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From: "Joe Karpierz" <[log in to unmask]> 

> I liked the Chabon well enough, but as soon as someone explains to me 
> why it's a science fiction/fantasy novel, I'll understand why it belonged on 
> the ballot. I know the claims of alternate history, but I didn't see 
> it that way. 

I'm going to use a comment made to me by Hal Clement to explain why alternate history, even an alternate history that appears to have no fantastic or science fictional element to it, could be considered a subgenre of science fiction (or, if you prefer speculative fiction). 

After a panel on AH at Rivercon, Hal, who was sitting in the front row, commented that he had never really considered AH as SF, but hearing the way we discussed it, he realized that the world-building techniques used to create a good and plausible AH are teh exact same techniques he used to create a good and plausible alien world. 

> I *hated* Brasyl - period. The amount of time it took me to read that 
> book is time that I regret not spending reading something else. 

Agreed. 

-- 
Steven H Silver 
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Read my first short story, "Les Lettres de Paston" at http://www.sfsite.com/~silverag/les_lettres_de_paston.htm 
ISFiC Press's latest: When Diplomacy Fails, edited by Eric Flint & Mike Resnick, http://www.isficpress.com 
Many Very Educated Men Just Screwed Up Nine...