In his recent article about finding Shakespeare in Pennsylvania Dutch, Dr. Boli speculated on an alternate universe in which the Articles of Confederation failed and Pennsylvania Dutch had become the official language of the independent Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Then he was foolish enough to add,
We have just described the least successful alternate-history novel ever. Although, curiously enough, in an alternate universe where everyone is thoroughly sick of reading about alternate universes in which the Nazis won the Second World War, that book is a big seller.
A distinguished novelist who has left occasional comments here for many years replied,
That was my novella, “The Forest of Time” (Analog, Jun 87)
—which, of course, was enough to make Dr. Boli ashamed of himself, because artistically the novella is not unsuccessful at all. It is quite good, and it does indeed take place in a world where the Articles of Confederation failed and Pennsylvania Dutch has become the official language of the independent Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The only criticism that might be ventured against the story is that it needs more Nazis.