Book Review – “Fire On the Mountain”

Review of Terry Bisson’s “Fire on the Mountain”

by Joyce Frohn

How does history work? What if history had been different?

Alternative history can be such fun. The greatest master of that
genre, Terry Bisson, is back in print, (PM Press 2009, ISBN
978-1-60486-087-0) with “Fire On the Mountain”
. This story manages to
weave two stories one hundred years apart into one fast, exciting
read. The question at the heart of both stories? What if John Brown’s
raid had succeeded? The Civil War is fought not between North and
South but between Nova Africa and well; you’ll find out. And who in
Europe comes in on which side? This idea works because Terry knows
history so well.

The personal stories entwine completely as a young slave who
discovers his family is not what it seems. He must take sides in a
gathering war that threatens not just his world but also his best
friend. He discovers ambition and adventure and a hundred years later
a girl must reconcile with her mother to recover from her father’s
death. The truths he finds out are the ones that will heal her heart.
In one story deception and trickery are at the heart of survival and
in the other truth is what cures pain.
And the spooky thing is that the history is totally believable.
The Mars landing is delayed by a sandstorm. And its 1959? With cars
that go hundreds of miles an hour? It’s a wild ride in both stories.
Which leads to another question raised by this book. What if we
are the alternative history?
P.S. Elvis is in here.


Joyce Frohn has been a professional writer for years. She has been published in “ClarkesWorld”, “Tales of the Unanticipated”, and”Goblin Fruit”. She is married with and eight-year-old daughter who thinks Mom hogs the computer.

Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite Coming Sept 2011

I recently discovered the very first author I worked with when starting the podcast, Ann Hite, will be releasing her book, Ghost on Black Mountain later this year. She sent me the book trailer earlier this week. The first story I ever released on the podcast, Quell the Voices, was a part of this book. Then in February of 2010 she sent me another story titled the same as her book, Ghost on Black MountainAmy Tapia did a great job on the reading and it remains one of my favorites. Take a look at the trailer, have a listen to the story, then go check out Ann’s site. Ghost On Black Mountain will release from Gallery Books (imprint of Simon & Schuster) September 13, 2011.