Harry Harrison has been publishing science fiction for half a century; this novel appears in 2000, the year of his 75th birthday. His 1998 Stars and Stripes Forever
was a foray into alternative history at the time of the U.S. Civil War. An opportunistic British invasion is so badly bungled that it unites warring Union and Confederate forces against the common enemy, and the course of events is rousingly changed.
Now it's 1863 and perfidious Albion is making a comeback via the Pacific, establishing a Mexican beachhead and planning attacks on united America's "soft underbelly" in the Gulf of Mexico. Gurkha and Sepoy troops build roads while sweaty white officers express nostalgia for England: "I despair of ever seeing her blissfully cold and fog-shrouded shores again."
An early coup of misdirection makes the British advance seem unstoppable--but America forges ahead with new guns and naval armor, and General Robert E. Lee devises an audacious counterblow. What better way to disrupt Britain's wicked schemes than to strike at her own rebellious province of Ireland?
Harrison, an American, perhaps overdoes the lofty dignity of figures like Abraham Lincoln, while showing British politicians with their full complement of warts. But the breathless, headlong action sweeps you away as the battle is planned and at last joined. Even hardened English patriots will feel a sense of wish-fulfillment at the possibility that America may solve the "Irish Question" for them. This is a rapid-paced, slightly slapdash, and unfailingly energetic adventure in alternate history--all great fun. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk
--This text refers to the
About the Author
Winner of the Nebula Award, the Prix Jules Verne, and the Premio Italia, Harry Harrison is famous for many works of speculative literature, including The Stainless Steel Rat series, Make Room! Make Room! (the basis for the movie Soylent Green), and the West of Eden trilogy. Harrison is currently working on the final volume of this alternate history trilogy. He lives in Ireland.From the Hardcover edition.