An Oblique Approach (Belisarius #1)
This is pulpy, ridiculous, muscular, high-adventure alternate history with totally implausible science fiction trappings. In fact, "An Oblique Approach" is a horrible misnomer. They should call it, "A Shameless Approach."
I don't think this book cares at all about historical accuracy, plausibility, O ...more
It's very much light literature: there is a science-fictional justification for the authors' mucking about with their historical setting, but it's silly and not really very important anyway. I strongly suspect they basically went "wouldn't it be cool if we could give the great Belisarius gunpowder technology and see what he'd do with it", a ...more
2. Compare to S.M. Stirling writing from David Drake's outline in the Raj Whitehall Series.
3. It's great stuff. Great characters, great action, interesting technology and speculation.
4. If there is a primary fault, I think it's spreading the action too thin - there are always multiple plot lines to follow (as might be expected from a multi-national war and conspiracy plotline), and I found myself wondering on occasion which bizarre ...more
Historical fiction in only the loosest sense of the term, An Oblique Approach uses the persons and places of the sixth century as a springboard to a fanciful, fun adventure. Along the way, Flint's protagonist (Belisarius, arguably the best field commander in history) collects the usual--for Flint fiction--band of allies and followers and takes on the world.
Unlike Guy Kay's Sarantium Mosaic series, Flint doesn't delve deeply into the comple ...more
This is very much in the heroic fantasy mode with larger-than-life characters though the underpinnings are SF. On one level it’s an alternate history romp across the ancient world with rapidly evolving technology. On another it’s a philosophical essay on the very meaning of humanity.
The idea that core ‘human’ values like Freedom, Compassion, Curiosity and Love, ...more
I think I read this series more than that too, but I can't remember exactly, this is at least my third time reading it though.
I talked to my dad for the first time today and cried a little during the conversation. He was... glad! I called and told me that he wants me to be happy. It's amazing feeling wanted like that. I'm still avoiding doing my homework though XD. I'm really glad I chose to read this again while I was going through this, reading about good people, being * ...more
In northern India the Malwa have created an empire of unexampled evil. Guided or possessed by an intelligence from beyond time, with new weapons, old treachery, and an implacable will to power, the Malwa will sweep over the whole Earth. Only three things stand between the Malwa and their plan of eternal domination: Byzantium. The Empire of Rome in the East. Compared to what the Malwa are creating, think of it as Camelot.A crystal with a vision. It brings a warning for all mankind regarding the M...more
The best thing about the book is the banter. It's totally anachronistic, but it's funny, and for pure pulp like this, that's all I care about. The second-best thing abo ...more
I've remarked in the past that I've learned more history from so-called alternate history (especially Turtledove Harry and Neal Stephenson) then I ever did from school.
An Oblique Approach
In The Hear ...more
Kudos, also, to Tor/Baen, and their approach to e-books. The first three books in the Belisarius series are available as free downloads from the publisher, and I'll definitely be spending my money on the following books, directly from Baen.
The story is very interesting, the central character, the Roman General is very very interesting and I really like how he approaches t ...more
Ultimately I really enjoyed the story. Filled with bits of humor and great plot twists, it proved to be a highly entertaining ...more
While some technology does occur out of sequence with our timeline (hence the SF element), the period correct terminology of the Byzantine empire was pretty interesting. The Kindle's handy word lookup feature was quite useful here.