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The Way It Wasn't: Great Science Fiction Stories of Alternate History
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The Way It Wasn't: Great Science Fiction Stories of Alternate History

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  137 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The Way It Wasn't takes an amusing, intellectually stimulating excursion into speculative history. Here are thirteen memorable stories by renowned science fiction writers, telling what things might be like if... Elvis Presley weren't the "King" but the President of the United States ("Ike at the Mike" by Howard Waldrop)... The Black Death had killed the entire population o ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 19th 1996 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
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A hit-and-miss collection of alternate history short stories. The stories contained herein are:

"Lion Time in Timbuctoo," Robert Silverberg - Funny and racy goings on in a world run by everyone but the Europeans.
"Ike at the Mike," Howard Waldrop - Maybe the least believable story in the bunch, in which Senator E. Aaron Presley swings to the jazzy sounds of clarinetist Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower.
"Over There," Mike Resnick - Teddy Roosevelt takes his Rough Riders into the meat grinder of the Weste
Billy Roper
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Once again, this collection disappoints because (((Greenberg))) focuses on pop culture novelty rather than serious political differences in the parallel universes explored.
Cindi Blyberg
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, fiction
everyone has wondered "what if..." at some point, whether the question involved his or her own life or some pivotal event in history. history as we know it is jolted and questioned at every turn in this emotional collection of engaging and imaginative fiction. many "what if..." questions are addressed in this volume that allow authors and readers alike to rewrite history, correcting perceived wrongs or tragedies ("suppose they gave a peace..."), creating heroes where none existed before ("the lu ...more
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Normally, I don't rate as 5 stars especially anthology books because in most cases, the work by its very nature is uneven and there always some stories either I didn't like or found just too unbelievable. But this book is not the case. I think one of reasons is that instead of a group of historians writing this alternate history work, it was writers ( I have found that many historians when writing about alternate history is tell the history and the alternate part almost as an afterthought). In ...more
Aug 13, 2015 rated it liked it

Ike at the Mike was a lot of fun, imagine if Ike and Patton had discovered jazz instead of the army.

The Winterberry by Nicholas A. DiChario was among the most tearjerking stories i've ever read. Bobby and Ted and JFK's doctors smuggle the heavily brain damaged president out of the hospital and tell no one, not even Jackie, that he still lives. told in the first person by JFK it skips about ten years at a time. his mind is about that of a six year old, w/no memories of his adult life, living in o
David R.
May 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
A fairly pedestrian anthology of alternate history short stories. These range from the absurd (Senator E.Aaron Presley envies the life of jazz clarinetist Ike Eisenhower) to the banal and forgettable. There's really only two gems in the lot: Pamela Sargent's "Sleeping Serpent" involving a conflicted Mongol whose people seek to overwhelm Amerinds in a very different 1600s, and Harry Turtledove's "Archetypes" with its 15th century Byzantine secret agent.
John E
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Only the first story and an introductory essay were by Silverberg, the anthology was edited by Martin Greenberg. One really good story "The Winterberry" on John F. Kennedy; two long stories that were a waste; and two obligatory Nazi stories that weren't that good either. Why are Alternative History stories considered Science Fiction if they contain no "alternative science?" The Mongols in colonial America and the Africans after the Black Death really didn't have much science that I could find.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
several EXCELLENT stories in this book--more good than bad. i think only 2 i had to skip because i just could not get into them.

my 3 faves were ike at the mike, the winterberry, and the lucky strike. once i got into it i also enjoyed lion in timbuctoo.

i was surprised that there was nothing said anywhere by greenberg, but at least he compiled a good collection.
Steven Raszewski
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Some good stories and some bad ones.
Rose Ann
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Some of the best sf stories I have ever read are included in this anthology, including "Ike at the Mike" and "Over There." Also "The Winterberry" (which will break you heart).
Alternate histories are always intriguing. I like it when authors choose a lesser point of history. Preventing the assassinations of Lincoln & Kennedy are way overdone.
David Brown
Aug 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Hit or miss with the stories in this anthology. I really like the ones by Larry Niven and Mike Resnick. Overall, a good sampling of alternative history, but not by any means a holistic look.
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Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel.

For the 1950s anthologist and publisher of Gnome Press, see Martin Greenberg.
More about Martin H. Greenberg