cover image The Company of the Dead

The Company of the Dead

David Kowalski. Titan (, $15.95 trade paper (832p) ISBN 978-0-85768-666-4

Time travel, airships, the Titanic, Roswell: from these well-worn bones, Kowalski builds a decidedly original creature that blends military science fiction, conspiracy theory, alternate history, and even a dash of romance. In a very different 2012, Joseph Kennedy, a major in the Confederate army, must play the German and Japanese empires off against each other, as well as the Union and Confederate governments, to save the world from meddling time travelers who could bring about humanity’s extinction. The weary, gritty mood of men pushing themselves beyond endurance lends an emotionally compelling touch to even the woolliest aspects of the plot, such as where the time machine came from, how it works, and why it gives people strange visions. Unfortunately, the female characters are mostly offstage and passive; Kowalski is best at exploring the much more complex relationships among male allies, enemies, and rivals. (Mar.)