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Counting Up, Counting Down

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  24 reviews
From Harry Turtledove, bestselling author and critically acclaimed master of the short story, comes a classic collection of science fiction tales and what-if scenarios. In narratives ranging from fantastic to oddly familiar to eerily prescient, this compelling volume illustrates Turtledove’s literary skill and unbridled imagination.

FORTY, COUNTING DOWN:
With the help of hi
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Del Rey (first published 2002)
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3.61  · 
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 ·  286 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. This review is for the two Novellas, "Forty, Counting Down" and its companion sequel, "Twenty-One Counting Up."

"Forty, Counting Down" is set in the near future and concerns a 40 year old computer expert named Justin Kloster. Justin invents a time-machine, based on a combination of virtual reality and complex string theory, and uses it to travel back in time to visit himself at age 21 in the hopes of "changing" his future by counseling his younger self to avoid the "mistakes" t
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Stefan
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I am not really a big fan of short story collections, but found this one on sale, and since I liked Turtledove, decided to read it. Some of the stories in this book are interesting, witty, and brilliant. Other stories, I thought were poorly written, and occasionally, downright confusing. Three stories truly shine in this collection: Forty, Counting Down, Must and Shall, and Twenty-one, Counting Up. The first and last stories were quite interesting, and Turtledove displayed his talent in displayi ...more
Laurel
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review relates to "Forty, Counting Down".

Justin Kloster, the main character, has boyish looks despite being 40 years old. Then we learn that he is something of a genius when it comes to computers, and has figured out that he might be able to use superstrings and VR to time travel. He is also a divorcee who is really messed up about losing his wife. So he decides to travel back in time to patch things up.

At first one's impression of Justin Kloster is that he's a pretty pathetic specimen of a
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Michael D. Kanner
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not what you expect from a collection of stories by the master of alternative history.

Yes, there are some alternative histories, ("The Phantom Tolbukhin"), but there is so much more.
- "Deconstruction Gang" - A satire on modern academia which hits way too close to home for someone that has had to suffer from postmodernism as a graduate student.
- "Ils ne passeront pas" - This is a great description of life in the trenches and equal to many of the first person accounts that I have as part of my
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Ronn
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a collection of short stories, and a cross-section of the variety of genres in which Turtledove frequently writes. While I've never read anything by him that I really disliked, I am not a fan of sword & sorcery or elves & unicorns fantasy, and a third to a half of the stories in this book fall into that category, which is why I gave it only three stars.
All that being said, the first and last stories [the same story told from two different points of view, even though technica
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Arthur
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's ok. Sometimes you just want a short story or two, this did the job
Nick
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice short story collection. I gotta say, this 4 star rating might be a bit high since I blatantly skipped over some stories. For instance, "The Maltese Elephant" was a take on "The Maltese Falcon" which I'm unfamiliar with, so I didn't reap any enjoyment from the first few pages of the story. The "Myth Manners' Guide to Greek Missology #1: Andromeda and Perseus" was too gimmicky for me to enjoy, and the characters didn't seem "real" to me. Also, the title stories at the beginning and end were m ...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
Well... This was an odd book. Having heard that he his a master of alternate history I had to read something by him. I have some novels of the World War Series but after reading this book I will have them stand-by for another time...

This book is the collection of 17 stories.
I can't say I enjoyed it. I did not. Most of stories are dull and without purpose. There are some who I liked like After the Last Elf is Dead a story depicting a what if of (anti-)Tolkien's LOTR. In most books of fantasy out
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Neil Fein
Feb 19, 2008 rated it liked it
What it you could go back in time, and speak to your younger self? and maybe, just maybe, arrange things so things would work out with your girl -- the one you've been carrying a torch for all these nineteen years?

Well known for alternate history, and in particular for the amazing The Guns of the South, this volume is Mr. Turtledove's latest collection of alternate history, science-fiction, fantasy, and mixes of the genres. As in his other books, Mr. Turtledove is the Tom Petty of alternate hist
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Dave
Feb 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Counting Up, Counting Down" offers a collection of short stories by Harry Turtledove, ranging from alternate history tales to more "conventional" science fiction stories. Turtledove is renowned (some would say infamous) for his multi-volume epics of alternate timelines, so reading him in short-story form is a bit of a novelty. In truth I prefer his novel-length stories; the tales collected here (all previously published elsewhere) are a hit-or-miss bunch. However, I do recommend this book for t ...more
grundoon
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
This was my first Turtledove - and stands a fair chance of being my last. I'm generally a big fan of time travel and alternate history, and do admire his confident style, yet this confidence seems rooted in a territory of writing whatever he finds entertaining with little regard to what might, well... entertain. There are a few rather enjoyable pieces here, but many of the stories involve a structure of eventual "mystery" with a closing reveal, or simply an idea for a final twist, padded out wit ...more
That70sheidi
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, sci-fi
An excellent take on the paradox of time travel to fix your "what if" moments. And due to it's abbreviated nature, perfect to capture a snapshot of the where and when and juxtapose that nostalgia with a creeping sense of "Well everyone knows this won't turn out well.... right? But we'll stay and watch the train wreck anyway."
Chris Weakley
A collection of Turtledove short stories. Most have appeared in magazines and at least one in another collection that I know of, but still all in all a good short story collection worth reading. Turtledove shows a diverse interest in his stories, but I think it is when he recasts or does historical stuff he is at his best. His characters have more flesh on them than his standards.
George
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Time travel novella...40 year old travels back in time to change his life and meets his 21 year old self. Things don't work out as planned and life changes. Fun read...where can I find more by this author?
Adam
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love time travel fiction and these two stories were not only a lot of fun, but a great character study of the protagonist - Justin Kloster - as a forty year old man as well as twenty one. Well done and thoroughly enjoyable.
Brentman99
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who like Turtledove's short stories.
I loved Turtledove's collection of short stories. The science fiction and what-ifs that he presents are lots of fun and very enjoyable to read.
Charles
May 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Time travel stories. The stories were between eh and good. None great.
Bettie
Cleaning up my TBR.
Annie
Mar 02, 2015 added it
Great sampling of alternative history and history-inspired fantasy short stories.
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Dr Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced a sizeable number of works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Harry Turtledove attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.

Turtledove has been dubbed "The Master of Alternate History". Within this genre he is known both for creating original sce
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