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Bestist Non-SLP AH

moth

Mothleton
Location
Portsmoth
#24
For published works I'd have to say Fatherland.

Gets the right balance of setting, plot, and character.
I often think it's a shame Harris hasn't done more alternate history- while the nebbish purists bash Fatherland for its plausibility, it does well to realise its world in a way 'harder' alternative histories haven't, and the '20 years later' ethos is always good when it comes to those kinds of scenarios.
 
#25
For AH.com timelines, while I love EdT's work I think Malê Rising is the greatest work on the site. A genuinely uplifting, properly humanist tale that nonetheless never mistakes optimism for blindness to darkness. It's a rare work of fiction that can deal with geopolitics and small domestic stories with equal weight and careful attention to detail.

As for published stuff-


Before I say this, I know.

No, seriously, I know.

Ok.

Turtledove's early stuff. How Few Remain and Guns of the South.

Look, I said I know.

Yes, there's an unpleasant undercurrent of the Lost Cause. But I think that those books have the advantage of being stand-alones, without the tiresome repetition of his series and trilogies. Their smaller scope also means that there's less room to expose Turtledove's weaknesses as a writer.

I really can't stand most of his stuff. The WorldWar novels are awful, and the TL-191 thing just got beyond the point of parody.

I think that Guns of the South and How Few Remain play to his strengths though- Turtledove is fundamentally a YA novelist. His best stories are simply written, based on fairly simple premises. I read those books when I was eleven, and they really fired my imagination. I doubt I would have fallen in love with alternate history without them.

Yes, he's dreadful when he tries to tell epic stories or when he occasionally tries to be a sophisticated writer. But as a good simple storyteller for younger audiences, I think he deserves more credit than he sometimes gets.
 

moth

Mothleton
Location
Portsmoth
#26
Guns of the South is quite good, but like a lot of fiction that has problematic elements (such as the Lost Cause mythology that runs through the book because Turtledove wanted to make a point about conservative racism and reactionary racism and it was the 1990s) as long as you're aware of those issues and not being an uncritical reader no ones going to dunk on you for enjoying it.
 

Md139115

You have not even begun to grasp the madness
#27
Guns of the South is very good and I seriously would have cited it as my favorite published AH. I think the only unrealistic thing about it though is Lee managing to make the leap to abolitionist for philosophical reasons. I was working on a TL where he would make a similar leap only out of cold practicality, but I’m not sure if that’s going to continue.
 

Youngmarshall

A neutral milk hotel is a complicit milk hotel
#28
I haven't encountered any published ah that I think is any good really. If I did, I wouldn't be looking primarily at amateur stuff.

Theres lots of truly excellent stories on here and ah.com that sealion press haven't published though. Who will speak for England, if you want to know who we are, bear cavalry, male rising, land of red and gold, King Theodore corsica etc, etc.
 

Geordie

Member of Parliament for the Valley of Old Swazz
Published by SLP
#29
I keep trying to get into King Theodore's Corsica, but struggle to get through the first couple of pages.
 

Youngmarshall

A neutral milk hotel is a complicit milk hotel
#33
I keep trying to get into King Theodore's Corsica, but struggle to get through the first couple of pages.
The main appeal of the time line is it reads very much like a real history book of an obscure area of the world. With meticulous research and use of sources.

The drawback of that is its just as dry as a real history book.
 

Mumby

'I love the pun he will go far'
Published by SLP
#35
I can't remember the title but there was a short story by Turtledove that @Thande showed me if I remember correctly.

The premise was that Britain had fallen to the Nazis but a Fighting Britain had battled on beyond the seas. To no avail. The Teutonic war machine had crushed the Soviet Union and finally come marching over the Khyber Pass and captured the jewel of the old Empire's crown. And it was basically how does the Indian independence movement, revolving around Gandhi and the principle of nonviolent civil disobedience, deal with the British colonial government being replaced by a Nazi Reichskommissariat.
 

Youngmarshall

A neutral milk hotel is a complicit milk hotel
#36
I can't remember the title but there was a short story by Turtledove that @Thande showed me if I remember correctly.

The premise was that Britain had fallen to the Nazis but a Fighting Britain had battled on beyond the seas. To no avail. The Teutonic war machine had crushed the Soviet Union and finally come marching over the Khyber Pass and captured the jewel of the old Empire's crown. And it was basically how does the Indian independence movement, revolving around Gandhi and the principle of nonviolent civil disobedience, deal with the British colonial government being replaced by a Nazi Reichskommissariat.
I've read that. It was a decent tale and made a good point about the limits of nonviolent civil disobedience when faced with a regime that will openly genocide you and doesn't care about looking bad in doing it.

It came a little close to empire apologetica I thought, mind.
 

Mumby

'I love the pun he will go far'
Published by SLP
#37
I've read that. It was a decent tale and made a good point about the limits of nonviolent civil disobedience when faced with a regime that will openly genocide you and doesn't care about looking bad in doing it.

It came a little close to empire apologetica I thought, mind.
Yes, I think it has the same symptom as Guns of the South. He's contrasting a racist reality, with a racist possibility and that possibility is unarguably worse than the reality.

doesnt mean reality was all sweetness and light tho
 

Mumby

'I love the pun he will go far'
Published by SLP
#38
I can't remember the title but there was a short story by Turtledove that @Thande showed me if I remember correctly.

The premise was that Britain had fallen to the Nazis but a Fighting Britain had battled on beyond the seas. To no avail. The Teutonic war machine had crushed the Soviet Union and finally come marching over the Khyber Pass and captured the jewel of the old Empire's crown. And it was basically how does the Indian independence movement, revolving around Gandhi and the principle of nonviolent civil disobedience, deal with the British colonial government being replaced by a Nazi Reichskommissariat.
also it was @Meadow who showed me the turtlegnette
 

RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#40
One of my favourite AH cultural developments comes in Glen's Dominion of Southern America, where different migration patterns to the OTL US Deep South, in particular increase Scots and Irish migration in the 19th century, brings with it cultural traditions around Halloween that combine with existing cultural traditions around All Saints' Day in Louisiana, the Day of the Dead in the OTL US Southwest, and voodoo in the Caribbean into one of the biggest holidays and festivals in the country - to the extent that November 1 is a holiday in many states.

If I remember correctly Baron Samedi becomes the Santa Claus/Easter Bunny equivalent.