Book picks similar to
A Rude Awakening by Brian W. Aldiss


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historical-fiction
modern
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Blood & Iron


Harry Turtledove - 2001
    Then, after a generation of relative peace, The Great War exploded worldwide. As the conflict engulfed Europe, the C.S.A. backed the Allies, while the U.S. found its own ally in Imperial Germany. The Confederate States, France, and England all fell. Russia self-destructed, and the Japanese, seeing that the cause was lost, retired to fight another day.The Great War has ended, and an uneasy peace reigns around most of the world. But nowhere is the peace more fragile than on the continent of North America, where bitter enemies share a single landmass and two long, bloody borders.In the North, proud Canadian nationalists try to resist the colonial power of the United States. In the South, the once-mighty Confederate States have been pounded into poverty and merciless inflation. U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt refuses to return to pre-war borders. The scars of the past will not soon be healed. The time is right for madmen, demagogues, and terrorists.At this crucial moment in history, with Socialists rising to power in the U.S. under the leadership of presidential candidate Upton Sinclair, a dangerous fanatic is on the rise in the Confederacy, preaching a message of hate. And in Canada another man--a simple farmer--has a nefarious plan: to assassinate the greatest U.S. war hero, General George Armstrong Custer.With tension on the seas high, and an army of Marxist Negroes lurking in the swamplands of the Deep South, more than enough people are eager to return the world to war. Harry Turtledove sends his sprawling cast of men and women--wielding their own faiths, persuasions, and private demons--into the troubled times between the wars.From the Hardcover edition.

The Web Between the Worlds


Charles Sheffield - 1979
    -- KliattRob Merlin was the best engineer who had ever lived. That was why The King of Space had to have him for the most spectacular construction project ever -- even though Rob was a potentially fatal threat to his power...Thus begins a breakthrough novel by the former President of the American Astronautical Society, about an idea whose time has come: a shimmering bridge between Earth and space that mankind will climb to the stars!Sound like fantasy? The concept has been in the literature of physics for over three decades, but only a writer with the scientific background of a Sheffield or a Clarke could bring the idea to life.

Hour of the Horde


Gordon R. Dickson - 1970
    And Earth lay in their route.To defend their home planets, the worlds that lay in the path of the monsters created a super defense force, asking each planet to contribute one especially talented warrior to help turn the invaders away.Miles Vander was Earth's man, but when he arrived at the rendezvous point he found that he was included in the special task force of the less civilized defenders. But in the contest of advanced nuclear weaponry and computer strategy, it turned out to be Vander's group that had the special independent qualities and the raw courage to meet the challenge the most effectively.

Marching Through Georgia


S.M. Stirling - 1988
    1942: The Eurasian War.The fleets of Imperial Japan raid the coasts of a United States that stretches from Panama to the Arctic. The Nazi war machine takes Moscow and sweeps east to the Urals. To the south the Domination of the Draka is a giant forge with serf-manned factories pouring out tanks, airplanes and artillery as the Janissary legions gather for the final triumph and revenge.

The Outcasts of Heaven Belt


Joan D. Vinge - 1978
    Heaven Belt -- the fabulous asteroid system that was, so legend said, as rich as old Earth. But before the starship Ranger could even explain its mission, it was attacked by the people of the outermost asteroid. For civil war had long since transformed the Belters into isolated societies slowly dying out for lack of technology and natural resources. Crippled, with most of its crew dead, the Ranger soon became a valuable technological prize fought over by everyone in the Belt. And for the Ranger's crew, what began as a mission of hope became a breathtaking race for survival.

The Dramaturges of Yan


John Brunner - 1972
    Here the colonists lived a peaceful, almost idyllic life, amid ancient and secret relics, co-existing with their strange and compatible neighbours. The arrival of Gregory Chart, the greatest dramatist ever, whose productions were played out in the skies, and whose actors were also the audience, could only disrupt and destroy once the Yanfolk were aroused from their dreaming indifference . . . (First published 1972)

If Then


Matthew De Abaitua - 2015
    The Process gives and it takes. It allocates jobs and resources, giving each person exactly what it has calculated they will need. But it also decides who stays under its protection, and who must be banished to the wilderness beyond. Human life has become totally algorithm-driven, and James, the town bailiff, is charged with making sure the Process’s suggestions are implemented.But now the Process is making soldiers. It is readying for war — the First World War. Mysteriously, the Process is slowly recreating events that took place over a hundred years ago, and is recruiting the town’s men to fight in an artificial reconstruction of the Dardanelles campaign. James, too, must go fight. And he will discover that the Process has become vastly more sophisticated and terrifying than anyone had believed possible.

Beastchild


Dean Koontz - 1970
    The two races, Human and Naoli, were the most powerful intelligences in the galaxy -- and destined to be immediate and perpetual enemies! The adult Hulann met the boy Leo ... and each became a traitor to his race. For it was only through treason that the future of each race could be assured!

Kronk


Edmund Cooper - 1970
    And oh boy! was it fun to communicate!But Gabriel had reckoned without the finely honed irony of whatever Prankster it is who governs human affairs.As the Raven quoth,'KRONK'"

West of January


Dave Duncan - 1989
    Because it takes a lifetime for each region of the planet to experience dawn, midday and dusk, the planet's population does not remember the catastrophes that occur as the sun moves across the sky - entire civilizations have been scorched into oblivion. The only people who remember the dangers of the past are the planet's "angels" - a people who have tried to preserve past technologies to save the planet. This action-filled story of a very strange planet showcases Duncan's remarkable ability to create unique worlds.

The Fall of the Towers


Samuel R. Delany - 1970
    Come and enter Samuel Delany’s tomorow, in this trilogy of high adventure, with acrobats and urchins, criminals and courtiers, fishermen and factory-workers, madmen and mind-readers, dwarves and ducheses, giants and geniuses, merchants and mathematicians, soldiers and scholars, pirates and poets, and a gallery of aliens who fly, crawl, burrow, or swim.

Into the Out of


Alan Dean Foster - 1986
    But the shetani are beings of awesome power, a swarm of spirits stealing into our world from the Out Of to destroy the very fabric of reality.A modern menace!Only one man sees the growing danger. Olkeloki, an elder of the Maasai people, an African laibon with the knowledge to fight the shetani both in this world and its bizarre counterpart. But he must have help from two others if he is to stem the deadly tide--U.S. government agent Joshua Oak, a man all too used to combat, and Merry Sharrow, a courageous young woman braving demons of her own. Together, they must invade the very heart of a nightmare and--as spell-cast mayhem causes one earthly crisis after another--defeat the shetani in their own terror-strewn world.

1882: Custer in Chains


Robert Conroy - 2015
    He and his wife Libbie fixate on Spain’s decaying empire as his source for immortality. What President Custer doesn’t quite comprehend is that the U.S. military isn’t up to such a venture. When a group of Americans on a ship headed for Cuba is massacred, war becomes inevitable—and unless calmer, patriotic citizens and soldiers can find a way to avoid debacle, this war may be America's last stand!

The Planet Pirates


Anne McCaffrey - 1993
    Sassinak escaped from slavery to freedom, and then used that freedom to fight the evil that had wrecked her world, first as a cadet, later as a captain, and finally as an Admiral of the Fleet.Lunzie, one of the galaxy's greatest healers, is Sassinak's great-grandmother -- but in actual years she is her junior; Lunzie spent nearly a century in coldsleep waiting for rescue when her ship was destroyed. Imagine their mutual surprise when Sassinak rescued her.How together Sassinak and Lunzie save first a world, and then a confederation of worlds -- and almost in passing establish amity between the genetically engineered Heavy Worlders and normal humanity -- is the story of The Planet Pirates.Publisher's Note: Never in our experience has a new series met with such solid success as our national bestsellers, THE PLANET PIRATES: Sassinak, The Death of Sleep, and Generation Warriors. Now at last we are able to offer all five hundred thousand words in a single hardcover edition. Note that because of its sheer physical mass, The Planet Pirates can never be offered in a mass market paperback edition.

Up the Line


Robert Silverberg - 1969
    It was tricky, though, taking group after group of tourists back to the same historic event without meeting yourself coming or going. Trickier still was avoiding the temptation to become intimately involved with the past and interfere with events to come. The deterrents for any such actions were frighteningly effective. So Judson Daniel Elliott played by the book. Then he met a lusty Greek in Byzantium who showed him how rules were made to be broken... and set him on a family-history-go-round that would change his past and his future forever!