"Shock and Awe"  
Author Harry Turtledove
First Appearance Alternate Generals III
Reprinted No
Collected No
Genre(s) Alternate History
Publication date 2005

"Shock and Awe" is a short story published in 2005's Alternate Generals III by Harry Turtledove. In the story, the history of Christianity has been rewritten, with Jesus Christ himself, known only as "the Son of God", taking on the political idea of a messiah, leading a military rebellion against the Roman authorities, with very different results.

Turtledove's story makes liberal use of scriptural quotations, instead utilizing them in favor of military conquest rather than spiritual ideas. The story, as the title suggests, also parallels the War on Terror that the United States proclaimed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Much is made of the fact that the Romans are "Westerners" fighting a group of religious "fanatics". The Romans also dismiss the fanaticism of the Son of God as uncivilized.

In a final twist, the reader learns that the Roman general who successfully crushes the rebellion and executes the Son of God and his lieutenant, the Rock (St. Peter) is none other than Pontius Pilate, the angst-ridden Roman bureaucrat of the Gospels.

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