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Fantasy Booklists

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What If...Alternate Histories

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11/22/63
by Stephen King Details
Receiving a horrific essay from a GED student with a traumatic past, high-school English teacher Jake Epping is enlisted by a friend to travel back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a mission for which he must befriend troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald.
Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War
by Newt Gingrich Details
A fictionalized account of an alternate American Civil War, based on five years of research, considers how history might have transpired if General Robert E. Lee had won the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.
Our Lady of Babylon
by John Rechy Details
The story begins with the protagonist, an unnamed lady who has been framed for her husband's murder, now living in an unspecified countryside. There she meets one Madame Bernie, to whom she recounts a series of troubling dreams. Bernie becomes convinced that these dreams are in fact memories of an astonishing kind. Our lady is a material reembodiment of the essence of St. John the Baptist's Whore of Babylon, who has lived throughout history and myth in the incarnations of Eve, Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Medea, and Madame DuBarry.
Slaughterhouse-five
by Kurt Vonnegut Details
Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.
The Eyre Affair
by Jasper Fforde Details
In an alternate 1985 England, literature is a mass obsession, time travel is commonplace, and literary characters can be killed. When Jane Eyre is kidnapped, literary detective Thursday Next vows to rescue her. But Thursday may find herself trapped forever inside the pages of the classic novel from which Jane has been abducted.
The Iron Bridge
by David E. Morse Details
Maggie Foster takes a trip back through time to England, on the eve of the construction of the worlds first iron bridge. To let the bridge be built and the Industrial Revolution to continue unbridled or to destroy the bridge and alter the course of history are among the dilemmas Maggie faces in this richly evocative and fascinating piece of historical speculation.
The Plot Against America
by Philip Roth Details
When the renowned aviation hero and rabid isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, fear invaded every Jewish household in America. Not only had Lindbergh, in a nationwide radio address, publicly blamed the Jews for selfishly pushing America toward a pointless war with Nazi Germany, but upon taking office as the thirty-third president of the United States, he negotiated a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, whose conquest of Europe and virulent anti-Semitic policies he appeared to accept without difficulty.
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
by Michael Chabon Details
In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addicted chess prodigy.
Timequake
by Kurt Vonnegut Details
There's been a timequake. And everyone--even you--must live the decade between February 17, 1991 and February 17, 2001 over again. The trick is that we all have to do exactly the same things as we did the first time--minute by minute, hour by hour, year by year, betting on the wrong horse again, marrying the wrong person again. Why? You'll have to ask the old science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout. This was all his idea.
Updated 12/21/2011
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