In Dublin, Fair City by Rick Wilber, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2017

In Dublin, Fair City by Rick Wilber is an alternative history piece set in 1940. WWII has gone much different than what we know of the war. The Japanese decimated Pearl Harbor and destroyed many of the warships, including some aircraft carriers. Instead of trying to fight, the Americans abandoned Hawaii, and also San Diego when the Japanese close in, and so the Japanese have a foothold on American soil and the fear is San Fransisco will be next.

On the other side of the globe, Europe has fallen to Hitler. England lost the Battle of Britain, and the Irish were somehow able to remain neutral. There are rumblings of a new super bomb the Germans have developed. One that can destroy an entire city, perhaps more.

The is protagonist Moe Berg, who was a real person and played in the MLB as a catcher but also helped the OSS as a spy due to his fluency in many languages. He is tasked with a job to go to Dublin and recover a German scientist who has defected. There is talk of Hitler losing control of his people. Some Germans within the Reich believe Hitler has gone too far, and so there is turmoil everywhere.

The best part of this piece is the imagining and discovery of how this WWII is different than the historical one. It’s very real, very believable. I’m excited that a couple more Moe Berg stories are in the works as well. (B-)

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