Reviews: Asimov's Science Fiction Sci-Fi Short Stories Science Fiction Reviews Short Fiction Reviews

Shorts: Liberating Alaska

This alternate history is more military fiction than science fiction, portraying a realistic battle as the American forces attempt to take back a small city on the coast of Alaska. The narrative and language are spot on, and the author transports you to a circa-WWI battle with ease.


Harry Turtledove
Asimov’s Science Fiction
July/August 2018


American troops are called in to liberate the Alaskan coast from Siberia. In this alternate history, the US is at war with Russia, with Stalin reneging an agreement made by Lenin that Alaska would be left to the US after World War I. The troops advance slowly on the town of Siknazuak, once a prime gold rush town, now rundown and bombed out. There are many casualties on either side and the Americans eventually make it to the city center. They see atrocities done to Russians and American alike by the Russian Red military, and decide they need to document it.


The story follows a few different soldiers as they prepare for, and execute, their mission to liberate the town of Siknazuak. This is hard military fiction. The author features multiple American dialects, and has a deep understanding of the language of war.


The story takes place on the tip of Alaska in a town once known for its boom during a gold rush. There isn’t much left to it but the Americans want to take it back as a matter of principle. We follow the troops from the sea into the town, showing the many obstacles standing in their way.


War, Alternate History, Communism, World War I

Click here to read an excerpt on Asimov’

Photo by Michael Denning on Unsplash

1 comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: