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Alternative by definition?

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#22
What If? was one of the biggest AH disappointments for me. 3/4ths of the authors barely touched on the alternate part of alternate history, and those authors who did bother clearly slapped something together 3 minutes before the deadline.
More disappointing than that was What Might Have Been, which starts off with a foreword by the editor which basically amounts to 'Alternate History is a silly idea anyway, so anything other than short essays should be disregarded', and follows up with a collection of essays including one or two gems (Montefiore on Stalin fleeing Moscow in 1941 for example) but is mostly either not alternate history at all (an essay on Arnold's involvement in the civil war which just says where things could have gone differently), blatant political points scoring (Gore wins in 2000 and barely seems to want to respond to 9/11) or decent ideas taken too far (Anne Somerset's Spanish Armada victory, which makes it look less plausible than reality by having literally everything go right for the Spanish, up to and including the Dutch just letting the Duke of Parma's army board the transport ships and sail across the channel entirely unmolested, and the Duke of Parma managing to get the army on board those ships in 36 hours when he couldn't even do it in a week IOTL).
Reading those books is probably the main reason why I tend to have fun in the LTTW history book extracts characterising the viewpoint historians as Dunning-Kruger types, who have no idea what they're talking about, but are quick to contemptuously dismiss any other point of view.
 

napoleon IV

Rabotnik i Parazit
#23
More disappointing than that was What Might Have Been, which starts off with a foreword by the editor which basically amounts to 'Alternate History is a silly idea anyway, so anything other than short essays should be disregarded', and follows up with a collection of essays including one or two gems (Montefiore on Stalin fleeing Moscow in 1941 for example) but is mostly either not alternate history at all (an essay on Arnold's involvement in the civil war which just says where things could have gone differently), blatant political points scoring (Gore wins in 2000 and barely seems to want to respond to 9/11) or decent ideas taken too far (Anne Somerset's Spanish Armada victory, which makes it look less plausible than reality by having literally everything go right for the Spanish, up to and including the Dutch just letting the Duke of Parma's army board the transport ships and sail across the channel entirely unmolested, and the Duke of Parma managing to get the army on board those ships in 36 hours when he couldn't even do it in a week IOTL).
In terms of the worst scenario Niall Ferguson's Virtual History takes the cake. None of the essays in the book bother to create a scenario, but at the end of the book Ferguson writes a piece where literally every single essay's POD occurs. Which means that we start with something like the American Revolution failing, but the Nazis conquer Europe and Prime Minister JFK survives his assassination only to get bogged down in Vietnam.
 

Alex Richards

Tends to eat truffles once found
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#24
In terms of the worst scenario Niall Ferguson's Virtual History takes the cake. None of the essays in the book bother to create a scenario, but at the end of the book Ferguson writes a piece where literally every single essay's POD occurs. Which means that we start with something like the American Revolution failing, but the Nazis conquer Europe and Prime Minister JFK survives his assassination only to get bogged down in Vietnam.
...

Why?
 

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#25
In terms of the worst scenario Niall Ferguson's Virtual History takes the cake. None of the essays in the book bother to create a scenario, but at the end of the book Ferguson writes a piece where literally every single essay's POD occurs. Which means that we start with something like the American Revolution failing, but the Nazis conquer Europe and Prime Minister JFK survives his assassination only to get bogged down in Vietnam.
Congratulations, alleged serious historian, you have written something of the standard that we used to do as a background parodic joke in AH.com Series episodes.

In fact, I seem to recall this coming up in Leo Caesius' first episode:

LEO CAESIUS
There are indications that the Thirteen Colonies
lost the Revolutionary War and remain
under British suzerainty.

LANDSHARK
(suddenly snapping to attention)
Wonderful! This is beginning to sound like my cup of tea.

LEO CAESIUS
It also appears that the Confederate States have
succeeded in their attempt to secede from the Union.

ABDUL HADI
That’s ridiculous. What kind of
Stirlingesque twaddle is this, anyway?

LEO CAESIUS
It also bears noting that the Confederacy
aligned itself with the Axis Powers in the
Second World War, resulting in a decisive
victory for the Third Reich.

DAVE HOWERY
Say what? Have we landed in
one of ConfederateFly’s timelines?​
 

Geordie

Digital Hustings and Wyboston
Published by SLP
#29
Well-known Speculative Romance author Sean Gabb,
Long ago, I decided that I would refer to any ATL AH movement as Speculative History, or Spec History. Thought that was very clever, I did.

Then I read LTTW, and discovered that thande had given me a pre-emptive cucking.