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Least favorite alt-history story?

USSManhattan

Teacher and Writer of Things
Location
Prague
#1
So, we're talking about good AH. We're writing it. We're publishing it. But what makes you cringe.


I'd say the alternate endings of the 1996 game Titanic: Adventure Out of Time would be mine. The game itself I still enjoy being a Titanic buff and it was great fun as a kid, but two history degrees and many books later, those alternate endings...

-No World War I because a necklace and the RL copy of the Rubaiyat are not used to finance the Black Hand and, among other things, they do not assassinate Franz Ferdinand (since I guess those are the only ways to raise money and that's only way to trigger a war in 1910s Europe).

-No World War II because Adolf Hitler's painting (the one used painted in 1914) is made famous for getting off the Titanic and he becomes a famous painter, irregardless of if World War I happens or not.

-No Soviet Union because of a Tsarist spy's list of names (including Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky) is delivered to the Okhrana and they're all hunted down. No mention about the whole "autocracy" thing.

Mixing and matching items saved from the ship gives such delights as Soviet Europe, Nazi Europe and Hitler nuking London.
 

Artaxerxes

Through the cucking glass
#13

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Location
Nu Yawk
#16
Well, for all that the first book isn't quite as bad, the rest of The Big One is pretty terrible.

The first book I mentioned in the review is the best part. Then it just goes bonkers. The surviving Germans in Russia manage to hold on for several years(!) and then retreat into the Middle East, where they join a talcman "caliphate" that has multiple caliphs and is de facto led by Kohmeini (I shouldn't need to explain how inaccurate this is). On the other side of Asia, the pop-history "China absorbs its conquerors" trope applies to Imperial Japan and you get -Chipan. Yes, it's called that. All these exist solely to provide pop-up targets for SAC's super-bombers without the evil McNamara to cancel them.

The real presidents all appear, simply so the immortal Mary Sue advisors can praise (Reagan) or scold them (Everyone else). Yes, there are immortal Mary Sue advisors in what otherwise prides itself on its realism. And a lack of other butterflies, there's still a Falklands invasion in 1982 (only with more toys), and the fighting in Southeast Asia in the late 1980s that dooms Chipan and kills its leader Masanobu Tsuiji is full of names from the real Vietnam War to the point where either the author was lazy in choosing them or these geriatrics were dragging themselves to the front line (including Ho Chi Minh, who appears long after he died of natural causes. I could nitpick a lot more, but you get the idea.
 
#17
The United States of Europe.

The UK sleep walks into the European Union with various spineless governments giving away sovereignty until a gifted statesman absorbs the older parties and wins a landside GE leading to the USE to launch an invasion.


Littered with stereotypes cliches and a nice dig at the SNP for raising an army to size power in Scotland and attack good English people whilst Ireland builds up to do the same.

The UK military is divided in its loyalty until a bunch of Europeans rape and murder their way through a boarding school.

The one redeemable aspect is when faced with mutual nuclear apocolypse both sides decided that this was insane.


Its as much FH as AH but I think the background goes back a couple of decades.
 

Archibald

Well-known member
Patreon supporter
#19
Well, for all that the first book isn't quite as bad, the rest of The Big One is pretty terrible.

The first book I mentioned in the review is the best part. Then it just goes bonkers. The surviving Germans in Russia manage to hold on for several years(!) and then retreat into the Middle East, where they join a talcman "caliphate" that has multiple caliphs and is de facto led by Kohmeini (I shouldn't need to explain how inaccurate this is). On the other side of Asia, the pop-history "China absorbs its conquerors" trope applies to Imperial Japan and you get -Chipan. Yes, it's called that. All these exist solely to provide pop-up targets for SAC's super-bombers without the evil McNamara to cancel them.

The real presidents all appear, simply so the immortal Mary Sue advisors can praise (Reagan) or scold them (Everyone else). Yes, there are immortal Mary Sue advisors in what otherwise prides itself on its realism. And a lack of other butterflies, there's still a Falklands invasion in 1982 (only with more toys), and the fighting in Southeast Asia in the late 1980s that dooms Chipan and kills its leader Masanobu Tsuiji is full of names from the real Vietnam War to the point where either the author was lazy in choosing them or these geriatrics were dragging themselves to the front line (including Ho Chi Minh, who appears long after he died of natural causes. I could nitpick a lot more, but you get the idea.
Well, Stuart Slade is quite a racist and a stormfront hugger, and its shows...