Friday, December 07, 2018

Forgotten Books: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy - Brian M. Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg, eds.

Since today is Pearl Harbor Day, it seems appropriate to write about this anthology of alternate history stories that came out in 2001. Its full title is A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY: AN ANTHOLOGY OF PEARL HARBOR STORIES THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. I was a regular in Marty Greenberg's anthologies then, since I was writing a couple of novel series for his Tekno-Books, including the World War II series THE LAST GOOD WAR. So I was a natural to be included in this book. For my story, "The East Wind Caper", I brought back Nicholas Lake, a private detective character I'd used one time in a story for MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE many years earlier. In this one, I had him doing business in Honolulu and gave him an assistant/sidekick, a Hawaiian nightclub comic, and played the whole thing pretty much fast and lightweight. I haven't read the story in years, but I recall that one of Lake's cases somehow allowed him to prevent the attack on Pearl Harbor. I hope it holds up, but like I said, it's been a long time since I read it . . .

As for the other stories, it's been even longer since I read them, but I remember I thought it was a really good bunch of yarns. You'd expect that with authors such as Ed Gorman, Brendan DuBois, William C. Dietz, Barrett Tillman, and William H. Keith Jr. There are also several essays about Pearl Harbor by Brian M. Thomsen (who edited the book along with Greenberg), William R. Forstchen, Paul M. Thomsen, and Allen Kupfer. If you're interested in alternate history and/or World War II, it's a book well worth hunting up.


Jeff Meyerson said...

I am interested, plus any collection with Gorman and DuBois and Reasoner is going to be worth reading.

Pearl Harbor Day was my grandmother's birthday, and is my brother's, though he was born seven years after the event. So it is a date I never had trouble remembering.

Todd Mason said...

There was kind of paucity of nightclub comedians in Honolulu by the '70s into the '80s. There were a few, with Andy Bumatai the then-current Guy Who Got All the Gigs. I wonder how many more might've been active in the '40s...with the relative expense of visitation by Mainland talent to the islands...but I doubt it was any tougher to convince comedians in the '40s to take a few nights or a week in Hawaii.