In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan

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Sam Dance is a young enlisted soldier in 1941 when his older brother Keenan is killed at Pearl Harbor. Afterwards, Sam promises that he will do anything he can to stop the war.

During his training, Sam begins to show that he has a knack for science and engineering, and he is plucked from the daily grunt work of twenty-mile marches by his superiors to study subjects like code breaking, electronics, and physics in particular, a science that is growing more important to the war effort. While studying, Sam is seduced by a mysterious female physicist that is teaching one of his courses, and given her plans for a device that will end the war, perhaps even end the human predilection for war forever. But the device does something less, and more, than that.

After his training, Sam is sent throughout Europe to solve both theoretical and practical problems for the Allies. He spends his free time playing jazz, and trying to construct the strange device. It's only much later that he discovers that it worked, but in a way that he could have never imagined.


About Kathleen Ann Goonan

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KATHLEEN ANN GOONAN is a multiple Nebula Award–nominee. She lives in Tavernier, Florida. 
Published May 15, 2007 by Tor Books. 352 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Sam and Wink secretly build a device: After an explosion, the device itself changes physically and does something—but what?

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Entertainment Weekly

A brilliant scientist seduces a WWII soldier, giving him the plans to a device that could eradicate mankind's predilection for conflict in Kathleen Ann Goonan's In War Times.

May 25 2007 | Read Full Review of In War Times

SF Site

The alternate realities are grounded in our own, Goonan uses excerpts from her own father's recounting of his experiences in World War Two to flesh out the reality of Sam's life, and at the same time speculations in the relationship between physics and biology make Eliani Handtz seem like someone...

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SF Signal

Dance is the main one here, and Goonan does a great job of placing us in his head so we know all the thoughts and decisions that lead him to take the actions he does.The diary that Sam keeps during the WW II part of the story are actual diary entries that Goonan’s father wrote during that same ti...

Aug 24 2007 | Read Full Review of In War Times

Owen Sheers's fresh take on an idea already much explored in alternate histories, a German victory in World War Two, owes its origin to his discovery that someone he had known all his life was a member of the British resistance movement.

Sep 17 2007 | Read Full Review of In War Times

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