Tag: alternate history

Smooth, Smoother, Smoothest

I get sucked in very easily by books that are smooth on the surface. If a book has glossy enough writing and a well-paced storyline, then I’m almost always a sucker for it. But when a book also has something intriguing going on underneath the surface, then I […]

Reaching the Youth — With Comics!

I was looking through the picture books in the back of a bookstore where I sometimes work, when a woman came over with her son and slid out one I had snorted at earlier, Pete Sanders’ What Do You Know About Bullying? With Illustrated Storylines.  And she said […]

A Pair of Killers

What makes a compelling book tick? Sometimes I find it hard to tell, especially if the story works so well that I don’t even think about the craft involved. A good way to get to know a book, especially for an otherwise quick reader like myself: listen to […]

Too Many Dragons

Fantasy fiction is overrun by dragons. The fiery beasts have become a way to spice up an otherwise standard book — just add dragons. When I first heard about Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series — the Napoleonic Wars, a la Hornblower, except with dragons — I sighed to myself:  […]

Civil Engineer

Jeff Chapman started playing Civilization (MicroProse, 1991) when it came out and never stopped. He’s played the strategy turn-based videogame series for the past decade I’ve known him. Far from letting it consume him, he’s balanced his job as editor of History Magazine with a plethora of other […]