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on April 3, 2011
If you are adventerous this book is for you! It has it all! Alternate dimensions, alternate history, action, suspense, romance, fantasy, drama.... Steve White did a miraculous job of getting so much in this story without making it seem too busy to keep up with or understand. The author obviously has a great knowledge of both history and science. As a history buff myself, I was aware of many of the historic events mentioned in the book and know the author was accurate in his discriptions. The way some of the events alternatively worked out because the people involved made different dicisions made perfect sense. It really makes you question things the way they are, and wonder how differently things could and would have been had one person, at one point in history chosen door number one instead of door number two. The adventures that our main Character Randy takes in this novel, accompanied by his ill intentioned DNA twin from another world, "Sully" are absolutely amazing. Other dimensions lead to other worlds (not different times though) where it is still the dinosaur age, others where we are no longer dependant on fossil fuels for energy, as the world has gone solar and where we live in lavish condos in outerspace. It is like a look at what could be and what may be and what might have been, all in one. The whole while, hoping Randy can escape his evil doppelganger's clutches and return safely to raise his little siblings, the "sibs" and be with his crush Penelope. The moral of this story? The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Or in this case, in an alternate dimension. Coodos to the author. Can't wait to read more from him!
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on June 15, 2013
When I first came across Steven White's Outrageous Fortunes, the cover art implied an anthology - a collection of short stories - so I originally passed on the title. Silly me.

White's full-blown novel of alternate universes is Sliders done right. (Some of you may remember the sci-fi show on Fox in the late 90s.) One of the infinite number of Randy Sullivans in an infinite number of the "many worlds" universes has discovered a way to travel across realities. He chooses Randy Sullivan #145,998,749 (or some such) to come visit, with the purest of intentions. Of course.

"Hero" Randy Sullivan is a hero in all the senses of the word we use for day-to-day living. He's also a genius historian who has always been fascinated with the "what ifs" that would have changed our history in so many ways.

There are lots of alternate history stories out there, but Outrageous Fortunes has got to rank near the top. It's not just the science (at least reasonably plausible) but the story that rings true. It's about all of us deciding whether the "what ifs" are real, whether they make a difference, and the ultimate power we have to decide just about everything.

Loaded with obscure historical references, the story still manages to gallop along. Near the end it seems to get a bit too formulaic - the author decides we have to have a clearly defined villain and I think that's an error - but the ending is sufficiently happy AND creepy enough to satisfy most of us avid readers.

Great job, and I'm looking forward to more from this author.
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on October 26, 2012
I'm another reader who purchased this on impulse. I immediately moved the book to the top of my To Read list because I love alternative history, and was thoroughly entertained and thoroughly delighted with the adventure! And very proud of myself because I had the insight to read this book first!

In Outrageous Fortunes there are billions and billions of universes that come into existence at every fork in the road - every time anyone makes any decision it splits off into separate universes - there's a universe for every possibility. AND there's a brilliant man who figures out how to hop between these universes. Randy Sullivan, "Sully," visits other universes, but picks the "self" he finds in OUR universe to educate about the universe-skipping process. So he takes Randy Sullivan, "Randy," along with him...while the drama unfolds with the people Randy leaves behind...

This was well-written and engrossing - entertaining, exciting - well done! And very highly recommended!
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on March 26, 2013
Really excellent, real characters. Fun exploration of the multiverse and how the smallest difference in history can affect our present. Several characters are the same person (or started out that way). I was pleasantly surprised at how well realized the worlds are. He doesn't explain everything so there is a real sense of things happening in the background. It let me think about it and figure out what some of those things might have been. I'll read more by Steven White! "Read No Evil" is waiting on my tablet.
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on June 27, 2011
Book starts off well enough with put-upon history blogger Randy Sullivan meeting a literal alter-ego from a parallel world. Randy and his parallel self travel to various alternate worlds, where points of divergence can result in a world eerily similar to ours, or a very different one.

White has a good grasp of history, and the paralell worlds are interesting, but the many-worlds interpretation of QM that drives the parallel universe hopping is far fetched. Fortunes is saddled with a needless subplot involving a babysitter and Randy's precocious brother and sister. An engaging beginning and middle give way to a disappointing ending that felt forced.

Still, for what it's worth, I read it in a couple sittings, it kept me engaged, and you can't beat the price. A three star book, but a four star value.
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on December 10, 2012
I grabbed "Outrageous Fortunes" on a whim from a referral link. At first, the story was a bit of chore to really get immersed. I won't post the exact point, but relatively early into the novel, it hooks you. It's a quick book, and I enjoyed all the different worlds that were presented.

The characters could use a little work, but they were very light-hearted and accessible, which can be refreshing. The antagonist comes in way too late for my liking, making the conclusion a bit unsatisfying, but it was a good trip to get there.

All-in-all, it's a really nice weekend read. Most people will probably finish it in a single sitting.
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on June 9, 2011
Well written and engaging, this novel serves up tech without lecturing, humor without being contrived or itself-conscious, and adventure without becoming tedious. The characters are fleshed out nicely, and the story has a great rhythm and easy flow.
This book should appeal to Heinlein fans. Recommended.
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on January 3, 2012
I was bored and looking up "alternate history" books to download on my Kindle. This one was rated 5 stars, so I took the chance and downloaded it... didn't realize it was 5 stars because it only had 7 reviews so far.

The book is by no means fantastic, but it's a nice attempt by what appears to be a beginning novelist. My guess would be that the author is a college kid or perhaps just a smidge older. It reads, to me, like "fan" fiction.

The characters are far too interested in "keeping their cool," however this is accomplished. The text is littered with adjectives like "bad-ass", as in "the cop kept looking at Randy with his bad-ass stare." Then some of the characters take lines straight out of science fiction movies... the alternate universe scientist dude tells the main character that this stuff is going to "bake his noodle," a line taken straight from "the Matrix."

I was surprised when the author had the main character meeting a girl at a midnight showing of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (the very mention of which made me groan) that he somehow resisted the urge to throw in a routine from the movie, and was going to compliment him for resisting the urge to do so, but he ended up quoting a different MP routine later on in the book. Note to Mr. White... just use your OWN material! The Monty Python, Star Trek, Star Wars, Spider Man references just take me OUT of your book.

And then there is the curious fact that the main character is a super history nerd, who's very interested in the "roads not taken," and yet has never heard of the "Many Worlds" theory? Or that he can tell you the exact details about some uranium being stolen from post-Soviet Russia, but he only heard of the Large Hadron Collider once? Apparently, according to the main character, "history" is only in the past, if it hasn't already happened, he never heard of it... haha.

The other characters are sorta cardboard cutouts. There's the alternate version of the main character, who I suppose is supposed to be "cool," he wears an aussie hat and calls people "lepkins" sometimes, and even "noob"... um, there's the robot girl who's supposed to be cool, because we're told she's cool, she wears "bad ass" combat boots and is half-Japanese, and gives demure smiles and goes into "SpiderMan" poses when the author would like you to think she's awesome. There's some girl that likes the dude for some reason, I believe the only girl since 1950 to ever be named "Penelope." I don't know if she has a sister named "Hortense" or not.

Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, has a pet nickname in this book, and everybody calls everything by their assigned nickname. Everybody refers to Randy's brother and sister as "The Sibs." The girl's car is "The Howler." The cats are called "The Army of Darkness."

At one point in the story, when a 12 year old girl goes missing, the cops are called and are completely uninterested.

There was some running around being done, and I guess some action. I liked the fact that time kept on flowing throughout the book, it was always the same time, no matter what world they were on.

I was, personally, looking more for a book where maybe the Japanese had won WW2, or Lincoln hadn't been assassinated or something, this was more like, I dunno, Mary Sue goes quantum leaping for a while. I can't really complain, it only cost $3. I do commend the author for pounding out an entire novel, that is a lot of work, and I wish him luck on his future endeavors.
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on April 1, 2013
There is not much new or original in this novel. Maybe it's my fault; I've read a LOT of alternate history books and may be a bit jaded. The plot is a bit too melodramatic for my tastes, but I will say that the book is very well written.
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on April 15, 2012
I am an avid reader and am so happy when I find a new outstanding author. I stumbled across Outrageous Fortunes and almost passed it by because it isn't normally the type of book I read. I AM SO GLAD I DID NOT PASS THIS BOOK BY. I thoroughly enjoyed this book right from the beginning. I look forward to more books from this author...DO NOT PASS BY STEVEN W.WHITE.
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