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Book Note: Harry Turtledove, The Guns of the South

I read this book about 7-Mar-2002. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1992. This note was last modified Monday, 01-Mar-2004 11:12:59 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Been meaning to read this for a while, not sure why. I wasn't that happy with his World War series (the lizards invade in the middle of WWII), though I thought the lizard society was well done. Despite the good aliens I felt it lacked any stfnal feel, and I didn't think it was very well written.

Anyway, I am reading about what happens when the Confederates are sold large numbers of AK-47s and the ammo for them. So far, they've just won their first battle with them.

One thing I've been wondering is what the overall attitude towards slavery was going to be in the book. (I don't mean the author's attitude, which you can't reliably determine from a book; A book on this subject will have its own attitude.) The time-travelers supplying the rifles have already annoyed several of the Southerners with their nasty attitude towards blacks, so I think I'm getting a hint.

Finished the book. Overall I'm pretty dissatisfied intellectually. I actually found the characters pretty well drawn, and the action compelling enough. But any time I sit and think about it, I don't believe the South turning away from slavery so soon after winning the Civil War. I don't believe in it even with the evidence of the universal contempt in which slavery is held in the 20th century before their eyes (they capture a small library of books from the future). I'm afraid the reality would be longer and uglier.

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David Dyer-Bennet