• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

Least favorite alt-history story?

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Ha, just noticed The Churchill Memorandum blurb has a quote on it:

"...[Gabb] has written a work of alternate history entitled The Churchill Memorandum. If you want to see the world through a pair of very different ideological glasses, I suggest you give it a read. If nothing else, it is guaranteed to blow your mind. " (Max Lindh, Sea Lion Press)
A quote taken from the second Anarcho-Capitalism article, which is not exactly pro the ideology and in context is going "so uh hey that book's a thing that exists".

Not quite as ballsy as the time the poster for the Tom Hardy Kray's film stuck a two-star review between the Krays so you'd 'read' it as a partially obscured four-star.
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
Sea Lion Press staff
Pronouns
he/him
WAIT THAT'S THE FUCKING PLOT?!
Not really the plot is that germany is about to invade the soviet union and evil british socialists (foot and macmillian) are going to counter by leaking proof that British and germany had worked together to assassinate Roosevelt and Lindbergh (not false proof, this is a thing they really did) thus bringing the USA into the war on the side of the soviets. Which our heroes must prevent.
 

napoleon IV

Khanstitutional Amendment
Location
Washington, Douglass Commonwealth
Pronouns
he/him
Ha, just noticed The Churchill Memorandum blurb has a quote on it:



A quote taken from the second Anarcho-Capitalism article, which is not exactly pro the ideology and in context is going "so uh hey that book's a thing that exists".

Not quite as ballsy as the time the poster for the Tom Hardy Kray's film stuck a two-star review between the Krays so you'd 'read' it as a partially obscured four-star.
Gabb should have taken @Skinny87's review and used selective quotations to say "The Churchill Memorandum is...the best...work of alternate history...written.
 

Space Oddity

Hold on, hold on, tomorrow will be there.
IMO the argument that we shouldn't criticize online AH threads because they're not professional and so criticizing them isn't fair falls apart given that we are also in the online AH community. If you post a story in the online AH community it's fair for online AH people to criticize you for it. I do however think there are three criteria that make an online AH story worth criticizing (I'll use Queen Nixon as an example of each criteria because this thread has talked about it to death):

1. It's intended as a more or less finished piece: I think a lot of published authors in this thread are coming in with the assumption that if you post a story on an online forum it's clearly intended as a first draft, but that doesn't really hold up when talking about stuff on AH.com and the like. I would say that most content on AH.com is intended as mostly finished, and Queen Nixon is a good example of that. The author clearly intends this to be the final (or close to final) version of the story. I agree that we shouldn't be attacking first draft as the "worst thing ever", but finished pieces are fair game.

2. It's popular and prominent: Sturgeon's Law says that 90% of everything is crap, but from a reviewing perspective most crap isn't that worth commenting upon. Who cares about a story that only 3 people (including the author's mother) have read? However, popular works are inherently worth talking about. For instance, Queen Nixon was at one point one of the most popular works on the forum, generated a ton of discussion, and was nominated for a Turtledove. This is as close as an unpublished AH work can get to being a bestseller, and as members of the community it's fair of us to offer our perspective.

3. The author has decided to ignore constructive criticism: All writers make mistakes, and the best way to get a writer to improve is to offer constructive criticism. "This is shit" isn't at all useful, and if that's all an author hears they're not going to improve their craft and may even be driven away. However, some authors refuse to listen to constructive criticism. The author of Queen Nixon basically declared that anyone who offered criticisms of his work were trolls and that they should fuck off. At that point further constructive criticism is useless, and so going "Well actually here's all the reasons this is complete shit" is the only way to criticize a work. I understand the idea of simply ignoring works you don't like, and this thread has definitely talked about works like Queen Nixon far more than is warranted, but I also think that there's nothing wrong with really harshly criticizing terrible works from time to time. As long as you aren't spending too much time obsessing about bad works it's fine and actually pretty fun to pick apart the flaws of terrible media.
I have a fourth criteria--the work reveals something the AHTL community or even online culture in general. As I've noted, part of the black fascination of Queen Nixon in... and The Most Dreadful Thing is how they illustrate online neofascism's tendency to play games, operate in bad faith and put on transparent disguises, as well as the terrible thinking underlying it all. On the other end of the political spectrum, FL&G/Rumsfeldia is a pretty decent illustration of a writer losing the plot, as well as how projecting the present into the past can go.
 

napoleon IV

Khanstitutional Amendment
Location
Washington, Douglass Commonwealth
Pronouns
he/him
If they were Socialist Prime Ministers I wouldn’t mind to be fair.

What is that?
Fear, Loathing, and Gumbo, which is the first story in the Rumsfeldia series. It's not quite as balls to the wall crazy as Rumsfeldia, but there's a lot of stuff that is out there (although it did feature Islamic militants in the Levant recreating the Caliphate despite being written before the Syrian Civil War started, which is entertaining in hindsight).
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
He/Him
Fear, Loathing, and Gumbo, which is the first story in the Rumsfeldia series. It's not quite as balls to the wall crazy as Rumsfeldia, but there's a lot of stuff that is out there (although it did feature Islamic militants in the Levant recreating the Caliphate despite being written before the Syrian Civil War started, which is entertaining in hindsight).
Ah, wasn’t that the one where Donald Rumsfeld turns America into an ‘Anarcho-Capitalist dystopia and ‘Little’ Mao does a Pol Pot on China levels?

It sounds interesting.
 

Skinny87

Socialists drive like this, while Communists drive
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Pronouns
He/Him
My people, my people

@Gary Oswald has done a fine job in illuminating everyone to the key points of The Churchill Memorandum, but there are some other bits that make it just as bad/viable for criticism
  • Gold Standard fetishism being cited as a key reason for World Peace
  • Heated pavements and bullet-trams
  • The USA being a hellish dystopian failed state due to it banning weed
  • Michael Foot casually blowing Robin Day's brains out with a revolver
  • The implication that Michael Foot only became the head of the CPGB by repeatedly luring other senior members into his Moscow office, which had an acid bath set into the doorway
  • Deciding that Macmillan would still be Prime Minister and decided his nickname in the papers would be 'SuperMac'
  • Enoch Powell at the head of a secretive intelligence service employing Irish Nationalist assassins, and who is the entirely benevolent power behind the throne
  • The undercurrent of casual racism against Indians, in which our protagonist knows his Indian neighbour is around at least times because he smells of curry powder
  • Wasting a brilliant PoD - Hitler tours through Prague in 1938 in an armoured car, which overturns on an icy patch and breaks his neck
  • The assumption that, after the death of Hitler, Reichschancellor Goering is perfectly happy to remain within the Reich's 1938 borders and invade neither France nor the USSR, which also remains static and fails to invade anywhere through to the early 1950s
  • SuperMac
 

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Fear, Loathing, and Gumbo, which is the first story in the Rumsfeldia series. It's not quite as balls to the wall crazy as Rumsfeldia, but there's a lot of stuff that is out there (although it did feature Islamic militants in the Levant recreating the Caliphate despite being written before the Syrian Civil War started, which is entertaining in hindsight).
The stuff relating to China is utterly silly and arguably everything outside CONUS should be taken with at least a pinch of salt but the American politics (and it is ultimately an American politics TL) are engaging and well written. I also think there's a charm in the very nature of the PoD being "there's a favourite son I read up on going to bat in a bigger arena" rather than, say, "Humphrey gets the nomination again" provoking the initial constitutional crisis.
 

Skinny87

Socialists drive like this, while Communists drive
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Pronouns
He/Him
Maybe it’s the fact it’s 20 to 12 in the evening but this sentence and image keeps on sending me into giggle fits.
Have this quote, for which additional context would not help process

[Foot] pointed round the still, terrified gathering. I saw Ian Gilmour shrink down in his place. Others rubbed their eyes, doubtless trying to work out if this were a drunken hallucination. No one moved. Foot looked at his watch. “Come on, you stupid fuckers,” he snarled—“or are you too pissy drunk on Harold’s booze even for that?” He pulled a revolver from one of his trouser pockets. He cocked it and, having chosen a victim at random, took careful aim. Almost before I’d registered the noise of the shot, I saw Robin Day jerk backward in his place, his forehead smashed in as if it had been a boiled egg attacked at breakfast
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
  • Michael Foot casually blowing Robin Day's brains out with a revolver
  • The implication that Michael Foot only became the head of the CPGB by repeatedly luring other senior members into his Moscow office, which had an acid bath set into the doorway
Damn it, Labour should have won in 1983 - no country would dare mess with us if we had Michael "the Monster" Foot as our negotiator on the world stage!
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
He/Him
Have this quote, for which additional context would not help process
Ah yes, I’m sure Micheal Foot would call people ‘Stupid Fuckers’ and not call them a c*nt using a Romantic Poet analogy. I’m sure if I read that story it would be liking a continuous stroke.
Damn it, Labour should have won in 1983 - no country would dare mess with us if we had Michael "the Monster" Foot as our negotiator on the world stage!
“Oh shit, Foot just melt Gaddafi in an acid bath”
“Not again!”
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
He/Him
"Breaking News: Spain agrees to drop all claims to Gibraltar and has, in fact, offered Britain more Spanish land. In other news, the Prime Minister of Spain is recovering after his painful shaving accident"
“You bastard Micheal, you killed Andropov to hasten the decline of the Soviet Union to ensure unliteral nuclear disarmament”
“Oh no, he was already dead before I could do anything”
“Oh, well Chernenko then”
“Same”
“Oh...the Soviet Union needs younger leaders”
“Yeah, or the ability to absorb the youth of your enemies...speaking of which...”
I really doubt the camp probably asexual man would be one to us shit. I think Mr Gabb just seems to every British politician acts like Denis Healey and went from there.
 
Top