he risk his own life to aid the British resistance or not.

In Battalion 202: Set Ablaze Jonathan Doering delivers back story information in form of personal records from figures like Winston Churchill. Each record contain possible answers of these person in their own words.

My thoughts
I think this is more interesting for readers who read previous Battalion 202 stories. But it can also be of interest for people with historical interest.

The Red Vortex by Priya Sharma is the final story of Alt Hist Issue 7. She contributed a number of stories to previous Alt Hist Issues. This time Priya Sharma explore the psychology of a great figure in history.

My thoughts
Unbelievable! At the end of the story you know the name of the person described in this story which gave me the creeps.

And what do I think about Alt Hist Issue 7?

I think Mark Lord delivered what he promised: To provide a home for quality short fiction with a historical setting.
Furthermore it is the biggest issue of Alt Hist so far.
It is a good mix of different stories and again a great opportunity to discover not only so well known but promising alternate history authors. It is also good opportunity for fans of Priya Sharma and  Jonathan Doering to read more from these authors.

I should not forget to mention that you can read 
The Vivisectionist's Daughter by Jason Kahn
FOR FREE!! Just click on the link.

If this is something after your taste then let me tell you that the previous four issues of Alt Hist are still available. You want to know how to get those ones? Just follow the link: How to get Alt Hist

If you want more information about the current and the previous issues of alt hist I highly recommend to visit Alt Hist: Historical Fiction and Alternate History.

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