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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 057): Panel Discussion – What Is Your Favorite Historical Science Fiction or Fantasy Story/Novel?

In episode 57 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks the panel: What’s your favorite historical science fiction or fantasy story/novel?

This week’s panel:

© 2011

Featuring original music by John Anealio.


About Patrick Hester (527 Articles)
Patrick Hester is a writer, blogger, podcasting dude, Denver transplant and all around Functional Nerd. Don't hate him cuz he has a cool hat.

9 Comments on The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 057): Panel Discussion – What Is Your Favorite Historical Science Fiction or Fantasy Story/Novel?


    I’ve always thought that the word histor-ic-al sounded redundant compared to histor-ic, but grammar girl says your usage is correct!


  2. This one was a hoot to participate in. Lots of good books mentioned.

    And the beauty is, even with all that we mentioned…there are plenty more out there that I hope our readers will point us toward. 

  3. What?  Nobody is going to mention William Forstchen’s Lost Regiment series?  How about Hughart’s Master Li and Number 10 Ox?  Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel? I also have to give a shout out to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter even if it is kinda the “it girl” of historical fantasy.

    Though at least someone mentioned Watchmen.  🙂

  4. As an afficianado of Roman History, I still enjoy the classic L. Sprague DeCamp’s Lest Darkness Fall.  

    In terms of under utilized historical periods, I would like to see something based on Polynesian History. 

  5. OH!! And Nalo Hopkinson’s Salt Roads is absolutely brilliant and qualifies as “neglected” both culturally and period wise.

  6. Definitely a book heavy episode. I can hear the cash registers ringing at independent book sellers everywhere!

    Wait. That’s my phone…


  7. First, let me say I’m a huge fan of both Gail’s lovely steampunk novels and Jack Whyte’s Camalued series.

    As for untouched areas for historical or alt-history tales, there are two Asian events that have been neglected.

    We know that the giant Chinese treasure fleets, commanded by the eunoch Commander Zheng He, made at least three multi-year voyages. I have been waiting for some talented author to envision one or two of them landing on the northwest coast of North America. An alt-history series might involve a shipwreck, peaceful relations with the Native Americans and the founding of an early Chinatown that managed to keep and improve on all their inventions. After several generations, they mingle with the locals, conquer other western tribes and end up with an empire that covers half of the continent by the time the Spaniards push up, from the south.

    If I wasn’t neck-deep in my own trilogy of hard SF novels right now, I might just try my hand at it. We’ll see what the next couple of years brings.

    The other event that I find interesting is the Korean Turtle ships that featured covered decks with iron spikes to prevent boarders and a dragon head that spit fire and toxic smoke. You can read a bit about them on Wikipedia:

    If you’re looking for some historical research fodder, I can highly recommend the weekly Exploartor Newsletter from David Meadows:

    I’ve rambeled more then enough. Have fun and thanks for some great podcasts!

    Stan Field

  8. I have to chime in here with Ian Tregillis’ Bitter Seeds. Superhuman Nazis vs. the warlocks of Britain during WW2. Great read.

    Kudos also for the Guy Gavriel Kay mention–I thought Under Heaven was fantastic.

  9. Jim of WVa // June 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm //

    The panelists failed to mention the work of Poul Anderson.  In many of his stories, one gets the impression that Harold Godwinson won the day at the Battle of Hastings.

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