Alternate History

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GodzillaFan1990's
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Alternate History

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:36 pm

Title explains it. This thread is for discussing any form of fiction that involves alternate history whether past or present.

Here's one I really like and currently reading. Always loved the idea of European colonists interacting with Ice Age megafauna not to mention a bonus of living alongside another hominid species.

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The premise is pretty much in an alternate history where the ancestors of Native Americans never crossed the land bridge to the New World. Instead it was the more primitive Homo erectus (Called Sims by the Europeans) who continued to exist to this day. When Europeans arrived instead of Native Americans and their cultures. They found a land inhabited by the Sims and other Ice Age megafauna such as mammoths (Hairy elephant) and saber-toothed cats (Spearfang cat). The book pretty much tells a series of short stories that ranges throughout the 300 year history ranging from 1610 to 1988 of how colonization of the New World goes down in this alternate history and how our view towards Sims changes overtime from simple-minded creatures to eventually intelligent beings with some rights.

All in all. It's an interesting premise. It does ignore some butterfly effects such as why the Norse, Polynesians or Inuits (Which I can forgive since this was written back in 1988 and back then it was thought humans getting to the New World through the land bridge was the only way) never settled but still a fun concept none the less.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby KaijuCanuck » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:21 pm

I’m such a big history nerd, I always find it kind of difficult to get into alternate history. There’s always a little historian inside me screaming “but... that’s... not... what... HAPPENED!!!” which I totally admit, misses the point completely. I feel like if I could chill out a little more then I could enjoy them a lot.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby Manuelito Canelito » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:43 am

KaijuCanuck wrote:I’m such a big history nerd, I always find it kind of difficult to get into alternate history. There’s always a little historian inside me screaming “but... that’s... not... what... HAPPENED!!!” which I totally admit, misses the point completely. I feel like if I could chill out a little more then I could enjoy them a lot.


Then you won't enjoy my alternate history story.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby Extreme Warhawk » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:19 pm

I find alternate history fascinating. Anyone play Kaiserreich for Hearts Of Iron? Its an alternate history where the Central Powers win WW1.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby G2000 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:43 pm

There's like three or four or maybe more people here with accounts on AH.com, that much I do know.

If we're talking Turtledove, my personal favorites of his are his American Civil War classics, The Guns of the South and How Few Remain. Both deal with a Confederate victory in the Civil War but in very different ways, and I would recommend both to anyone starting out in the genre.

Spoiler:
The former is a fun science-fictiony AH where time travelling South African terrorists, the AWB, give the Confederacy AK-47s in 1864, which ultimately results in them winning the Civil War. Unfortunately for the AWB, history books about the American Civil War they bring along from their timeline finds their way into the hands of Robert E. Lee. Already harboring anti-slavery sentiments, the realization that slavery is rejected by future generations for the evil that it is ultimately spurs Lee to run for the Confederate presidency on an platform of gradual abolition, where he wins by a narrow margin and is ultimately able to reform the CSA.

It sounds silly on it's face, and some may say that it's Confederate apologia, but it manages to be a really good book. Despite it's sci-fi premise, it has some really nice insight into Robert E. Lee's character and those of other major figures of the civil war, as well as some really good bits on the immediate aftermath of a Confederate victory, it's effects on Northern and Southern politics, and Confederate attempts to manufacture a working AK-47 using the technology of the 1860s so that they will not be reliant on those brought from the future. Turtledove does not in any way try to pretend that the civil war wasn't fought over slavery, and he makes it very clear that the only reason the Confederacy ultimately agrees to Lee's policy of gradual abolition is thanks to the knowledge brought from the future. All in all, a pretty good read.

How Few Remain, on the other hand, is a much more realistic look at a Confederate victory in the civil war, and as a result is much more grim.
The PoD is shortly before the Battle of Antietam, when a Confederate messenger accidentally drops his copy of General Lee's Special Order 191, detailing the CSA's plans for the invasion of Maryland. In OTL, the documents were retrieved by Union forces, who were able to use them to help halt the Confederate advance; however, in this book they are recovered by Confederate soldiers and returned to the messenger. The Army of Northern Virginia goes on to win in Antietam and ultimately the war, as European powers recognize it and Lincoln, unlike OTL, does not have the confidence to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

The majority of the book takes place in the 1880s, as a sort of Cold War has developed between the US and CSA. When the CSA is able to purchase two Mexican provinces from the still-extant Second Mexican Empire and thus gain a Pacific port, the US launches a war against the Confederacy that ultimately winds up dragging in Britain and France on the side of the CSA.

As stated earlier, this is a much grimmer book than Guns of The South; Lincoln, who is a PoV character, is absolutely hated by most Americans for "losing the South" and has become a socialist, native Americans are used as proxy warfare pawns by both sides, Mormons in Utah rebel against the US and are brutally crushed, the CSA eventually does away with slavery thanks to foreign pressure only to replace it with apartheid, etc. It's not pretty, but it's well-researched and engaging, and avoids trying to whitewash history in any way. Would strongly recommend to anyone starting out in the genre.
I wouldn't bother with How Few Remain's sequels, aka TL-191/Southern Victory series; eventually they degrade into having WW1 and WW2 happen pretty much just like OTL except with names and places changed.
Last edited by G2000 on Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:31 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby 2004Zilla » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:31 pm

Totally not biased here, but Red Storm Rising is essential reading for alternate history buffs.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby G2000 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:42 pm

2004Zilla wrote:Totally not biased here, but Red Storm Rising is essential reading for alternate history buffs.


Yep. Wasn’t technically alternate history when it was written, but to this day it remains the definitive novel on a 1980s Cold War Gone Hot conventional WW3 scenario.

In a similar vein, I would recommend Team Yankee by Harold Coyle. Similar to RSR in that it’s set based around a conventional war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in the 1980s, but with a more tight focus on the men of a single US tank company in West Germany as they fight to survive and push back the Soviet onslaught.

There is also Red Army by Ralph Peters, which is unique in that it shows a late 80s WW3 from the Soviet perspective. It’s supposed to be fantastic and is very well-written, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to read it very much since I got it.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby HeiseiGodzilla117 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:17 pm

KaijuCanuck wrote:I’m such a big history nerd, I always find it kind of difficult to get into alternate history. There’s always a little historian inside me screaming “but... that’s... not... what... HAPPENED!!!” which I totally admit, misses the point completely. I feel like if I could chill out a little more then I could enjoy them a lot.



I get that. I have a BA in History, so sometimes I get mildly irked about alternate history. But it can be really interesting too. It's not nearly as irritating as people spreading misinformation about History. I've noticed a LOT of that in recent years.

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Re: Alternate History

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 pm

Have you guys heard of AlternateHistoryHub and Lifesbiggestquestions? I find their videos to be intriguing with all the scenarios that could have or couldn't have happened. Here's links to their channels if you're interested.

https://www.youtube.com/user/AlternateHistoryHub

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb6IaF ... XQqHFq2xbg

G2000 wrote:There's like three or four or maybe more people here with accounts on AH.com, that much I do know.

I'm a member yo. I go by Saber-Toothed Mike on there.
Last edited by GodzillaFan1990's on Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby KaijuCanuck » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:51 pm

HeiseiGodzilla117 wrote:
KaijuCanuck wrote:I’m such a big history nerd, I always find it kind of difficult to get into alternate history. There’s always a little historian inside me screaming “but... that’s... not... what... HAPPENED!!!” which I totally admit, misses the point completely. I feel like if I could chill out a little more then I could enjoy them a lot.



I get that. I have a BA in History, so sometimes I get mildly irked about alternate history. But it can be really interesting too. It's not nearly as irritating as people spreading misinformation about History. I've noticed a LOT of that in recent years.


Hey, that was my undergrad degree as well! Maybe if you can get into it, I can too.

Yeah, there's nothing worse than when the actual history is gotten wrong. Pretty dangerous, too.
Last edited by KaijuCanuck on Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby HeiseiGodzilla117 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:01 pm

KaijuCanuck wrote:
Yeah, there's nothing worse than when the actual history is gotten wrong. Pretty dangerous, too.



It's unfortunately something that can't be stopped. And when it's twisted to bolster modern political views? That's a whole other world of bad. Look no further than Wikipedia and Twitter for some of the worst cases. lol

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Re: Alternate History

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:13 pm

Had you guys heard of Rome West?

It's a comic where in 323 A.D. a fleet of Roman soldiers goes off course due to a storm and finds themselves in the New World. As they have no way of getting back home, they establish a colony co-existing with the indigenous people.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby KaijuCanuck » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:22 pm

GodzillaFan1990's wrote:Had you guys heard of Rome West?

It's a comic where in 323 A.D. a fleet of Roman soldiers goes off course due to a storm and finds themselves in the New World. As they have no way of getting back home, they establish a colony co-existing with the indigenous people.


That sounds pretty interesting actually. The technology level between the Romans and indigenous people would have been much more equal so it would be an entirely different dynamic between the two.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:48 pm

Another ideal alternate history scenario came to my mind that I'd like to see.

Pretty much a spiritual successor to A Different Flesh but in Australia with denisovans. The only question that remains is how effective of hunters they were compared to us and what their reproduction rate was like since that would be one of the keys to the survival of Australian megafauna to historic times until the Dutch arrives in 1606.

Hell if no one doesn't do this then maybe I will. The idea is too good to pass up on especially the idea of European colonists first encounter with a live megalania and probably mistaking it for a dragon! :huge:
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Re: Alternate History

Postby LegendZilla » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:37 pm

This just so happens to be a favourite subject of mine! My favourite althists are what font the Phoenicians defeated Rome in the second Punic War, if The Norman Invasion of England failed and if the Central Powers won the First World War.
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Re: Alternate History

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:51 pm

Found a few other alternate history books I'd like to get my hands on eventually.

Down in the Bottom Lands: Meditteran Sea stayed dry.
Eden Trilogy: Asteroid never struck the earth leading to the planet being dominated by reptilian humanoids evolved from mosasaurids and new world monkeys evolving into human like creatures.
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus: Time travelers from the future trying to make a better peaceful outcome between Europeans and indigenous people of the Americas.
The Years of Rice and Salt: Black Plague wiped out 99% of Europe leading to the world being dominated by China, India and Muslims ruling.

Meanwhile I also grabbed Rome West today at Chapters. Look forward to reading it. :D
Last edited by GodzillaFan1990's on Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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