Book info

The Proteus Operation (1996)

The Proteus Operation (1996)
Rating
3.7 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
0671877577 (ISBN13: 9780671877576)
languge
English
publisher
baen books
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The Proteus Operation (1996)
The Proteus Operation (1996)

About book: I like the premise. Basically, Hogan gives us three possible timelines. In the original timeline, a utopian future develops in the 21st century--one that never knew the horrors of the second World War and the cold war slowly melted into a "third way." But EVIL oligarchs unhappy losing power in 2025 use a newly developed time travel device to try to swing things their way. They use the limit of their reach--a century in the past, and decide to use an obscure house painter to their ends--Adolf Hitler. This creates a new timeline, one where by 1975 America, along with Australia and New Zealand are the last free outposts in a Fascist world. Except an escaped scientist having let the Americans know how their future has been tampered with, they decide to go back into the year 1939 in a last ditch effort to save liberty and democracy--picking an obscure politician to change things around--Winston Churchill. The premise reminds me a bit of Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South, where time-traveling White Supremest Afrikaners try to change the outcome of the American Civil War. Except Turtledove is known as the master of alternate history for a reason. While Hogan spends a lot of time on the physics, the emphasis in Turtledove is on the characters, and his Robert E. Lee is much more memorable--and important to the narrative--than Hogan's Churchill. I am impressed by the research Hogan had to have done into political and scientific history to weave two alternate histories, and it's entertaining enough to read once if you like reading alternate history, but in the end this isn't a memorable, strong enough work I consider it a keeper.

The premise of the book is simple. It's 1975 and US is on the brink of being defeated by combined Axis forces. Yes, Axis won the war through several unprobable events which allowed them to destroy European opposition, leaving US pretty much alone to face the final showdown.Faced with certain defeat US government decides on ony logical solution, send a team back in time to prevent it. And here is where strength of the book lies. Hogan describes the theory behind time travel and multiverse theory (when it comes to event with multiple outcomes all happen at the same time, creating alternate universes) but does it in easy fashion. Too often authors want to appear smart and dig deep in theory, physics, quantum mechanic and similar complex subjects so nobody can accuse them of being superficious or jsut ignoring the problems altogether.In order not to give too much of the story let me just say that book deals with several universes where history unfolded differently, croos-universe traffic and paradoxes of such actions.Overall an interesting book that deals with practical aspect of time travel rather than theory behind it and still manages to be a tense thriller. Worth your time if you are fan of such topics.
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Reviews
Andy Love
This is an entertaining time travel/alternate universe story - dealing with the classic situation of trying to change the results of WWII (in this case, starting with people who are trying to defeat Germany, which in the opening stages of the book, has won the war), and featuring appearances by Albert Einstein and Isaac Asimov. As with most of Hogan's work written before the turn of the century, it is well worth reading. My only caveat is minor - I'm not sure in a history when Churchill never becomes Prime Minister (and the Allies lose the war), that people of the future would be able to identify Churchill as a linchpin of history.
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