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  1. K

    AHC: Balkanised Commonwealth of Australia

    This was my biggest stretch when plotting Freedom's Rampart - I ended up finding a reference to an OTL ad hoc arrangement with a local ruler in (IIRC) Java. Otherwise by c.1890 only the most state of the art Russian vessels had the range to do Vladivostock-South Pacific. The 3rd strategic...
  2. K

    Least favorite alt-history story?

    I can't possibly flee to the Norfolk coast, not at this time of night.
  3. K

    Changing Member Names?

    Mods can do this, failing that definitely Admin. Before I knew the connotation myself I've used "89" in user names elsewhere for the same DOB reasons. Not exact match but it still always feels a bit too close for comfort, so you have my sympathy, and I'm sure that of @Skinny87. Basically...
  4. K

    Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic: 'The War of the Worlds' in Alternate History

    Just wanted to chip in some more praise for a really excellent article. Its given me a seed of an idea for this month's Vignette Challenge, and also given some good recommendations for works to check out. I didn't know Baxter had done a War of the Worlds sequel, but I read his Time Machine...
  5. K

    Prequel Problems: Sharpe’s Reading Order

    I've never seen or read Sharpe, but the Hornblower comparison is an interesting one, as those novels also started in the protagonist's mid-career, only to be followed by sequels and prequels that jumped back and forth to flesh out Hornblower's entire career from Midshipman to Admiral. The ITV...
  6. K

    Getting a UK prime minister to lose their seat

    On similar lines, a scenario where Gordon Brown wins an upset in Edinburgh South in 1979, holds on as an incumbent in '83, only to lose as PM in 2010 (or possibly 2005). A million butterflies get murdered along the way of course. For a clean scenario that is probably more plausible on paper...
  7. K

    The Nominative Minefield

    Literally where she learned the trade and was subsequently arrested, which is the reason she survives (albeit obscured until very recently) in the historical record. I did not know that, but it's an awesome bit of background data if we do follow the hypothesis of her taking a name from what was...
  8. K

    The Nominative Minefield

    Love this kind of thing, and the point about this level of research being so much easier now is well made. When writing vignettes I probably spend half my planning time getting names just right for the era and setting. "Abigail" as a go to for very Late Stuart wouldn't sounds old-fashioned in...
  9. K

    The Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War

    Remember reading this in 2005 - I assume the 2001 reprint, and yes it blends together very well the academic style and an engaging, sometimes personal narrative. Seeing the results of the change carried forward into the 2nd and 3rd order was also really refreshing at the time - I'd read a lot of...
  10. K

    When did OTL leaders become 'plausible'?

    The Guardian definitely had a thing for him right from the start, presumably in part because of his previous public role, but also because he is, well, very Guardian. That article is a wonderful post-Miliband pre-Corbyn time capsule though. Some choice quotes: [On Keir] "Silence speaks...
  11. K

    When did OTL leaders become 'plausible'?

    I'm quite pleased at the quiet revival of this thread, so here's a topical one: Keir Starmer? Instinctive answer is after the Chicken Coup, and the hollowing out of previous 'future leaders' from the Labour front benches that pushes him to frontrunner/plausible status. That said, in the...
  12. K

    What If Friedrich III Had Lived?

    Ah, I thought there was a small ring of familiarity - and there's me on the 'like' list for the original post.
  13. K

    What If Friedrich III Had Lived?

    The 'flu pandemics of 1889-1895 are really under-explored for this kind of scenario. Britain's Albert Victor was among those who died from it - no reason it might not have been other heirs and would-be world leaders. Wikipedia for some reason counts Wilhelm I (1797-1888) as a survivor of a...
  14. K

    What If Friedrich III Had Lived?

    This is always the elephant in the room with the more utopian FredIII scenarios isn't it? A shadow court forming around the heir to the throne is the rule rather than the exception, and a healthier Frederick who lives as exceptionally long as either his father (90) or his son (82) is still dead...
  15. K

    What If Friedrich III Had Lived?

    It feels like a Liberal (in the C19th sense) Germany - assuming the handwaves to get there - might much more ably thread the needle of compromises and contradictions of late Imperial Germany as as a result be a far more formidable and powerful entity by the 1910s. One that can actually do global...
  16. K

    What If Friedrich III Had Lived?

    This is a very good point - contemporary British Invasion Literature seems to pivot almost immediately to primarily German antagonists from 1871. They just handwave the plausibly of the Wilhelm I coastal patrol boat navy doing anything more than sinking. Britain was always chasing a threat of...
  17. K

    Lists of Heads of Government and Heads of State

    A direct in-universe sequel set around this would be fascinating. "The Second Referendum: Prince William is Returning"
  18. K

    Lists of Heads of Government and Heads of State

    This one also circles round in my head far more that it ought to. It really is bizarre how, of all the SLP published books, this time line is the one that has become most dated/horrific in hindsight - and in a way that is no fault of and could not possibly be forseen by the original authors...
  19. K

    Chains of Consequences: the Perils of Choosing a Veep

    One thing that I find interesting is that I've yet to see much commentary on regional geographic balance this year, but a hell of a lot on the need for Biden to nominate a woman, and now specifically a black woman to the ticket. Specific swing states yes, but nothing like some of the old...
  20. K

    Kindle rankings

    Albeit that the difference between places probably represents the difference between 0 and 1 sale, it looks like it's been a really good couple of days for Freedom's Rampart.