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Least favorite alt-history story?

moth

Mothleton
Location
Portsmoth
I had a writer friend who wanted to do a story about the Challenger mission if the space shuttle had not exploded. I don't know if she finished it before she died, but I could never figure out what the story would be. I mean, shuttle goes up, missions get performed, shuttle returns, everyone's happy. Where's the story?
The story is in absence of the Challenger Disaster, I'd of thought, in which the social and political events that can be directly tied to it happening simply don't happen, and a gradual wave of changes due to these.
 

Matt

Active member
If it was on AH.com, the teacher astronaut who died would go on to have a political career and defeat Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary and then go on to defeat Trump in the general because she campaigned in Wisconsin.

Told in Wikiboxes.
And be given an inordinate amount of Turtledoves and maybe even the Unapologetic Neo-Confederate Award for “Excellence”.
 

Skinny87

Nye Bevan, with the Crocodile, in the GMC Chambers
Patreon supporter
I really tried to get into Turtledove, but his American Empire series was just... boring.
It...isn't his best, to be honest. It could quite easily have been a trilogy instead of however many books it actually is

The 'prequel', How Few Remain, is very excellent and well-worth reading without needing to go any further.
 

Usili

Testing Is Underway
I had a writer friend who wanted to do a story about the Challenger mission if the space shuttle had not exploded. I don't know if she finished it before she died, but I could never figure out what the story would be. I mean, shuttle goes up, missions get performed, shuttle returns, everyone's happy. Where's the story?
The story is in absence of the Challenger Disaster, I'd of thought, in which the social and political events that can be directly tied to it happening simply don't happen, and a gradual wave of changes due to these.
What moth said is how I've always pictured a timeline in which you don't see the loss of Challenger, considering it was (from what I understand correctly) heavily reported for Teacher-in-Space and arguably the social impact that it had?

Considering the pace of flights and the issues present and emerging pre-Challenger, something was bound to happen to the Shuttle sooner or later. It could've been something like a loss on one of the 'Death Star' missions (i.e. having to carry the Centaur-G in the payload bay) when the Shuttle was basically being pushed to its limit with the SSMEs running at 109%. Or you might've seen something instead like an RTLS needing to be performed and while it doesn't result in a LOCV (Loss of Crew and Vehicle), it sees a program stand down which then emerges into something bigger and a full review of the program...
 
You are all right to point out that if the Challenger had not been destroyed, the problems at NASA that caused the disaster would not have been corrected and a more serious accident could have happened during a later launch. Such as if a shuttle launch had gone off course and crashed in the middle of a city, instead of just exploding, for instance.
 

Usili

Testing Is Underway
You are all right to point out that if the Challenger had not been destroyed, the problems at NASA that caused the disaster would not have been corrected and a more serious accident could have happened during a later launch. Such as if a shuttle launch had gone off course and crashed in the middle of a city, instead of just exploding, for instance.
I'm going to point out that there is no feasible way for a Shuttle to have 'gone off course and crashed in the middle of a city'. If a Shuttle launch, or any rocket launch, found itself heading towards a populated area, the range safety officer would destroy the vehicle.
 

Usili

Testing Is Underway
I'm going to point out that there is no feasible way for a Shuttle to have 'gone off course and crashed in the middle of a city'. If a Shuttle launch, or any rocket launch, found itself heading towards a populated area, the range safety officer would destroy the vehicle.
As an addendum to this, like, the worst potential a Shuttle disaster could've been is what nearly happened to Columbia on STS-61-C (the mission immediately prior to STS-51-L), where after a scrub, it was discovered that a broken LOX sensor probe was discovered lodged in the prevalve of one of the engines. If the launch wasn't scrubbed and had seen main engine ignition...

The engine would've exploded (like, to put it into perspective for how powerful the SSMEs were, the hydrogen turbopump ran at seventy-five thousand horsepower. It was more powerful than the Titanic, which had fifty-five thousand horsepower combined), and would likely to have been guaranteed to have seen the Space Shuttle blow up on the pad.
 

Bolt451

No War but Character Class War
Not to derail this back to 'the serial killer political career thread' again (he says, doing just that), but Harold Shipman was part of his local Conservative club. Him becoming an MP seems far-fetched though, but maybe a councillor.
This is an unwritten role in "For All Time" isn't it?

President Jones
Governor Jim Jones
Chairman Chikatilo

The logical continuation is Shipman being PM. IIRC Fred West was an admiral in Roem's continuation of the story.
 

Stateless

Sajid Javid broke international law in making me
This is an unwritten role in "For All Time" isn't it?

President Jones
Governor Jim Jones
Chairman Chikatilo

The logical continuation is Shipman being PM. IIRC Fred West was an admiral in Roem's continuation of the story.
Is it not OTL's Alan West? Surely not Fred.
 

Hendryk

Guy Verhofstadt's sockpuppet
Published by SLP
Location
France
oh did you mean S.M Stirling, not Bruce? I haven't read any of those. I think younger me would've liked Dies the first and Nantucket
Yes, S.M. In any case I've always suspected Dies The Fire to have been cribbed from Ravage, an apocalyptic novel by Barjavel published in 1943 and based on an identical premise.
 

Von Callay

The Leader - Just a Man
I'm going to point out that there is no feasible way for a Shuttle to have 'gone off course and crashed in the middle of a city'. If a Shuttle launch, or any rocket launch, found itself heading towards a populated area, the range safety officer would destroy the vehicle.
I think that would depend on the circumstances of the abort mode and what what was actually happening. The boosters themselves would have had destruct devices, but I don't think the shuttles themselves ever did. It would be really, really rare circumstances where the Shuttle might get into an abort situation where it might be coming down on Spain, or Cape Cod, but it wasn't impossible, just highly unlikely.
 

Warthog

a product of cultural adsorption
Location
Mzansi
Wondering if the 'Jews in Warsaw cooperate with The Race because they don't try and exterminate them like the Nazis' still stands up or comes across as Rather Dubious Now
I remember Moishe as being one of the most sympathetic POVs, and it's not like he and Mordecai actually like the Race much (indeed, they work against them too later on).
I read it more as logical strategy - the Race working with eastern European Jews and also with the Poles as it fit the Race's geopolitical interests at that time - and both Jewish and Polish resistance saw the benefits