Altered America has begun to cool down a little, though we have been getting a few reviews on Amazon. It’s a pretty mixed lot, with 5 positives and 3 negatives, and by those numbers it’s currently less than 1 in 100 readers who have posted a review. I can’t say if this is a clear sample of reader opinion, so I hope more people eventually get around to posting. (Check it out on Amazon.com—buy it and post your review)
The positive reviews have been encouraging, and the few negatives seem to be more a matter of personal tastes than anything. Overall, people who don’t like the collection seem to have the attitude that it isn’t what they want it to be. One apparent complaint is that it doesn’t read like a novel. This is like someone buying a Mercedes and complaining that it isn’t a Learjet. Altered America is an anthology of short stories, which is a totally different creature than a single author novel. An anthology is more like a pulp magazine, where the subject matter of stories can vary considerably. Apparently, there are those who don’t understand what it is they’re buying.
The only other serious criticisms have been the aforementioned disputes over what “Alternate History” really is. It seems some people don’t think Alt. History should contain any Fantasy or Sci-Fi, and even a minority of stories containing such elements then ruins the majority that don’t contain any of those aspects. There is also the lingering question of what “validity fiction” is, though that was posted in a positive review, so it can’t be that bad.
They say you can’t please everybody, and that is never more true than when you’re dealing with fiction. Personal preference is something you can never account for, nor can you change it. I only hope more people who enjoy the book feel motivated to express themselves, so other readers will be inclined to check it out, and decide for themselves.
Oh, and Sergio Leone is brilliant, thank you very much.