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Across the Universe: Tales of Alternative Beatles Kindle Edition
Out of work, out of luck, out of practice.
Gods, clods, or four simple lads.
Here are the Beatles as you’ve never known them before: singing for their supper, singing for their souls, and singing to save the world.
Join 25 remarkable authors as they take you Across the Universe.
Featuring the stories of: Spider Robinson, Gregory Benford, David Gerrold, Allen M. Steele, Pat Cadigan, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Jody Lynn Nye, Gregory Frost, Cat Rambo, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gail Z. Martin, Bev Vincent, Brenda W. Clough, Alan Goldsher, Gordon Linzner, Beth W. Patterson, Christian H. Smith, Sally Wiener Grotta, Kenneth Schneyer, Charles Barouch, Carol Gyzander, Patrick Barb, R. Jean Mathieu, Eric Avedissian, and Matthew F. Amati.
“This collection is a Magical Mystery Tour through alternate universes where the familiar narrative of the Beatles is turned on its head. Or ear. Or ass. It’s fun, irreverent, sexy, and twisted—just like the Fab Four themselves.”
—Vicki Peterson, The Bangles
“I must have read a thousand Beatles books. But not one of them mentioned that the Beatles were attacked by aliens at the Hollywood Bowl. Or talked about their encounter with the Mersey Monster. Or discussed how they became zombies. I had to learn all of this from the thoroughly entertaining anthology Across the Universe. Each of its 25 stories of speculative fiction re-imagine The Beatles in alternative universes, allowing us to laugh at and with John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Highly recommended!”
—Scott Freiman, creator of Deconstructing the Beatles
“Across the Universe is way too much fun! It’s the Beatles in the Twilight Zone of infinite possibilities! Highly recommended!”
—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of V-Wars and Rage
“Across the Universe is a fantastic, freewheeling, and imaginative romp of a collection. The authors transported me not only across the universe, but to what might have been in many and various alternate universes, all populated by the Beatles and their peculiar possible transmutations. Totally engrossing.”
—Paul Marshall, I See Hawks In L.A., Strawberry Alarm Clock
“This anthology will move and surprise you.”
—Library Journal starred review
“Ranging from trippy fantasy to hard science fiction and zombie apocalypse mash-up, the stories in this anthology send the members of the Beatles on wild adventures through alternate timelines and universes.… Beatles aficionados and fantasy fans will enjoy this affectionate, speculative homage.”
"This anthology will move and surprise you." -Library Journal starred review
"Ranging from trippy fantasy to hard science fiction and zombie apocalypse mash-up, the stories in this anthology send the members of the Beatles on wild adventures through alternate timelines and universes.... Beatles aficionados and fantasy fans will enjoy this affectionate, speculative homage." -Publishers Weekly
"The authors... are clearly having a lot of fun creating worlds in which John, Paul, George, and Ringo have radically different careers than they did in ours. And 'fun' is pretty much the operative word to describe this anthology.... You're likely to find yourself humming bits of fifty-year-old songs at various points while reading.... If the Beatles and their music meant anything at all to you, give this one a look-you'll be glad you did." -Asimov's Science Fiction
"...one has to give major kudos to Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn for Across the Universe: Tales of Alternative Beatles.... Each story is more outrageous than the one before; no matter what strange things you've heard about the Beatles, I can guarantee that you've never dreamed half of the outrageous ideas here." -Analog Science Fiction and Fact--This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B0828QPC5D
- Publisher : Fantastic Books (December 2, 2019)
- Publication date : December 2, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 539 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 271 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,532,518 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The stories explore a number of alternate times and settings. In several, the band broke up early on and its members have gone on to humdrum lives in Liverpool, finally being reunited (or at least thinking about it) in middle age. Settings range from a sword-and-sorcery universe (“Used to Be,” by Keith R. A. DeCandido) to time-travel/alternate history or the far future (the latter, “Doing Lennon,” Gregory Benford). The boys are reimagined as everything from a Cajun band (“Cayenne,” Beth W. Patterson) to—my absolute favorite—the Marx Brothers (“A Hard Day’s Night at the Opera,” Gregory Frost).
Perhaps the best thing that the anthology as a whole did was reminding readers that what made the group memorable was not only their marvelous and wide-ranging music but their unique personalities, so different (resulting in all those arguments, from cheerful banter to breakup) yet often so compatible. Different stories feature the points of view of different Beatles. John and Paul, of course, appear often, and George, the “quiet Beatle,” is the center of attention in a perhaps-surprising (but welcome) number of tales. (“My Sweet Lord of Light,” by Brenda W. Clough, does him no favors, though, picturing him as almost a sexual predator. She gets yin and yang reversed, too.) Only poor Ringo seems to be left out, at least as a point-of-view character, though he does get to Save the Day in both “Cayenne” and “Apocalypse Rock” (Matthew F. Amati). Two of my favorite stories stress the feelings of camaraderie, kindness, and joy that the band seemed to radiate: “Liverpool Band Battle 1982” (Eric Avedissian), in which the members help each other, and “All You Need” (Cat Rambo), in which they inspire kindness in others.
I would strongly recommend this anthology to anyone who likes both the Beatles and fantasy (or science fiction, though I think fantasy predominates and is done better)—or who simply wants to get some idea of what the fuss was all about. The more song titles and lines you know, the more fun you’ll have in spotting them scattered through the stories, but even without that, I think you’ll find that the boys’ personalities come through loud and clear.
I don't know how I'll ever thank her.
Much of it is funny. as in "The Walrus Returns", an alternate "Scooby-Doo" mystery. But instead of a talking Great Dane, our boys have a perpetually hungry beagle named Pete.
They are also portrayed as a Cajun band, complete with a drummer called "Ringeaux"
By far, the funniest story is the pitch-perfect "A Hard Day's Night at the Opera". Yes, it's exactly all the components of that title.
And yet, as I think about it, the story that keeps running through my head is "Through a Glass Onion",
which would have made a fine "Twilight Zone" episode back in the day.
In it, a 32-year-old John Lennon in a parallel universe, once the leader of a local band that went nowhere,
married for the third time, is given the title object by a mysterious stranger who may or may not be from the future.
In it, Alternate John sees the life and career of the John Lennon we all know and--well, know, anyway.
In spite of everything, including the horrific death we're all familiar with, Alternate John embarks upon a showbiz career.
That story alone is worth the price of the book.
Have you ever thought; “Hey, what if The Beatles were shipboard A.I.s on a deep space exploration mission?” Or “what if the Beatles couldn’t hold on to their personal identity but jumped around among other famous quartets?” Or “what if George Harrison doomed us all by teaching transcendental meditation to President Richard M. Nixon?” If you have, don’t worry you’re apparently not alone; if you haven’t, we’ll maybe now those questions are lodged in your mind. Either way Michael A. Ventrella and Randee Dawn, as editors of this short story anthology, have selected stories from authors both previously well known to me and new to my recognition; stories to certainly entertain, stories to make us think about “how it could have been, how it might have been, or how it very much shouldn’t have been”, stories chock full of covert Beatles trivia, but all in all stories from “Across the Universe”.
Four and half stars (one each for John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and Stu gets the half).