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Monday, July 18, 2011

The First Heroes edited by Harry Turtledove and Noreen Doyle

Genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction, Alternate History

This book is an anthology of original short stories set in the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age is an important era in human development.  It signals an important advance in technology.  Also, since bronze was an expensive metal to create and use, it had a significant effect in the cultures of ancient peoples.

Turtledove and Doyle have assembled an interesting group of fantasy stories. There are tales of the Bronze Age set in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, China, England, Central Europe and South America.  Each tale relates a unique perspective of the life and times of characters in the Bronze age.  The elements of fantasy vary widely from story to story.

Harry Turtledove is a master of alternate history novels.  He contributes a story of a world in which mythical creatures co-exist with humans.  S. M. Stirling is another master of the genre.  He adds a story set in his Nantucket universe.

The book was dedicated to Poul Anderson, who died in 2001.  He is the author of the final tale of the book.  His story comes at the end of the Bronze age when warriors fought against iron wielding foes.

When I am looking for something new to read, I find that anthologies are an excellent means to explore new authors.  This anthology would help the reader explore some of the authors in the Fantasy and Alternate History genres.

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