Alternate history is something of a joy to me. Often I have to take to the internet and find out more about the real history - who says science fiction doesn't teach you anything? - and that's a double-win to my mind.
Next up is a slice of history served alongside cloning, political intrigue and a world just shy of recognizable.
"Once a Chekist" by Leigh Kimmel
I'm going to admit I had to keep my laptop open so I could look up names and various words as I read this. This is no way a criticism of the story - I just have pretty pathetic understanding and awareness of a heck of a lot of history, and so I did a lot of work while I was reading this to try to catch up a little.
This story twists and turns in a world unfamiliar and warped from our own - a place where cloning has revitalized the Russian aristocracy and political system (and the various intrigues that come with politics). Add a heroine who doesn't know entirely where her loyalties lie, and you're in for a treat.