T.J.'s Reviews > Curious Notions

Curious Notions by Harry Turtledove
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May 20, 08

bookshelves: alternate-history, dystopia-fiesta
Read in January, 2008

Turtledove does better here on this Crosstime Traffic novel, which stipulates what might have happened if the Germans had won World War I and gone on to conquer the rest of the world eventually, having never created an angry, revanchist regime like Hitler's Nazism.

Paul Gomes, an average teenager going through a typical clash with his father, is a Crosstime Trader--he operates a low level electronics shop in a decrepit, bombed-out San Francisco while also buying food from California's abundant central valley to feed the home timeline.

However, the Imperial German police were alerted to the advanced technology of the stores and shut it down. In a bizarre twist, the secret, underground Chinese Triads were also looking for the source behind the advanced technology. Paul gets a clunky romance with a local girl, Lucy Woo and some token adventure as he narrowly avoids the Kaiser's men and the angry Tongs.

It's better, but not perfect. However, it moves a little slowly in parts. Still, it's world's above the first and is a promising start to the rest of the series.
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