Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Captain Confederacy & Will Shetterly


Back in that other life I had a short correspondence with Will Shetterly. At that time he was already known as a writer of science fiction and had begun publishing the controversial CAPTAIN CONFEDERACY. The idea of CC was an alternative history in which the Union did not win the Civil War. Flash forward a hundred plus years and we have a very unrecognizable North America, which is divided into several different nations living in uneasy truce.

In the original comic book series every nation seemed to have its own super-heroes or rather individuals who had natural or enhanced powers and abilities. These were used by the governments of the various powers for their own purposes. Shetterly created a large cast of characters over the length of the series, sometimes forming uneasy alliances and completely at odds in other situations.

I remember some folks being upset by the book, seeing it not as another super-hero/SF comic but as Shetterly promoting a revisionist/pro-Confederacy history in which the Union was in the wrong. I always felt that Will was walking a thin line, but personally thought the quality of his writing and his research on American history (up to the point of the war itself) made the series a ‘must have’. Sadly, my copies of the books are long gone, although I believe that Elayne had them at one point, or may still.

Frankly, I hadn’t thought of the comic or Shetterly in years, until reading the latest issue of Library Journal. In the book review section there was a favorable review of Will’s latest book, THE GOSPEL OF THE KNIFE (Tor; ISBN: 978-0-312-86631-0). It took only a quick Google search to find out what Will is up to and that CC or another version of CC is still around.

A click on the headline above will take you to the Wikipedia entry on CC which will in turn present a link to Will’s CC site. You can read the latest installments of the CC storyline and learn more about the series and Will's other writing over there.
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