The Summer Isles
by Ian R. MacLeod
Winner of the World Fantasy Award and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History: A pastel-hued yet chilling alternate vision of England, The Summer Isles views the nightmare that the country has become since Germany’s victory in the Great War, through the eyes of a man whose life lies close to the heart of history
In 1918 the Allies were defeated. A closeted gay teacher, Griffin Brooke has witnessed the monumental changes his nation has undergone since being crushed by Germany’s superior fighting forces twenty-two years earlier. First came the financial collapse and crippling inflation, then the fascist uprising in the thirties that brought John Arthur to power. Now, in 1940, England has resurrected itself—but at a terrible cost. With homosexuality decreed a serious crime against the state by the dictator who was once his most avid student, Griffin has remained silent while England’s gay population has mysteriously dwindled . . . along with the nation’s Jews.
But in the twilight of his years, elevated to the role of tutor in an Oxford college, Griffin is getting anxious. Thinking back on a life lived in shadow—and on his one great love affair with a young soldier during the height of the Great War—Griffin knows that revealing a secret he has guarded for decades could have devastating consequences for Britain, the world, and especially for the fascist tyrant Arthur, who cites his former teacher as a mentor and major influence.