According to some theories of quantum physics, the real universe doesn’t make choices, it takes every path. Somewhere out there, there’s a you who chose another spouse, who became a serial killer or a rock star. Somewhere, there’s a version of the universe where dinosaurs still rule, and another where your parents hated each other on first sight and never connected. Somewhere, Adolf Hitler had a change of heart in prison and somewhere there are cops who work to keep the leaves of reality from conflicting, prevent one version of you from murdering another and taking his place. Author Teel James Glenn approaches the alternate universe theory from the standpoint of the pulp fiction author. His version of a time-cop rides Slepnir, Odin’s 8-legged horse and is stuck with a Chimp as a sidekick at a magic convention. Adolf Hitler turned from politics to become an adventure writer and heads to Egypt with Robert E. Howard (who somehow left Cross Plains, Texas). Add in a Skullmask story, a story featuring the intrepid newspaper reporter Moxie of Maxi and Moxie fame, a steampunk story of transformation, warbots and romance, and a medieval tale of magic and betrayal and you have a fun collection of pulp adventure set in a universe of maybes and what-ifs. Teel James Glenn was voted Best Pulp Fiction Author of the year for 2012: in Adventures in Otherwhen he shows off his skill. Adventures is classic pulp–with strong men, females ranging from femme-fatale to the girl next door (with some who manage both), evil Nazis, an homage to Pulp’s beginnings, and a couple of tie-in stories to Glenn’s series.
Greetings to ill and sun-dried,
Today’s goodie is a review of Teel James Glenn’s Adventures in Otherwhen, a fun mash-up of the pulp and alternate history genres. Let’s hop to it!
As a huge fan of both classic pulp and New Pulp fiction, and a not-as-devout fan, but still a fan nonetheless, of alternate universe fiction, I was pleased to be given the chance to read this collection of pulp stories with an AU twist. Teel James Glenn has assembled six inventive tales that span many genres and blend them together in interesting new ways. All the stories are excellent, but my particular favorites are “Hairy Khetar and the Philosophers’ Stones” (to quote Brodie Bruce, “Now there’s a concept I can’t get enough of, a man and his monkey”) and “The Crusader from Cross Plains,” which teams Texan pulp writer Bob Howard with a German in the same line of work, one who was considerably more infamous in our reality.
If I have a complaint about this book, and it is a small one, it is that it could have done with tighter editing in some places. I noticed a number of typos, most of the type that a grammar or spell checker would not catch. While it was somewhat noticeable in many places, it did not detract from my enjoyment of Mr. Glenn’s clever, eclectic writing. It’s certainly not the first book I’ve read and enjoyed despite such errors.
Adventures in Otherwhen is an incredibly entertaining hybrid of two genres I enjoy greatly. I had been interested in reading Mr. Glenn’s work even before reading this book, and I intend to read more of his work, particularly as some of the characters featured here appear in other books by him. I give this delightful work 4 out of 5 tentacles.
Sean Levin – Assistant Editor/Reviewer/Reporter