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Review - The Oregon War, by T T Drewett

Skinny87

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I LOVE THIS BOOK

I am slightly feverish right now but regardless I love this book

It is so good and a scenario and PoD that I've never seen - simply redirect the wind during a volcanic eruption, and massive continent-wide social and political disruption ensues
 

Skinny87

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I've just emailed the author, Mr Drewett, a link to this review and mentioned the SLP forum. I really have a lot of questions for him about the background to this novel, how such an intriguing PoD came about, and many more.
 

Skinny87

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I must say this is a better spark for an Anglo-American 19th Century conflict than Trent War #5,120,330.
It really, genuinely is, and the set-up is so organic compared to forcing the Trent Affair into open conflict

The volcano erupts, wiping out about 75% of the American settler population, and the Hudson Bay Company provides aid (as its bases got hit as well) and, of course, the Empire sends relief aid and troops. Eventually word filters through the survivors to Washington, but their response is basically "Texas Texas? Alamo Alamo Mexico Alamo?" and shrug it off

Of course by the time Davey Crockett's had his coonskin cap blown off, it's been several years (I think, I'll need to check) and the Americans start to notice that most of the Western seaboard is under the 'benevolent protection' of the British Empire, and is patrolled by Redcoats and something called a See-poy. And, er, the survivors don't seem too happy to back under the Stars and Stripes because no American aid really came in due to the afore-mentioned Mexico conflict
 
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Skinny87

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Hello everyone, this is the author. I'd be happy to chat or answer any questions! I am planning on doing at least one sequel.
Welcome to the forum, Mr Drewett!

To start with, would you mind letting us know a little about your background, and what got you into Alternate History?
 
Welcome to the forum, Mr Drewett!

To start with, would you mind letting us know a little about your background, and what got you into Alternate History?
I'm 26 years old, living in Puyallup, Washington. I fell in love with alternate history when I was a teenager in high school. I read the greats like Harry Turtledove and S.M. Stirling, and really felt that alternate history had so much potential as a genre. However, the history of the Pacific Northwest is so overshadowed by the Mexican-American war, and then the American Civil War, that it hardly gets any attention. This was my attempt to remedy that.
 
What made you go "a-HA!" and choose the volcanic eruption for your POD?
Honestly it was by complete accident. In my first brain storm, I had a pretty generic murder-mystery play out as the cause for the plot. But as I was reading through the library of congress, I stumbled upon a series of letters from an american settler in the oregon territory. She talked about how 'the great mountain to the north had a great plume of smoke' headed west to the sea, and I thought 'hey, I can do something with that.' I'm glad I went this route, I'm much happier with the story.
 

Skinny87

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Honestly it was by complete accident. In my first brain storm, I had a pretty generic murder-mystery play out as the cause for the plot. But as I was reading through the library of congress, I stumbled upon a series of letters from an american settler in the oregon territory. She talked about how 'the great mountain to the north had a great plume of smoke' headed west to the sea, and I thought 'hey, I can do something with that.' I'm glad I went this route, I'm much happier with the story.
That's a fantastic story - close reading of primary sources is such a rare way to produce any story, let alone Alternate History

You've mentioned Turtledove and Stirling - were they influences on your style of writing? Do you have any other influences - other authors, perhaps, within Alternate History or outside it?
 

David Flin

Real people take priority over imaginary people
However, the history of the Pacific Northwest is so overshadowed by the Mexican-American war, and then the American Civil War, that it hardly gets any attention. This was my attempt to remedy that.
It's certainly an area that deserves better coverage. Incidentally, welcome.

I stumbled upon a series of letters from an american settler in the oregon territory. She talked about how 'the great mountain to the north had a great plume of smoke' headed west to the sea, and I thought 'hey, I can do something with that.'
Would you say that you're primarily telling a story about an AH from the point of view of the people involved in the events at the point they happen (the Harper family), or from the statesmen who direct the decisions that shape the history?
 
It's certainly an area that deserves better coverage. Incidentally, welcome.



Would you say that you're primarily telling a story about an AH from the point of view of the people involved in the events at the point they happen (the Harper family), or from the statesmen who direct the decisions that shape the history?
Orginally, the whole thing was going to take place in Oregon with the Harper's. But I found that, especially with the communication limits of the time, that I wasn't showing the whole world like I wanted to. I.E., why I have sections with President Polk and Robert E. Lee, etc. It is the Harper's story, but I felt like the world needed fleshing out.
 
That's a fantastic story - close reading of primary sources is such a rare way to produce any story, let alone Alternate History

You've mentioned Turtledove and Stirling - were they influences on your style of writing? Do you have any other influences - other authors, perhaps, within Alternate History or outside it?
Well, I love Turtledove, but so often it can seem like he repeats things, so I wanted to stay away from that. Stirling is for sure influential, I enjoy his writing style more I think. Generally, I'll pretty much read anything with the alternate history stamp on it.
 
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