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Review: Tales From An Alternate Earth - Eight Broadcasts from Parallel Dimensions

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#2
Nice review, although this piece struck me.

. Perhaps there’s also something to be said for the fragmented nature of the genre (and the much broader and potentially controversial discussion of whether alternate history actually is a genre, or is instead some kind of Ur-Genre that works more as a background or starting point for stories across all types of genres)
Well, (and this is somewhat of a digression), my biggest theory for the "barbell" nature of alternate history (where, with a few exceptions, it's either Turtledove/Conroy-style really blatant and dramatic PODs or very niche internet fiction about very specific obscure topics) is that the stuff that would be in the middle isn't considered alternate history. You could technically consider anything that isn't an exact reenactment of a historical event "alternate history", and especially with a few tweaks, even classic alternate history could arguably be called something else. Guns of The South could very easily be called science fiction, and, particularly if the names were changed slightly/there was a little more blurring, Agent Lavender could just be a "historical political thriller".

So you have a romance story in a fictional city - could the founding of that city be an "alternate history?" Or a classic "Hitler Survived!" thriller-there's a point of divergence right there. I just think, sadly for AH fans, that the "alternate history" label simply isn't that big a draw, which is why the stuff in the "middle" gets treated as belonging to something else.
 

RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#4
Nice review, although this piece struck me.



Well, (and this is somewhat of a digression), my biggest theory for the "barbell" nature of alternate history (where, with a few exceptions, it's either Turtledove/Conroy-style really blatant and dramatic PODs or very niche internet fiction about very specific obscure topics) is that the stuff that would be in the middle isn't considered alternate history. You could technically consider anything that isn't an exact reenactment of a historical event "alternate history", and especially with a few tweaks, even classic alternate history could arguably be called something else. Guns of The South could very easily be called science fiction, and, particularly if the names were changed slightly/there was a little more blurring, Agent Lavender could just be a "historical political thriller".

So you have a romance story in a fictional city - could the founding of that city be an "alternate history?" Or a classic "Hitler Survived!" thriller-there's a point of divergence right there. I just think, sadly for AH fans, that the "alternate history" label simply isn't that big a draw, which is why the stuff in the "middle" gets treated as belonging to something else.
Or indeed stuff that was set in a future now past, to plug the recent articles of a handsome Scotsman.