Bombs Away

Bombs Away

Book - 2016
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In his acclaimed novels of alternate history, Harry Turtledove has scrutinized the twisted soul of the twentieth century, from the forces that set World War I in motion to the rise of fascism in the decades that followed. Now, this masterly storyteller turns his eyes to the aftermath of World War II and asks: In an era of nuclear posturing, what if the Cold War had suddenly turned hot?

Bombs Away begins with President Harry Truman in desperate consultation with General Douglas MacArthur, whose control of the ground war in Korea has slipped disastrously away. MacArthur recognizes a stark reality: The U.S. military has been cut to the bone after victory over the Nazis--while China and the USSR have built up their forces. The only way to stop the Communist surge into the Korean Peninsula and save thousands of American lives is through a nuclear attack. MacArthur advocates a strike on Chinese targets in Manchuria. In actual history, Truman rejected his general's advice; here, he does not. The miscalculation turns into a disaster when Truman fails to foresee Russia's reaction.

Almost instantly, Stalin strikes U.S. allies in Europe and Great Britain. As the shock waves settle, the two superpowers are caught in a horrifying face-off. Will they attack each other directly with nuclear weapons? What countries will be caught in between?

The fateful global drama plays out through the experiences of ordinary people--from a British barmaid to a Ukrainian war veteran to a desperate American soldier alone behind enemy lines in Korea. For them, as well as Truman, Mao, and Stalin, the whole world has become a battleground. Strategic strikes lead to massive movements of ground troops. Cities are destroyed, economies ravaged. And on a planet under siege, the sounds and sights of nuclear bombs become a grim harbinger of a new reality: the struggle to survive man's greatest madness.

Praise for Bombs Away

"A fascinating and compelling story of real people caught in forces beyond their control . . . [Harry Turtledove is] the unrivaled monarch of alternate history." -- Analog

"Turtledove is an undisputed centerpiece of the alternate-history genre, and now, to his already grand display, he's adding the ambitious tale of a WWIII that could have happened." -- Booklist

"This is Turtledove at his best." --SFRevu

"Alternate-world warrior extraordinaire Turtledove delivers the opening barrage of a new speculative conflict." -- Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Harry Turtledove

"Turtledove is the standard-bearer for alternate history." -- USA Today

Last Orders

"All quite plausible . . . Turtledove's focus on the characters serves to fill out the big picture with patient, nitty-gritty detail. . . . Armchair warriors will have much to ponder." --Kirkus Reviews

Two Fronts

"A you-are-there chronicle of battle on land and sea and in the air." -- Tor.com

Coup d'Etat

"This is what alternative history is all about." -- Historical Novel Society

The Big Switch

"The Hugo Award winner continues to delight in exploring the world of 'what if?' " -- Library Journal


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9780553390728
Branch Call Number: PB Turtl
Characteristics: 404 pages ; 20 cm.

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a
Astraeus
May 07, 2016

When you thought of permanent oblivion, temporary oblivion was the only foxhole you had.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

If you didn't take care of it, the elves wouldn't either.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

Next to Hitler, Stalin seemed a bargain.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

Gold always had a place.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

On the Eastern Front, no one's hands were clean.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

Only some-body who's never seen a war is stupid enough to want one.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

The atom is a dangerous genie to let out of the lamp-deadly dangerous.

s
SEBoiko
Sep 10, 2015

..., sarcasm was what got a politician thrown out on his ear.

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i
isaachar
Jun 05, 2017

An interesting alternate history where President Truman accepts General MacArthur's recommendation to drop an atomic bomb on Harbin to dissuade Russia and China's involvement in North Korea. The USSR retaliates by dropping bombs in Western Europe, and the exchange kicks off World War III.

In standard Turtledove fare, the story moves from the point of view of multiple characters on both sides of the conflict. The first book in the trilogy sways just far enough from history to be believable in the sense of "well I guess I could see that happening". I'm not particularly that big a fan of cold war fiction, but this had enough action and political intrigue to keep me interested.

If you enjoy alt-history fiction, you'll probably enjoy this one.

a
Astraeus
Dec 26, 2015

An excellent and terrifying depiction of World War III. The story is told through an ensemble cast of characters from both sides of the conflict, including politicians, military personnel, and ordinary civilians, as they struggle to survive and deal with a conflict that may ultimately devastate most of the planet. With a gripping but plausible plot, this book is a must for anyone who enjoys alternative history or who wonders what would have happened if the Cold War had turned hot.

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