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Honorary Alternate History

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#42
2000AD progs 1 to 50 had the not-Soviet-Union honest invading in 1999, causing King Charles III to have to flee to Canada; we have cold-fusion Concordes, whacky future orb TVs, no internet, and John Lennon still is alive and works for the resistance in the now-closed Cavern Club (and then is killed).

In 2004, to get in on the Iraq-Afghanistan zeitgeist, the strip came back and abruptly made up an alternate past - a fascist coup in the post-Soviet Russia, the "True Labour" government of Ken Livingstone* comes to power and turfs US bases out, Britain finds huge oil reserves that make us invasion-worthy. (Now it's carried on and has accidentally ended up a few years in the recent past, advanced technology just happens anyway, and there's oddities like the 2008 recession, the US invasion of Iraq and such still happened in this timeline anyway.)


* This is very funny now
 

Attachments

DaleCoz

Active member
#43
Interesting thread. My honorary AH stuff goes back a bit further.

1) The Invasion of the United States series. These were Young Adult series books, the last in a big bunch of inter-related series following a bunch of young men from grammar school to adulthood. They were published in 1916 and set in 1919. The Great War is over and Germany is feeling its oats. The US and Germany get into a dispute over Brazil and the Germans declare war, then defeat the US fleet and invade. The first three books follow the Germans as they take city after city from an outnumbered and outgunned but valiant US Army. In the last book, the US mounts a huge counter-offensive using forces they've built up in the interior, airlifting whole divisions behind German lines using a vast fleet of what might have been dirigibles. I couldn't tell from the description. In any case, the airlift includes cavalry and their horses.

The Germans are cut off and forced to sign a humiliating peace. I think all four of the books are now available through the Gutenberg Project. The author was Irving Hancock They're an interesting window into what some Americans were thinking during the early part of World War I. The attitude seemed to be that German invasion was just kind of natural consequences of not keeping up a strong defense. To the best of my recollection the books were all published in 1916, but the author's view of modern war evolved a great deal through the books, with the first one have scenes of chivalry, like a cavalry duel where the American unhorsed the German and then dismounted himself to give his opponent a fair chance. In the later books, some of the true nature of World War I came through. These are pretty well written books, with a mix of silly ideas and fairly profound analysis for the time.

2) Red Napoleon. This was written in the mid-1920s and supposedly happened a few years later. Stalin is assassinated. His replacement is a military and political genius who builds up the Soviet army and then sends it against the nations of Europe, which fall one-by-one to Soviet power and trickery, most of them crouching within their own borders while the others are picked off. The one exception: Mussolini, who leads the Italians to challenge the Red colossus. He is defeated and dies, but comes across as the one truly courageous European leader. (Yeah. Hard to imagine that, but this was written in the mid-1920s when a lot of people believed Mussolini's boasts).

In any case, the Red tide reaches the English channel, then takes Britain through treachery of communist-infiltrated unions and armed forces. The Soviets take the British fleet essentially intact. The same sort of thing happens in Japan. And yeah, we're getting into ASB territory there, but oh well. With all the fleets of Europe and those of Japan on his side, the Red Napoleon has only one major power left to defeat. He invades the United States and takes big hunks of the coasts. The US, along with fugitives from the continent, fights on, with now exiled Italian fascists playing a prominent role in the defense. (Again, written in the mid-1920s, before Fascists had totally discredited themselves).

In any case, the Red Napoleon finally over-extends himself and is defeated. With that defeat, conquered territories revolt and his empire disintegrates.

This is quite well-written and probably seemed very plausible at the time, partly because it played on a lot of the things people feared. I don't know where you could get a copy. Last time I checked, it wasn't available through Gutenberg Project.
 

Burton K Wheeler

Itinerant Frontier Hobo
Location
garbage can
#44
City of Endless Night by Milo Hastings (1919)

It's basically sci-fi (set in 2151), but the intended purpose of it is as a warning of the sickness at the heart of the German soul and how they can't be trusted. Germany as an insane sci-fi dystopia is an interesting concept, but the book was very quickly made obsolete by the fact that Germany actually became an insane sci-fi dystopia just a few years after the book was published. The book is mostly worldbuilding (blech) and not much plot, but it's fairly readable, and available for free: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/9862

There's also a free version on the Kindle store.

Mostly worth reading for truly amazing chapter titles:
I -The Red and Black and Gold Struggle for Supremacy on the Changing Map of the World

II - I Explore the Potash Mines of Stassfurt and Find a Diary in a Dead Man's Pocket

III - In a Black Utopia the Blond Brood Breeds and Swarms

IV - I Go Pleasuring on the Level of Free Women and Drink Synthetic Beer

V - I am Drafted for Paternity and Make Extraordinary Petition to the Chief of the Eugenic Staff

VI - In Which I Learn that Competition is Still the Life of the Oldest Trade in the World

VII - The Sun Shines Upon a King and a Girl Reads of the Fall of Babylon

VIII - Finding Therein One Righteous Man, I Have Compassion on Berlin

IX - In Which I Salute the Statue of God, and a Psychic Expert Explores My Brain and Finds Nothing

X - A Goddess Who is Suffering from Obesity, and a Brave Man Who is Afraid of the Law of Averages

XI - In Which the Talking Delegate is Answered by the Royal Voice and I Learn that Labor Knows Not God

XII - The Divine Descendants of William the Great Give a Benefit for the Canine Gardens and Pay Tribute to the Piggeries

XIII - In Which a Woman Accuses Me of Murder and I Place a Ruby Necklace About Her Throat

XIV - The Black Spot is Erased from the Map of the World and There is Dancing in the Sunlight on the Roof of Berlin

(this is also the track listing of my noise album)
 
#45
A Philosophical Investigation by Philip Kerr (1956—2018)


Written in 1992, but set in an now-alternate 2013. in a Britain beset by climate-change induced drought and heatwaves, a dystopic nation has mutated into one fixated with crime and determined to treat 'criminals' as pariahs, and is willing to accept prurient levels of intrusion, surveillance and excessive amounts of state violence to counter the threat. Police are routinely armed, and criminals are punished via 'punitive coma' which can be reversed, but often proves fatal. The Met Police has been chosen for a pilot project called "Lombroso", the program to identify and track male citizens who are predisposed to be aggressively violent, due to a heritable brain defect that appears common to all serial killers. The database has been an excellent tool for law enforcement, but an outsider has cracked the database. An individual nicknamed "Wittgenstein" has obtained a list of all those with this brain defect (of which he is one) and is stalking and killing the individuals whose code names appears on the records, in the national interest, he believes.

Detective Chief Inspector Isadora 'Jake' Jakowicz, an educated, urbane, feminist copper from the Met's Gynocide division, discovers the killer during a related investigation, and joins the team dedicated to hunting "Wittgenstein" down.
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Location
Nu Yawk
#48


One of the later Survivalists, and only two books away from the finale, Death Watch, War Mountain is an interesting diversion into alternate history beyond the chronological start of the series. By this point, it's long stopped being post-apocalyptic and has become this "science fiction but with all my favorite guns" author's toy.

Anyway, the divergence in question, aka the MacGuffin of this book arc, has to deal with a figure common in alternate history-Adolf Hitler. See, the divergence is that the Americans somehow got his body, preserved it, and stuck it in a giant underground facility in upstate New York. No, it doesn't really explain why they did this.
 

varyar

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
Location
Western New York
#49


One of the later Survivalists, and only two books away from the finale, Death Watch, War Mountain is an interesting diversion into alternate history beyond the chronological start of the series. By this point, it's long stopped being post-apocalyptic and has become this "science fiction but with all my favorite guns" author's toy.

Anyway, the divergence in question, aka the MacGuffin of this book arc, has to deal with a figure common in alternate history-Adolf Hitler. See, the divergence is that the Americans somehow got his body, preserved it, and stuck it in a giant underground facility in upstate New York. No, it doesn't really explain why they did this.
Why wouldn't you do that? You need something for future heroes to punch and then set on fire, right?
 
#50
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika_Night

Swastika Night, by Katherine Burdekin (under the pen name Murray Constantine). Published in 1937, it imagines a world ~700 years in the future, where the Nazis and the Japanese Empire conquered the world between them, and then settled into stalemated conflict. Nazi-controlled society as a whole has regressed to a semi-medieval level, with virtually no surviving knowledge of its true origins. Hitler is worshiped as a 7-foot blonde, blue-eyed god, the "Sacred Aeroplane" he flew to Moscow and won the war singlehanded is revered as a relic, and the "Holy Forest" in Munich where he was "exploded from the head of God the Thunderer" is the holiest pilgrimage site of Hitlerism.

A huge amount of expository dialogue (several chapters were nothing but long, speech-ridden conversations between two characters), but still an intriguing speculation and critique of what the "Thousand-Year Reich" might turn out to be, and the ways it would be sustained through war and hugely aggrandized patriarchal rule at all levels
 
#51
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika_Night

Swastika Night, by Katherine Burdekin (under the pen name Murray Constantine). Published in 1937, it imagines a world ~700 years in the future, where the Nazis and the Japanese Empire conquered the world between them, and then settled into stalemated conflict. Nazi-controlled society as a whole has regressed to a semi-medieval level, with virtually no surviving knowledge of its true origins. Hitler is worshiped as a 7-foot blonde, blue-eyed god, the "Sacred Aeroplane" he flew to Moscow and won the war singlehanded is revered as a relic, and the "Holy Forest" in Munich where he was "exploded from the head of God the Thunderer" is the holiest pilgrimage site of Hitlerism.

A huge amount of expository dialogue (several chapters were nothing but long, speech-ridden conversations between two characters), but still an intriguing speculation and critique of what the "Thousand-Year Reich" might turn out to be, and the ways it would be sustained through war and hugely aggrandized patriarchal rule at all levels
That becks the question i always have, what happens to a Nazi Reich who manged to stay in power for more than 999 years, will they say, we done the 1000 year stuff, lets pack up and go.
 

Alex Richards

Etched Swiftly.
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#52
That becks the question i always have, what happens to a Nazi Reich who manged to stay in power for more than 999 years, will they say, we done the 1000 year stuff, lets pack up and go.
You'd just have Millenarianism- as the 1,000 years approached everyone would be talking about the forthcoming transformation of the nation to the next level of perfection/the Second Coming of Adolph or something.
 
#55
And today in Nothing Dates Faster Than Future History....
TWW.jpg
The book that launched hundreds of Fuldapocalypses, and a thousand tedious Post-1900 threads, and one of the only three books pre-teen me devoured in one sitting - the others being Nineteen Eighty-Four by y'know that guy and First Among Equals* by <cough> Jeffrey Archer. Both honorary alternate histories themselves, nowadays.

If you don't know the story (shame on you) NORTHAG, CENTAG and SOUTHAG get spanked by the 3rd Shock Army (subs pls chk), the Backfires fly, AS-6 'Kingfish' are launched at REFORGER in the GIUK Gap and an entire glossary of acronyms gets blown up or overrun.

Only as far as Krefeld and/or the Dutch border for plot purposes, culminating in a magitek non-escalating strategic nuclear exchange which dramatically reduces property values in Birmingham and Minsk, and the dramatic collapse of Vorotnikov's Politburo.

(The SS-18 'Satan' probably also ruins Prime Minister Thatch Plumber's chances of winning the 1987 General Election.)

Alt-1985 is not a year we will look back upon with fondness.




*Look, Brighton to Grimsby is a looong train journey when you are twelve, and the batteries of your Walkman have run down.
 

Skinny87

It Has Been ZERO Days Since I Mentioned John Major
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
#56
And today in Nothing Dates Faster Than Future History....
The book that launched hundreds of Fuldapocalypses, and a thousand tedious Post-1900 threads, and one of the only three books pre-teen me devoured in one sitting - the others being Nineteen Eighty-Four by y'know that guy and First Among Equals* by <cough> Jeffrey Archer. Both honorary alternate histories themselves, nowadays.

If you don't know the story (shame on you) NORTHAG, CENTAG and SOUTHAG get spanked by the 3rd Shock Army (subs pls chk), the Backfires fly, AS-6 'Kingfish' are launched at REFORGER in the GIUK Gap and an entire glossary of acronyms gets blown up or overrun.

Only as far as Krefeld and/or the Dutch border for plot purposes, culminating in a magitek non-escalating strategic nuclear exchange which dramatically reduces property values in Birmingham and Minsk, and the dramatic collapse of Vorotnikov's Politburo.

(The SS-18 'Satan' probably also ruins Prime Minister Thatch Plumber's chances of winning the 1987 General Election.)

Alt-1985 is not a year we will look back upon with fondness.




*Look, Brighton to Grimsby is a looong train journey when you are twelve, and the batteries of your Walkman have run down.
I see you have challenged @Coiler to a duel - I will naturally be his second
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Location
Nu Yawk
#57
I've been critical of Hackett, but I've softened on him recently.

The biggest part of it is just perspective. Now I that I've long since expanded my horizons, I can see Hackett is not nearly as influential as I'd thought in the past. I just happened to start my dip into action fiction into the exact parts and areas where that kind of thing was popular-now I can see that I was swimming in small ponds that him and works following his style were big fish in. So I now don't view him as that much of a negative influence, especially after I read books in the small WW3 subgenre that were either outright good (Team Yankee, Red Army, Northern Fury) or just didn't follow his style (The Zone, Chieftains, Arc Light)

There's that, and there's recognizing that it's a product of its time, that it's aimed for an audience for whom a Fuldapocalyptic struggle is an unknown fear and not something they've already studied en masse. That also made me more sympathetic to it, even if I can still criticize much of the book itself (like the contrived Birmingham-Minsk plotnukes "trade")
 
#58
That becks the question i always have, what happens to a Nazi Reich who manged to stay in power for more than 999 years, will they say, we done the 1000 year stuff, lets pack up and go.
Interestingly, the (somewhat rambling/confusing) work Moon of Ice by Brad Linaweaver (POD: FDR is impeached in 1942--over Pearl Harbor revelations of some kind--and Germany has A-bombs by 1944 to win the war in Europe) hints at that in a conversation between Goebbels and a dying Hitler, where the latter says it will take a thousand years to finish building the Reich, which will then last for eternity.
 
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#59
Interestingly, the (somewhat rambling/confusing) Moon of Ice by Brad Linaweaver (POD: FDR is impeached in 1942--over Pearl Harbor revelations of some kind--and Germany has A-bombs by 1944 to win the war in Europe) hints at that in a conversation between Goebbels and a dying Hitler, where the latter says it will take a thousand years to finish building the Reich, which will then last for eternity.
Do not kick ore ban me for what i am going to say right now, but i blame @Alex Richards for getting this in my head as i was thinking about Hitlertism and the Second Coming of Adolph in a 1000 Reich and how easy is to turn Christianity into Hitlertism, the official religion in the far future of a Nazi Reich that manged to reach its 1000 year goal:

Hitler is molded after Jesus.

Eva Braun is molded after Mary Magdalene.

The twelve disciples of Jesus become the twelve disciples of Hitler with Goering,Himmler, Donitz, Heydrich, Hess, Speer, Ribbentrop, Goebbels,Keitel,Bormann,Inquart and Frank taking the place of Jesus disciples.
 

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#60
2) Red Napoleon. This was written in the mid-1920s and supposedly happened a few years later. Stalin is assassinated. His replacement is a military and political genius who builds up the Soviet army and then sends it against the nations of Europe, which fall one-by-one to Soviet power and trickery, most of them crouching within their own borders while the others are picked off. The one exception: Mussolini, who leads the Italians to challenge the Red colossus. He is defeated and dies, but comes across as the one truly courageous European leader. (Yeah. Hard to imagine that, but this was written in the mid-1920s when a lot of people believed Mussolini's boasts).

In any case, the Red tide reaches the English channel, then takes Britain through treachery of communist-infiltrated unions and armed forces. The Soviets take the British fleet essentially intact. The same sort of thing happens in Japan. And yeah, we're getting into ASB territory there, but oh well. With all the fleets of Europe and those of Japan on his side, the Red Napoleon has only one major power left to defeat. He invades the United States and takes big hunks of the coasts. The US, along with fugitives from the continent, fights on, with now exiled Italian fascists playing a prominent role in the defense. (Again, written in the mid-1920s, before Fascists had totally discredited themselves).

In any case, the Red Napoleon finally over-extends himself and is defeated. With that defeat, conquered territories revolt and his empire disintegrates.

This is quite well-written and probably seemed very plausible at the time, partly because it played on a lot of the things people feared. I don't know where you could get a copy. Last time I checked, it wasn't available through Gutenberg Project.
I did some digging into this and...yeesh.

From reading snippets of it I couldn't help but be reminded of Goebbels' The Year 2000, except with more fear mongering about Asiatic Bolshevism and "miscegenation". I don't think it's any oversight that the fascists are the heroes.