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Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
It's 1960, and the Axis powers dominate the world. Life goes on, because, as we see in "Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction," history is driven both by big events and by small temptations…

Following the appearance of her first two novels, The King's Peace and The King's Name, Jo Walton won the 2002 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Two years later she won
ebook, 32 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Tor Books (first published February 2009)
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May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to karen by: Start typing for auto-complete
“Miss?” one of them asks. She swings around, thinking they want more coffee. One refill only is the rule. “Can you settle a question?” he asks. “Did Roosevelt want to get us to join in the European War in 1940?”

“How should I know? It has nothing to do with me. I was five years old in 1940.” They should get over it and leave history to bury its own dead, she thinks, and goes back to wiping the tables.

sometimes i have to restrain myself from just greedily pouncing on the brand-new tor shorts and r
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Full review, first posted on Fantasy Literature :

This short story is set in the same alternative universe as Jo Walton’s novels Farthing, Ha'penny and Half a Crown. In this universe, the U.S. decided not to come to the aid of Great Britain in WWII. As a result, as Marion explains in her Fantasy Literature review of Ha'Penny, “Europe is largely under the control of Hitler, who is at war with Stalin for the rest. Britain negotiated a ‘peace with honor’ with Germany and has now fully embraced fasci
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, free, short-story
Some historical differences. However, that world is not far off from the one that we're currently living in.
I was told this was science fiction.
I was told this was bleak.
This is not science fiction.
This is not bleak.
If you want to read science fiction;
There is better if you seek.
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Kind of a alternate-history world-building casefile.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-read
3.6 stars. The postmodernist style employed gives the story its unique and strong flavour. Would have given it four stars if there had not been proofreading errors.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
OK so this is tied to the Small Change series, which starts with Farthing, wherein Britain signed a peace treaty with Hitler in 1940. And those books are great, by golly, you should read them, but this is a short story set in the USA as it exists at the time of those books, and it's weird and sad and doomed, you know it's doomed, that's the point of this alternate history, nothing is going to drastically improve because the foundation is so cracked and muddy and built on horror, but sometimes sm ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A depressing alternate history short set in the US. It's the year 1960, Nazi Germany and Japan won WWII and lead the scene of world politics. The US is negotiating peace with Britain. Racism and antisemitism are supported by the society. Expose your neighbors or employers as Jews and you are entitled to their property. Humanity forgotten. Short, bleak and to the point. Bleak, bleak, bleak.

Link here:
Such a bleak story. Most effective. But, uh, I haven't felt myself in such a miserable world since Brazil.

I bought a copy.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
A quick glance at life on the other side of the pond in the world of the Farthing novels, and things are grim here too, illustrated by glimpses of a life and scattered excerpts from the press.
Maggie Gordon
An interesting idea, but having read Shetl Days not long ago, it pales in comparison. Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction is a story where WWII didn't end the way we are used to, and it gives us glimpses at the changes that could result from such a shift. Some of the implications are quite chilling, particularly as they are told through newspaper headings and leave much to the imagination. On the other hand, I wish there was more for readers to sink our teeth into. The horrors needed to ...more
Cyn Armistead
May 21, 2010 rated it liked it
I've read Walton's columns at with much appreciation, and realized with some ebarrassment that I haven't actually read any of her fiction. I tried this story as a starter.

It is extremely well written, but so chilling that I'm almost scared away from her novels! Fortunately, many of the comments on the story site do point out that her best-known novels aren't as dark as this piece. That's a relief, as I don't think I could stay away from such a marvelous author.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: tor-com
A low 3 stars. Insteresting but it left me quite cold.I would recommend another tor short to anyone that enjoyed it: Shtetl days. Similar subject, but I quite prefered the other one.

There is another tor short by Jo Walton which I also enjoyed much better than this one: Sleeper.
Alex Sarll
Another collaborationist dystopia from Jo Walton, this time told in a slightly more new wave style. Her non-fiction always seems so cheery, her fiction unutterably bleak. Which is perhaps healthier than the other way around, at least.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: tor-com
Yuck, this story is depressing. But since it's supposed to be depressing well done! to the writer.
(Dark) Snippets from lives in an alternate history, post, what would be our WWII. Deliciously chilling.
M.L. Chrisman
May 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is an interesting bit of alternative history.
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Robin Edman
rated it it was ok
Nov 28, 2011
Rachel Best
rated it it was amazing
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Jun 10, 2015
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Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.
More about Jo Walton

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