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Location: Anaheim, California, United States

Regular contributor ("Carson City Limits" and other content) for Random Lengths (circulation 56,000) in San Pedro, CA, 2001-present. Manga reviewer: LA Alternative (circulation 150,000), 2005-2006. Some manga reviews also ran in NY Press around this time. Entertainment reporting: Music Connection (circulation 75,000), 1983-1906. Travel writing: Oakland Tribune (1998) and Life After 50 (2006). Other bylines: Goldmine, Star Hits, Los Angeles Reader, Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, Blade, BAM, Daily Breeze, LA Weekly. Specializations include community news reporting, writing reviews (book, theater, concert, film, music), copywriting, resumes, editing, travel writing, publicity, screenwriting, lecturing, and content development. Education: B. A. Theater Arts, UCLA. Post-grad work, Education, Chapman University.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review: Hitler's Time Machine

Hitler's Time Machine by Robert F. Dorr (2015, a Robert F. Dorr Publication)


Robert F. Dorr is an Air Force vet, retired senior Foreign Service officer, and an author who's widely known in the aviation community. His non-fiction books in print include Mission to Berlin, Hell Hawks, co-authored with Thomas D. Jones, and Air Force One, a history of presidential aircraft 

He is the author of dozens of books and thousands of magazine articles about the Air Force, aviation, and military affairs. He has also written a weekly opinion column for Air Force Times, monthly columns for Combat Aircraft, Air International and Aerospace America magazines, and a quarterly column for Air Power History, a publication he helped create. His first paid magazine article was in the November 1955 Air Force magazine when he was fifteen.

Last year he began venturing into counter-historical science fiction with the self-published Hitler's Time Machine, a mash-up of actual World War II history with pulp. The premise is that two teams of the world's top physicists, one in Hitler's Germany and one in FDR's America, are developing time machines in order to win the war. Unfortunately the characters are lifeless and the plot development is at a comic-book level. It's more about the body count than crisis, climax, and conclusion.

The novel combines actual history with science-fiction overtones the way steampunk does--but it lacks the punk attitude that steampunk demands. Its historical passages don't bring history to life, and the science fiction elements aren't very original, either. There are times when the manuscript doesn't even appear to have been adequately spellchecked, let alone edited or copy-edited.

Since Hitler's Time Machine, Dorr has written a murder mystery, Crime Scene:  Fairfax County, featuring two characters who survived the body count in his first novel. You'd think such a careful historian--who's experienced so much in government and the military--would know there were no blondes in Congress in 1947.   

Dorr has 58 non-fiction books listed on the Barnes & Noble site but Hitler's Time Machine is not one of them. It is available on the site, however.


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