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Kinder, Gentler Zombie WorldIn this world the solar system moved in 1992 into a curious cloud of greenish radiation unknown to science, only barely visible through reflection from the dark side of the Moon. It took a decade for the solar system to pass through the relatively small region suffused with the strange energy. Scientific study of the green glow (which seemed to have properties somewhere between those of particles and waves) would eventually revolutionize quantum mechanics and the understanding of the Multiverse, but at the time the effects of the green radiation were much more on people's minds. Principally, it's tendency to raise the dead.
Affecting everything with a nervous system above a certain level of development, the radiation caused reanimation as long as the brain was not entirely decayed and was not shielded by over fifty feet of solid rock. Reanimated were most birds, mammals…and more troublingly, human beings.
It might have been less complicated if the zombies were all shambling, drooling m
The Road Not Taken: 1945Turtledove's "Road not Taken" in 1945.
In this world, another bunch of pre-scientific aliens descended upon British India in October, 1945, with plunder and conquest in mind, only to run into machine guns, anti-aircraft artillery, overlapping fields of fire, etc. The dark red, somewhat slimy and rather appendage-gifted Ssslethy being rather less cute than the teddy-bearish Roxolani, and the Indian Army of 1945 being a trifle more ruthless than the US army of 2039, none of the invaders survived: however, the antigravity generator for one of their shuttles was captured intact.
Earth scientists have spent the last 65 years banging their heads against the incontrovertible fact that if you arrange copper, quartz crystals, and a piece of magnetite in a certain configuration, and rotate it, you get an antigravity field, in spite of there being no discernable reason why this should be so. Quantum mechanics has gone off in some very odd directions, most of them dead ends, since 1945, as have th
All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
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