Thursday, September 1, 2016

A Fall of Poppies

Sometime last year I realized that two of my most favorite authors, Mary Robinette Kowal and Lauren Willig, were coming out with books this year set during The Great War. This couldn't be a coincidence I could just dismiss. Oh no. Both these authors have been a part of theme months in the past, so it only made sense to fashion a new theme month out of this random happenstance! And thus A Fall of Poppies was born! Taken from the time of year and the title of the short story collection Lauren was a part of I had the seed of inspiration. But what else could I do? Because while I am fascinated by World War I, I feel that often World War II overshadows it and takes the bulk of the narratives. I felt it was my duty to not only shine the spotlight on an event that forever changed the shape of history, but that in doing so affected every form of medium, from books to films to television to photography to poetry to art. The Great War, in all it's horror, gave inspiration to so many. And I'm not talking about how it inspired the Germans to start another World War and try to get it right this time.

While the easy way out would be to take a traditional look at World War I and the literature of the time; literature being the great medium it is, World War I has had a myriad of influences on speculative and alternative histories as well as British Comedies. This decision to choose non-traditional books, shows, and movies wasn't taken lightly or solely because Mary's book is an alternative history and would otherwise feel out of place, but in order to show how many different people handle one idea. From the more traditional to the more Steampunk. From the more TV movie of the week to the more comic. I was inspired to seek out sources that would be different and that had helped inform my own knowledge. So expect some Blackadder, expect some Young Indiana Jones, expect some Benedict Cumberbatch, expect the unexpected, and join me in looking back at the war that so changed the world it was never dreamed there could be another.


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