The editorial introduction tells us that this is a story extricated from a ‘giant alternate-history novel’ that Robert Reed has been working on part-time for a ‘lot of years’. Lawdy lawdy lawdy.
I’m not the biggest fan of AH, and often get the feeling it’s a form of fiction enjoyed most by the writer, and by the kind of reader who doesn’t mind breaking the reading of the narrative to appreciate a clever bit of history tweakery.
It’s a lengthy story, and, gentle reader, I gave up about a third of the way through, as the pace of the story, and the character development weren’t grabbing me. The AH elements are quite substantial, especially with women having the role in society more generally seen as belonging to males, whereas males are mostly used as soldiers. But it just felt a little flat, and, dare I say it, a bit self-indulgent.