6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Monday, April 10, 2006

NOVELS: Time Travel & Dan Simmons!

Hi Everyone,

I've been doing alot of reading lately and have come across several excellent time travel themed sci-fi novels.

One of the first I read was Harry Turtledove's "In High Places," part of his Crosstime Traffic series. The novel seems to have been written for young adults, but it wasn't "dumbed down" in any way and follows a family of merchants (We'd call them business people) from the future back to an alternate historical path in which Europe never recovered from the Black Plague.

In the Turtledove Crosstime Traffic world, the future has run out of resources in a Malthusian twist and thus must send back traders to trade for raw materials and resources that have run short in the timetravelling future. They do this by sending merchants across time and even across alternate times to trade for those needed items. However, despite having vastly superior technology compared to most of the places they visit, they have very limited powers to police any one time period and in an accident of fate, a merchant family's daughter gets separated from her family and taken as a slave in a Moorish timeline. Then in a scarier twist of fate, the Moorish slavers actually end up being fiends from the future...

It was a great novel and I enjoyed it very much.

A link to "In High Places":


And I recently read another story posted on-line (I have a link listed below) about a future in which democracy wasn't able to take hold and an Islamic caliphate became the new world order. It was a great story and based on its strength, I'll be reading Dan Simmons' halmark novel, "Hyperion" next.

"Hyperion" is known for its prose and poetry, not something you normally encounter in a sci-fi novel so I'm intrigued. My friend, Vince, says that it reminded him alot of "The Canturbury Tales." One of the things that intrigues me most about Dan Simmons is that he isn't afraid to include religion in his novels and I don't mean the way that authors like Herbert wrote really poor caricatures of religion into his "Dune" novels, but to genuinely write about religion (although not necessarily existing religions) in a beleivable way... a very tough task to convincingly pull off.

A link to "Hyperion":


And finally a link to Dan Simmons' site where he has an eerie short story about a geopolitical future that I hope never comes to fore... a world in which terror has come to roost. Check it out:


And here's a teaser blurb from the Simmons short story:
...It was not the horrors of his revelations about my grandchildren that had shaken me the most deeply, shaken me to the core of my core, but rather the the Time Traveler’s last three words. Three words that any Replayer or time traveler visiting here from a century or more from now would react to first and most emotionally – three words I will not share here in this piece nor ever plan to share, at least until everyone on Earth knows them – three words that will keep me awake nights for months and years to come.

Three words.
I challenge anyone who reads the short story to figure out what the mysterious "three words" are...


I'm still working on a report describing ConQuest Sac... but as a short teaser, the convention was great and none of my worries came to pass; ConQuest Sac was a huge success!

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