A marvelous mix of science fiction and alternate history

Allen Steele is one of my short list of favorite sci-fi authors.  I read a number of his early works, which were a marvelous mixture of Robert Heinlein and Ben Bova.  One of his earlier short stories was an excellent "what-if" story of the space race occurring not between the Soviet Union and the U.S., but the U.S. and Nazi Germany during World War II...the ultimate space contest between Robert Goddard and Werner Von Braun...space geek fantasy football, as it were.

As Steele explains in the afterword to this book, he tried to make this short story into a movie, which didn't work out, so he wisely decided to make it into a full length novel.   This short and intense read is an excellent combination of sci-fi and alternate history, two of my favorite fiction categories.

Blending real people like Robert Goddard and Werner Von Braun with lots of outstanding fictional characters, Steele also does an excellent job of integrating Nazi visions of technology and gadgetry, and they were far, far ahead of
anything the Allies had in almost every category:  jet planes, rockets, missiles, tanks..you name it, German engineering had a "super-weapon" and Steele seamlessly blends the technology into the story all the way.  

Told in a blend of flashback and current times, it is an excellent summer read...light, fun, and totally engaging...almost, I say ALMOST as good as my favorite Monster Hunter books.  How good was this book?  Well, I pretty much devoured it like a bag of Fritos..reading it in about 2 days.

If you like science fiction, read this book..even though you already kinda know how it will end, the journey is still well worth the trip.