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#140 Charles Stross: Missile Gap

Charles Stross: Missile Gap

Hardcover: 99 pages
Illustrator: J K Potter
Publisher: Subterranean Press (Jan 2007)
Language English
ISBN-10: 1596060581
ISBN-13: 978-1596060586
Category(ies): SF/Alternative History

This is a novella - yes, that 99 pages is correct. As such, it's more of a completist's piece than a mass market edition - and this edition is a limited one of just over 1026 copies (26 lettered copies, 1000 numbered copies, and my copy ...). The setting is odd - somehow (and it's never explained) a Cuban-missile-crisis world suddenly finds itself somewhere else. The continents may be the right shape, but they're laid out on a flat world. And this world is seemingly infinite. Even a nuclear-powered ekranoplan (a form of ship/plane hybrid that uses ground effect to great effect - Google on Caspian Sea Monster for an example) only manages to discover a small portion of the world - the world ocean surrounding the known human area is utterly enormous.

Against this background, a 1950s cold war plays itself out. Colonisation efforts go out, but with the attitudes of the cold war US and USSR, these are very different to the New World invasions of earlier centuries. And with an apparent infinitude of resources, surely there's no more need for conflict?

I would expect this to be appearing in a collection, sooner or later. In the meantime, this is distinctly memorable, with a satisfying ending.
Tags: books, books by friends, reviews
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