Sunday, February 12, 2017

BBC Releases Preview of its SS-GB Miniseries

This looks good. BBC-TV has just released a preview of its five-part miniseries SS-GB, based on the book of the same name.  About time I say.

So maybe it’s time I do a quickie review. One of the earliest alternate history books I ever read was Len Deighton's SS-GB (I still proudly have my battered paperback edition).  First published in 1979, it’s a gritty police procedural as only Deighton can write it, set against the backdrop, of a world where the British lost the Battle of Britain and surrendered to the Nazis in February 1941.

Flash forward to November.  King George is a prisoner, locked in the Tower of London, but Scotland Yard detective Douglas Archer, who must somehow maintain a ‘business as usual’ attitude despite everything, is assigned to what is at first seems to be a routine murder case.

Of course, I’m going to stop here.  You know and I know that in these type of books, the “routine” murder cases are never anything but routine.  And when a high-ranking SS officer, Standartenfuhrer Oskar Huth arrives from Berlin with orders from Himmler to supervise the investigation, all pretense of routine goes out the window. Deighton's story-telling, plotting, and characterization are all spot-on, tell-tales of an author at the top of his game.

I love this book.  Along with The Divide, and The Man in the High Castle, SS-GB was one of my earliest entries into the sub-genre. It remains one of my favourites.  If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favour and find a copy now. My hope is that the BBC does a creditable job with it. Like Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, I would expect it to be an adaption, rather than a word-for-word retelling.  Look for my review in this space on this eagerly-awaited project.

Up Next:

I’ll be exploring a trio of Robert Conroy books: 1882: Custer in Chains, Germanica, and Red Inferno: 1945. (I know, I know, I said I'd do it for this month... but well, because reasons. Bear with me, please. It's coming.)

Meanwhile, you can purchase Elvis Saves JFK! for just 99 cents and War Plan Crimson, A Novel of Alternate History, for $2.99 and now The Key to My Heart, also $2.99 (all are free to preview). All books -- which are already on Smashword's premium distribution list -- are also available through such fine on-line retailers such as Sony, Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble and Apple's iTunes Store. Thanks.

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