“Jawohl“, Wilson Geiger, 2014.
At the end of most of the stories in the anthology where this story appears, Wars to End All Wars: Alternate Tales from the Trenches, there is a link to the subject that inspired the story. The one for this one is “Nazi human experimentation”. It might have justly said “Wolfenstein” as in the old computer game because, at the end of this story, there is an image reminiscent of the cyborg Adolf Hitler of that game.
Geiger’s tale is well done, if thoroughly predictable, “man realizes he’s a monster” story. Specifically, a German veteran of Verdun is turned into a mechanical warrior. World War One is just a convenient setting.
World War One Content
- Living Memory: No.
- On-Stage War: Yes.
- Belligerent Area: Yes.
- Home Front: No.
- Veteran: No.
More World War One in Fantastic Fiction.
Having just finished an alternate history, Clash of Eagles, I decided to read another one. Since I’d just been to the National World War One Museum the day before — and this was on the review pile, I picked this one. (I heartily recommend the museum, by the way, it looks at the whole war and not just the American involvement.)
The publisher was giving this one away free on Amazon, so I picked it up on July 28, 2014 — one hundred years to the day after the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia.
Below is the short review. I’ll be taking a more in depth look at each of them in future installments of my World War One in Fantastical Fiction series. Yes, that includes “On the Cheap”. (And just when I was beginning to think it was wrong for my grandpa to deny his grandmother was Irish.)
Review: Wars to End All Wars: Alternate Tales from the Trenches, ed. N. E. White, 2014.
From the moment when Gavrilo Princep stares into the eyes of Archduke Ferdinand to a distant future where the war is a memory only for some, these stories take a look at altered and distorted versions of the Great War. Sometimes lurid, sometimes comical, sometimes thoughtful and mysterious, they are never the solid alternate histories the title implies. Continue reading →