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DRAKAS! Mass Market Paperback – Nov 15 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (Nov. 15 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671319469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671319465
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.2 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #702,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Drakas!" is a collection of short stories written by multiple alternative history authors concerning S.M. Stirling's alternative timeline of the Drakas. The Drakas were founded when the Loyalists left America after the American Revolution and went to South Africa instead of Canada as they did in our time line. Along the way, they were joined by some of the Confederates after the Civil War. Eventually, they conquered Africa and created a super state. Then they set their site on the rest of the world. A couple key features of Draka society inlcude the advancement of a super race, which includes genetic engineering, and the enslavement of all others.
In "Drakas!," several authors take their turn telling stories in S.M. Stirling's world. Stirling has arranged these stories in chronological order, starting with stories that take place shortly after the American Civil War. The first story concerns Custer and is written by William Sanders. The story features an additional twist in which Custer chose not to attack the Indians at Little Big Horn and goes on to meet his fate in the Draka Domination.
My favorite alternative history author, Harry Turtledove, wrote a compelling story for the collection. His story is set in the modern era where the Draka finally turn their attention to the United States after conquering the rest of the world. In my opinion, Turtledove's story ranks as one of the better stories in the collection and it offers humanity its best hope in the Draka timeline. Another established and well known alternative history author, David Drake, writes a particularly gruesome story of a much worse World War II, which is not for the faint of heart.
An author I am not familiar with by the name of Roland Green wrote a compelling story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Drakas" happened to be my first introduction to the story of the Draka, and although I'd recommend reading the trilogy first ("Marching through Georgia", "Under the yoke" and "The stone dogs") I immediately became fascinated by the idea of how a "nation of loosers", as the young Eric von Shrakenberg (main character of the trilogy) so nicely puts it, became rulers of the world.
For the Dominaton of Draka was a nation built by loosers. First the loosers of the American revolutionary war, who were given a new start in South Africa, and later royalists who fled revolutionary France, loosers of the American civil war, misunderstood and unappreciated philosophers and artists of Europe (like F. Nietsche and O. Wilde) etc.
This book broadens the picture, gives a few new faces to the Draka. We hear the story of a broken General Custer, branded a coward for retreating at Little Big Horn- a looser of the American west become Draka. We witness the horrors of an alternate WWII, a WORSE WWII... We hear the dying words of an American partisan, in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.
There are some very good stories here. If I should mention one drawback, I have to agree with other reviewers and say it has to be the stories set in the future. The problem with these is that instead of being able to compare Draka world to our world, with all the small likenesses and differences, you lose the familiarity with the world described. While one can discuss wether a society like the Domination of Draka could have sustained itself, and shake your head at their twisted views and practices, the futuristic stories move too far from our world to really be interesting in that sense. Still, the first three quarters of the book are so good, I will give it 4 stars out of 5, and a recommendation for anyone with the imagination and open- mindedness to hear a story of what could have been. And luckily didn't...
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By A Customer on May 2 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the entire Draka canon over a weekend, having not heard of it before. Dark and compelling is the world S.M. Stirling has fashioned here. But Drakon adds a bit of potential light, and the stories in Drakas! add more little glints of possibly better--or at least nobler--outcomes. As a bit of a romantic, I like that a lot. While all the stories were good, I differ with other reviewers in one respect--Harry Turtledove, my first and last love in alternative history, just can't bring himself to embrace the slimy, smarmy, repellently compelling, seductively disgusting feel of a Draka-dominated solar system. He is best in his own imaginative domains, at least to me. But Drakas is a great tonic to "The Domination" (the collected first three novels in the series), which I think is probably an orgasmic experience for poor white trash Ku Klux Klan loser thug types who thought Heinlein's early novel Farnham's Freehold was his best work (if you haven't read it, a novel that give "the other white meat" a whole new meaning). Having said that, will I keep reading Draka novels and anthologies? You bet. I'm as sick as the next SF fan.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those of us who have been anxiously waiting for a new Draka novel since _Drakon_ came out in 1996, this short story anthology is the next best thing.
Featuring works by such speculative fiction luminaries as David Drake, Harry Turtledove, John Barnes, Jane Lindskold, and others, the anthology revisits one of the most intriguing, fascinating, and terrifying alternate realities ever created.
The stories are all of good quality, and cover a wide time spectrum. I particulary liked the stories by Lindskold (who shows us another side of Eric von Shrakenberg) and Turtledove (who gives the Alliance for Democracy just a bit of hope).
The anthology is best read after reading the four Draka novels, much of it will make little sense to those not familiar with them.
The only things that prevented me from awarding five stars instead of four were some minor continuity problems with the Draka novels in a couple of the stories, and the absence of a new story by Stirling himself. But these are just minor concerns.
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