Skimin, Robert

Tagged: Author

(1929-2011) US author of historical novels and studies, and of at least two Alternate History fictions in which the American nineteenth century is tweaked. The Jonbar Point in Gray Victory (1988) is Confederate President Jefferson Davis's decision not to replace the commander of the Atlanta, Georgia defences; Atlanta is not destroyed, and America remains divided into two nations. Courtroom intrigues, and a botched attempt at terrorism on behalf of slaves – who have not been freed (see Race in SF) – lead to a chastened understanding on the part of the Confederation nation that indeed Slavery must end. In Custer's Luck (2000) with William E Moody, the hubristic charlatan Custer parlays his victor at Little Bighorn into a successful run for the presidency in 1880. The rankly Imperialist regime he establishes soon destabilizes North America, and a declaration of war against Spain comes close to bringing nemesis down upon the president; but it may be that America will become the dominant world power by 1900. [JC]

Robert Elwayne Skimin

born Belden, Ohio: 30 July 1929

died El Paso, Texas: 9 May 2011

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