Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Strange enough for fiction

What if the Soviets had had a sleeper KGB agent among the National Guardsmen who killed this Kent State student in 1970?

Just think about it: the revelation that the West Berlin cop who killed an unarmed demonstrator in 1967 and set a conservative nation on the road to progressivism actually was an East German spy. It has shaken Germany to the core and triggered a lot of soul-searching among Germans who recall the event.

Wouldn't this make a great fact-based novel?

And what if, as the article suggests by way of comparison, a KGB sleeper agent had been among the nervous National Guardsmen who committed the Kent State killings of 1970? There's the germ of a terrific alternative history tale.

The Cold War espionage novel has yet to die out, though it is not as robust as it once was. Old secrets are still coming to light, secrets to be exploited by imaginative spy writers.


  1. I would read that as I still enjoy alternative history. Not a lot around anymore.

  2. Harry Turtledove (he of what would have happened if the Confederates had AK-47s) has a new alternative-history novel, "Hitler's War," coming out in August. All about the consequences of Chamberlain's never signing the Munich Accords.

  3. Thanks!!! My son, soon to be high schoo senior, is also into Turtledove. He was excited to hear the news. Four kids who are all avid readers! All started in mom and dads lap.