cover image Countersolar!


Richard A. Lupoff. Arbor House Publishing, $16.95 (293pp) ISBN 978-0-87795-858-1

In this followup to Circumpolar!, Lupoff again admits us to his engagingly loopy alternate universe where the popular culture's far-fetched ideas turn out to be literally true. In a peaceful 1942 that hasn't heard of Adolf Hitler, a competition emerges between an American aircraft (crewed by Babe Didrikson and, as absent-minded navigator, Albert Einstein) and an Argentinian-German plane (carrying Juan Peron and his Evita). They're flying to a counter-Earth on the other side of the sun that is a warped mirror image of their world, with its own Evita et al. On the way, they discover in the asteroid belt a still-thriving ancient Egyptian civilization using powerful rays to influence events on Earth. This lively, well-paced adventure story wonderfully recalls the icons and attitudes of the period but does not neglect a little hindsight on developments that may lead to nuclear weapons. (January 23)