Best Selling Books in Fantasy - Alternate History

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release date: Jun 01, 2003
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Animal Farm: 1984
This edition features George Orwell's best known novels – 1984 and Animal Farm – with an introduction by Christopher Hitchens.

In 1984, London is a grim city where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind.  Winston Smith joins a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Animal Farm is Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution -- an account of the bold struggle, initiated by the animals, that transforms Mr. Jones's Manor Farm into Animal Farm--a wholly democratic society built on the credo that All Animals Are Created Equal. But are they?
release date: Jan 24, 2012
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The Man in the High Castle
“The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career.” —New York Times
 
It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.
 
This harrowing, Hugo Award–winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.
 
Winner of the Hugo Award
release date: Jul 24, 2012
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11/22/63: A Novel
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller—now a limited series on Hulu starring James Franco!

WINNER OF THE 2012 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE

In Stephen King’s “most ambitious and accomplished” (NPR) and “extraordinary” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestselling novel, time travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out.

President John F. Kennedy is dead.

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
release date: Sep 27, 2005
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The Plot Against America

Never more relevant than now, this national bestseller will challenge all who believe that “it can't happen here.”
 
 “A terrific political novel . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible. . . You turn the pages, astonished and frightened.” — The New York Times Book Review
 
In an extraordinary feat of narrative invention, Philip Roth imagines an alternate history where Franklin D. Roosevelt loses the 1940 presidential election to heroic aviator and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh. Shortly thereafter, Lindbergh negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.
 
For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America–and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.

release date: Sep 05, 2017
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A Secret History of Witches
A sweeping historical saga that traces five generations of fiercely powerful mothers and daughters - witches whose magical inheritance is both a dangerous threat and an extraordinary gift.

Brittany, 1821. After Grand-mere Ursule gives her life to save her family, their magic seems to die with her.

Even so, the Orchires fight to keep the old ways alive, practicing half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden.

But when World War II looms on the horizon, magic is needed more urgently than ever - not for simple potions or visions, but to change the entire course of history.

"At once sprawling and intimate, A Secret History of Witches deftly captures the greatest magic of all: the love between mothers and daughters."
--Jordanna Max Brodsky, author of The Immortals

release date: Jan 04, 2000
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The Intuitionist: A Novel
This debut novel by the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut of an important American writer.

It is a time of calamity in a major metropolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it.  There are two warring factions within the department:  the Empiricists, who work by the book and dutifully check for striations on the winch cable and such; and the Intuitionists, who are simply able to enter the elevator cab in question, meditate, and intuit any defects.  

Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department.  But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae's watch, chaos ensues.  It's an election year in the Elevator Guild, and the good-old-boy Empiricists would love nothing more than to assign the blame to an Intuitionist.  But Lila Mae is never wrong.

The sudden appearance of excerpts from the lost notebooks of Intuitionism's founder, James Fulton, has also caused quite a stir.  The notebooks describe Fulton's work on the "black box," a perfect elevator that could reinvent the city as radically as the first passenger elevator did when patented by Elisha Otis in the nineteenth century.  When Lila Mae goes underground to investigate the crash, she becomes involved in the search for the portions of the notebooks that are still missing and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever.
release date: Sep 05, 2006
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Fatherland: A Novel
The New York Times bestselling classic of alternate history, a murder mystery set in a world where the Nazis won World War II—for fans of The Plot Against America and The Man in the High Castle

Berlin, 1964. The Greater German Reich stretches from the Rhine to the Urals, and keeps an uneasy peace with its nuclear rival, the United States. As the Fatherland prepares for a grand celebration honoring Adolf Hitler’s seventy-fifth birthday and anticipates a conciliatory visit from U.S. president Joseph Kennedy and ambassador Charles Lindbergh, a detective of the Kriminalpolizei is called out to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a lake near Berlin’s most prestigious suburb.

But when Xavier March discovers the identity of the body, he also uncovers signs of a conspiracy that could go to the very top of the German Reich. And, with the Gestapo just one step behind, March, together with the American journalist Charlotte Maguire, is caught up in a race to discover and reveal the truth—a truth that has already killed, a truth that could topple governments, a truth that will change history.

Praise for Fatherland

“A singular achievement displaying original and carefully wrought suspense . . . Fatherland easily transcends convention.”The Washington Post

“A solid thriller, vividly imagined and genuinely frightening.”The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Ingenious . . . a triumph . . . suspenseful and elegant.”San Francisco Chronicle

“A dazzler . . . fast-paced . . . Historical fact is blended skillfully with fiction.”Detroit Free Press

“Absorbing . . . expertly written.”The New York Times Book Review

“Truly captivating.”—Robert Ludlum

“A strong premise for a police thriller with rich foreign atmosphere and political texture galore? Absolutely!”Entertainment Weekly

“A sly and scary page-turner.”Los Angeles Times

“A well-plotted, well-written detective tale and a fascinating trek through parallel history.”Chicago Tribune

Fatherland works on all levels. It’s a triumph.”The Washington Times

“Distinguished by vivid details based on impeccable research, the thriller is a crackling-good read in the le Carré tradition.”Time

“Wonderful.”Newsday

“A gripping detective story as well as a chilling visit to the Germany that might have been. It is so plausibly written it seems quite real. Robert Harris is a name to watch for.”BookPage
release date: Apr 18, 2017
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The Book of Joan: A Novel

A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

The 25 Most Anticipated Books by Women for 2017, Elle Magazine

The 32 Most Exciting Books Coming Out in 2017, BuzzFeed

50 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2017, Nylon Magazine

33 New Books to Read in 2017, The Huffington Post

Most Anticipated, The Great 2017 Book Preview, The Millions

New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

National Bestseller

“Brilliant and incendiary. . . . Radically new, full of maniacal invention and page-turning momentum. . . .Yuknavitch has exhibited a rare gift for writing that concedes little in its quest to be authentic, meaningful and relevant. By adding speculative elements to The Book of Joan, she reaches new heights with even higher stakes: the death or life of our planet.”
   — Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

“Stunning. . . . Yuknavitch understands that our collective narrative can either destroy or redeem us, and the outcome depends not just on who’s telling it, but also on who’s listening.”
   — O, The Oprah Magazine

“[A] searing fusion of literary fiction and reimagined history and science-fiction thriller and eco-fantasy. . . Yuknavitch is a bold and ecstatic writer.”
   — NPR Books
 

“[The Book of Joan] offers a wealth of pathos, with plenty of resonant excruciations and some disturbing meditations on humanity’s place in creation . . . [It] concludes in a bold and satisfying apotheosis like some legend out of The Golden Bough and reaffirms that even amid utter devastation and ruin, hope can still blossom.”
   — Washington Post

The bestselling author of The Small Backs of Children offers a vision of our near-extinction and a heroine—a reimagined Joan of Arc—poised to save a world ravaged by war, violence, and greed, and forever change history, in this provocative new novel.

In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: the surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.

Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule—galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one—not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself—can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.

A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places—even at the extreme end of post-human experience—Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival.

release date: Jan 09, 2018
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Dark State: A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse (Empire Games)

Hugo Award-winning author Charlie Stross dives deep into the underbelly of paratime espionage, nuclear warfare, and state surveillance in this provocative techno-thriller set in The Merchant Princes multi-verse

Dark State ups the ante on the already volatile situations laid out in the sleek techno-thriller Empire Games, the start to Stross' new story-line, and perfect entry point for new readers, in The Merchant Princes series.

In the near-future, the collision of two nuclear superpowers across timelines, one in the midst of a technological revolution and the other a hyper-police state, is imminent. In Commissioner Miriam Burgeson’s timeline, her top level agents run a high risk extraction of a major political player. Meanwhile, a sleeper cell activated in Rita's, the Commissioner's adopted daughter and newly-minted spy, timeline threatens to unravel everything.

With a penchant for intricate world-building and an uncanny ability to realize alternate history and technological speculation, Stross' writing will captivate any reader who's a fan hi-tech thrillers, inter-dimensional political intrigue, and espionage.

release date: Jul 01, 2014
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The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future
The year is 2393, and the world is almost unrecognizable. Clear warnings of climate catastrophe went ignored for decades, leading to soaring temperatures, rising sea levels, widespread drought and―finally―the disaster now known as the Great Collapse of 2093, when the disintegration of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet led to mass migration and a complete reshuffling of the global order. Writing from the Second People's Republic of China on the 300th anniversary of the Great Collapse, a senior scholar presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment―the political and economic elites of the so-called advanced industrial societies―failed to act, and so brought about the collapse of Western civilization.

In this haunting, provocative work of science-based fiction, Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called "carbon combustion complex" that have turned the practice of science into political fodder. Based on sound scholarship and yet unafraid to speak boldly, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature.
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