Winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History: Nineteen-forties Hollywood is dazzlingly transformed and recreated in this alternate history fantasy noir about former screen actor–turned–private eye Clark Gable who investigates a deadly conspiracy in a neo-fascist Tinsel Town
In a different 1940, with Europe in flames and an anti-Semitic America creeping towards fascism, movie making has been revolutionized: A wondrous technological advancement made possible by the discovery of the Bechmeir field now transmits actors’ emotions directly into the minds of the audience—effectively ending the acting career of a cynical loner named Clark Gable. No longer a handsome screen idol, Clark now makes his living as an unlicensed matrimonial private eye. When gorgeous April Lamotte contacts the low-rent gumshoe, he sees a golden opportunity to make some quick and easy cash. All he has to do is impersonate April’s wealthy,reclusive screenwriter husband, sign a contract for a new biopic, and then slip back into the shadows. But when someone tries to assassinate Clark and pass it off as a suicide, he realizes he’s gotten too deep into something deadly. And as more and more of the Hollywood elite start turning up dead, Clark must race to uncover the shocking truth behind the Bechmeir field’s origins, and expose a terrible secret that someone’s all too willing to kill for.