Writing alternate history fiction histories

As a respected but fairly impoverished composer and piano teacher in the s 30 years after his death in our timelinehe is unwillingly pulled into a scandalous intrigue involving close relatives of King George IV.

In both books, the narrative voice and the dialog employed by the characters rings at least to my ear true to the period when the books are set.

historical fiction vs alternate history

Romans and Vikings in North America, Europeans never showed up all, etc. Most superhero stories are limited by the genre requirement of Reed Richards Is Useless ; however, by averting or subverting this, one could feasibly get a very interesting and, depending on how well it is done, even plausible Alternate History.

Ww1 alternate history books

Though a superhero-derived point of divergence would be by-definition an Alien Space Bats , superheroes typically get more Willing Suspension of Disbelief from the beginning, allowing more leeway to work with. I'm not saying they never dream or think "what if". You may also wish to construct a Parallel World scenario, in which the characters from the real world cross over into the alternate world or vice versa in order to establish directly the differences between the two. You don't hear the phrase "History repeats itself" a lot in the tech-enthusiast-society. Otherwise, Alternate Histories tend to be Ensemble pieces, with a large cast of characters from a number of different viewpoints that allow the reader to get many different perspectives on how the Alternate World is different from 'our' world. Army B takes them prisoner, and gains their resources. Extra Credit As with any genre you intend to write, read other examples. A lot of us think that we know the history, more than we actually do — and relying on your pop-history understanding of the past is the surest way to doom an alt-history. Advertisement 3. Likewise, Alternate Histories where women are in charge? History is incredibly complex, past the abilities of any one person to unravel or predict, and so the smart AH writer will base their story on a conceit only they can answer. What if the South triumphed at Gettysburg? The Greats Sidewise in Time, a Murray Leinster short story from which is credited with introducing this concept to American popular literature. Is the point of divergence going to be a mundane, very believable one for example, the bomb-bay doors on the Enola Gay locked up, causing one of the nukes to not be delivered during World War II , which allows the Japanese leadership to justify fighting and cause a much worse ending to the war or a more fantastic, less realistic one known in the usual parlance as an " Alien Space Bats ;" for example, an alien race shoots down the Enola Gay with a space laser, preventing the delivery of the bomb and prolonging the war?

There are other historical events that share this notoriety; the American Civil War and the Cold War are similar stalwarts of the AH genre, but apart from these major events AH authors have a difficult decision to make.

So if you wanted to change the Age of Exploration, says Stirling, you'd need a fairly major change, much earlier in history — not just a major setback for Christopher Columbus.

Writing alternate history fiction histories

The Epic Fails The TV show Sliders , a rare example of Alternate History on television and, unfortunately, widely considered to be an unsuccessful type. Striking a balance between that need for background and the forward motion of the story is key to writing any story based in history. If we have to pick between momentum and background, I say always go for momentum. Imagining a Different Today If futuristic science fiction is about imagining a possible tomorrow, then alternate histories are about imagining a possible present. While it can be interesting and fun to create new and original empires, you should keep these realities in mind lest your work begin to look like a Mary Sue on a national scale. I strongly recommend you pick up a copy, from your local bookstore or your library and enjoy:. But this natural tendency has to be handled very delicately because people who enjoy alternate histories are likely those who enjoy history. Ignoring historical factors that were important at the time, even if they aren't important to your story. Then the show throws at us laughable stock footage of Hitler being in Hollywood or at Yankee Stadium as well as "experts" none of whom have any historical experience or are historians. It can also be effective to have a historical fashion become popular out of time; in an alternate , we might still be wearing flared trousers

Only one of the Twin Towers is destroyed. Potential Subversions Alternate History is itself a subversion of established history; it's showing what didn't happen, but might have.

alternate history stories online

The Greats Sidewise in Time, a Murray Leinster short story from which is credited with introducing this concept to American popular literature.

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10 Worst Mistakes That Authors of Alternate History Make