Alternate Beatles

Recently I’ve seen the traffic spike on some of my Beatles writings, specifically on alt-history Beatles, so I’m going to assemble a guide to things I written on the subject over the years. Post-Abbey Road Albums It’s an interesting game to imagine what the Beatles might’ve done had they soldiered on into 1970. There’s interesting … Continue reading Alternate Beatles

Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

What if the Beatles didn’t get a record contract with Parlophone in 1962? That’s the subject of BBC Radio 4’s radio play, Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition, adapted by Ray Connolly from his novella of the same name. Originally broadcast by the BBC in 2013, it was rebroadcast again this week, and I streamed … Continue reading Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition

The World of The Man in the High Castle

The first time I read The Man in the High Castle, I was disappointed in it. It was only the second Philip K. Dick novel I had read (the first was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), and I closed the book thinking, “Is that all there is? It just ends there? Really?” I had … Continue reading The World of The Man in the High Castle

On The Beatles’ The Lord of the Rings

In 1963, when the Beatles agreed to make A Hard Day’s Night, the film, they signed a three-picture deal with United Artists. In 1964, they made A Hard Day’s Night. In 1965, Help! By and large, though, they didn’t like making films. Too much work. And so, when the idea was floated of an animated … Continue reading On The Beatles’ The Lord of the Rings

On Counterfactuals, Tantrums, and the Expensive Orgy

Two political op-eds have captured my attention in the past day. They cover similar ground — the struggles of the Democrats this election cycle — in profoundly different ways. The Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson, he writes in “The Spoiled-Brat American Electorate” that “registered voters say they intend to vote for Republicans over Democrats by an … Continue reading On Counterfactuals, Tantrums, and the Expensive Orgy

On Paperback Writer

It sometimes surprises me, given the cultural signifance of the Beatles, that there’s not more fiction devoted to the Beatles than there is. There’s a few novels — Liverpool Fantasy stands out — and some short stories, like Ian MacLeod’s “Snodgrass” and Stephen Baxter’s “The Twelfth Album.” Curiously, all of these novels are alternate histories … Continue reading On Paperback Writer

On “Hot As Sun”

Checking my WordPress stats on Saturday, I decided to take a look at the “Tag Surfer” function. Basically, it’s a search of WordPress.com blogs, and if you give it a tag to search for — like, say, “Beatles” — it will pull up a list of recent posts written on wordpress.com blogs categorized as “Beatles.” … Continue reading On “Hot As Sun”

On Reading “The Twelfth Album”

I wrote earlier in the month about putting together “God,” the Beatles album from Stephen Baxter’s alternate history story, “The Twelfth Album.” The Wikipedia article on the story gave the track line-up, and it was easy to put together the playlist in Windows. But I hadn’t read the story. Thankfully, I found a used copy … Continue reading On Reading “The Twelfth Album”

On Weird Concepts

So an idea came to me. An alternate history novel. An alternate history novel about the Beatles. There have been a few Beatles alternate histories. Larry Kirwan’s Liverpool Fantasy comes quickly to mind, as does Stephen Baxter’s “The Twelfth Album” and Ian McLeod’s “Snodgrass.” The concept is doable. It’s something that conceivably could have happened. … Continue reading On Weird Concepts

On Temeraire

I ordered from Amazon’s UK division recently Naomi Novik‘s debut novel, Temeraire, the first book in an alternate history series that posits that alongside Nelson’s Navy and Wellingon’s Army Britain fought the Napoleonic Wars with a dragon Aerial Corps. I was impatient. I could have waited and bought the novel’s American paperback, entitled His Majesty’s … Continue reading On Temeraire