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Book Nook: Comedy Through the (P)Ages

Good Old Sammy.

Comedy Through the (P)Ages.

Anthology available from Sea Lion Press. Edited by David Flin

History is often regarded as dry and worthy, with serious and academic studies about what things were really like.

This book is different. It makes no attempt to be serious. Oh, to be sure, there’s an attempt to explain why there is a strong correlation between the number of ginger cats in certain locations in Britain and areas subject to Viking raids in the 8th and 9th Centuries, but we’ve all wondered that at some stage.

Haven’t we?

I digress. I tend to do that.

Alternate History sometimes gets labelled with being po-faced and taking itself too seriously. Certainly, there are more light-hearted Timelines, but for the most part, AH authors are keen to show how their work: “Might have been.” I know I’ve done that.

This book is arranged chronologically, of course, with 11 tales from the Greek Oracles to the present day. If you want to blame anyone for this anthology, blame Titus Maccius Plautus. He was a Roman playwright known for his comedies, and is thought to have been the inventor of the phrase: “A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum.” He wouldn’t have said that, obviously. For one thing, he would have said it in Latin.

Don’t expect deep analyses of the human condition, nor tear-drenched dystopias. The book has one purpose, and one purpose only. That is to entertain.

Tastes in humour are inevitably very personal and individual. With 11 stories, there’s bound to be something that appeals.

For the record, the stories include:

A Mighty Empire Shall Fall, by Jared Kavanagh.

Jared looks at the problems of prophecy, with an alternate take on one of the most famous prophecies.

The Manned Cloud of Macedon, by Tabac Iberez.

Alexander the Great, aerial adventurer extraordinaire.

The Lindisfarne Seven, by David Flin.

Vikings, slaughter, mayhem, and ginger cats.

Yes, you can, if you want, either buy or make armour for your ginger cat. Just in case it's needed. Seriously, you can. I'm not making this up. Here if you want the details.

66 All Out, by Simon Brading.

1066 and All That. How it might have been.

A Plague of Cats, by Kristen Lagerstam.

The plague and more cats.

Prophet and Loss, by Andy Cooke.

Andy has a sideways look at the gift of prophecy. It's got cats as well.

Bone Dry, by Charles E.P. Murphy.

Dinosaurs and the Wild West. What's not to like?

All At Sea, by Jared Kavanagh.

How Operation Sealion happened?

The Voyage of the Stekhanovite, by Nicholas Sumner.

A classic naval adventure, after a fashion.

Sent Me Off to a Foreign Land, by Charles E.P. Murphy.

Adventures and high-jinks on a Moonbase.

The Price of a Vote, by Adam Selby-Martin.

One for the watchers of the British political scene.

Jared Kavanagh is also author of the Lands of Red and Gold series.

Tabac Ibarez is also author of Night Over The Bosporus.

David Flin is owner of the publishing company Sergeant Frosty Publications, publishing books for children and young adults. He's written a few books as well.

Simon Brading is author of the Misfit series.

Andy Cooke is the author of many books, including the prescient The Fourth Lectern and the proclaimed Skyborn.

Charles EP Murphy is author of the collection: Comics of Infinite Earths, along with the WW2 tale Simon and Sir Gawain.

Nicholas Sumner is author of the best selling Drake's Drum series.

They've written many other books. I don't have space to list them all. It's an experienced line-up.

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