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Thande's Retro Look at Sea Lion Press Titles

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#27
Managed to forget to do this on Saturday once again. Random Factor, do your thing.

The House of Stuart Sequence

SLP books 5 jpg.jpg

(Yes, count 'em, nine volumes)

Volume I: The Year of the Prince
The Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is one of those parts of British history that we all think we know a little bit about. The romantic story of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and his gallant Highlanders invading England, only to turn back at Derby and subsequently be defeated at Culloden is part of the cultural glue that holds ‘Great Britain’ together.

But what if things had turned out differently?

Could the Prince and his Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English supporters have reached London, deposed George II and driven him into exile in Hanover? And how would our history have changed if the House of Stuart had been restored to the British throne in 1745?

Presented as a historical text, ‘The Year of The Prince’ tells the tale of a history which might have been and chronicles a successful Jacobite Uprising with many different consequences for Great Britain. It is the first of five volumes in ‘The House of Stuart Sequence’. Future volumes will tell of the ongoing effects of a Stuart Restoration on the history of Great Britain, Europe, the Americas and beyond. The whole series will travel the years from 1745 to 1900 by which time we discover ‘A World Turned Upside Down’.

Volume II: The King Shall Have His Own Again
It is January 1st, 1746.

The victorious Jacobite armies, led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, are entering London.

George II has been forced into exile in Hanover and James Stuart will shortly be crowned as King James III.

“The King Shall Have His Own Again” tells the story of a restored Stuart monarchy up to the year 1800 and how history, as we know it, could have changed.

From French India to Drumossie Moor, from Australia to the Caribbean, from Yorktown to Malta and across a Europe totally changed by The Stuart Doctrine the world is turned upside down. Slavery, Free Trade and Revolutionary politics all come into focus in very different ways.

“The King Shall Have His Own Again” is volume two in “The House of Stuart Sequence”; a six-volume series of alternative history covering the years 1745 to 1900.

Volume one, “The Year of The Prince” which details the successful Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is also available on Amazon as a Kindle Ebook.

Volume III: An Ending of Empires
As the nineteenth century opens, Europe is in turmoil. A foreign King sits on the throne of Spain and France is in the midst of revolution. How will the restored House of Stuart deal with the challenges which abound in Europe and the Americas?

With slave revolts in the West Indies, a military dictator controlling France and old enemies Austria and Prussia forming an alliance there is much to concern Great Britain and British North America. Scottish troops find themselves fighting in North Africa and in Mexico: the French Foreign Legion is caught in a desperate siege in India and the Spanish Empire in South America collapses as a new Royal House takes the throne of Spain.

As the first fifty years of the new century unfold, nationalism and the quest for democracy become major political forces. There is armed revolt in both Wales and Scotland and by 1850 the House of Stuart faces European enemies on two fronts.

This is volume three of the House of Stuart Sequence. Volume one (“The Year of The Prince”) tells the story of the successful 1745 Jacobite Uprising and volume two (“The King Shall Have His Own Again”) follows the Stuart monarchy through the turbulent last half of the eighteenth century.

Volume IV: The General European Wars
1851 – and, as a result of a double Royal suicide, England and France are at war.

The chosen battleground is northern Spain – but this is only the first part of Europe to feel the dreadful effects of The General European Wars.

Conflict spreads northwards, from Tyneside to Dunkirk and into Belgium and the Netherlands.

Denmark is threatened with conquest and, in the east, the Russian Tsar gathers an army of nearly 400,000 men to achieve a long-held desire; to turn the Baltic into a Russian lake.

British secret agents, nomadic Sami tribesmen and marauding Cossacks will all play their parts as Europe is plunged into nine years of bloody war.

A Stuart King will die and a new Stuart King will face challenges both at home and abroad as Kingdoms fall, new nations are created and the map of northern Europe changes almost completely.

Volume V: The Savage Years
By 1861, the General European Wars have ended and the map of the whole continent has been substantially re-drawn.

For the restored Stuart dynasty, the hoped-for peace will not, however, happen.

Over the next ten years, Great Britain will face riots and attempted revolution with parliamentary reform being the only possible remedy.

And British North America will face the prospect of Civil War between East and West.

Karl Marx, Brigham Young, Benjamin Disraeli, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Jefferson Davies, Lord Lucan, George Armstrong Custer, Feargus O’Connor and Louis Nolan will all play their parts in this, the fifth volume of “The House of Stuart Sequence”.

Volume VI: The World Turned Upside Down
As the twentieth century approaches, politics and extreme weather have combined to turn the world upside down and the changes are still happening.

Germany is gone; Central and Western Europe now try to adjust to new realities.

A series of natural disasters sweep across the Stuart realms and an American millionaire’s tendency to seasickness changes the shape of international trade for ever.

Trying to kill the monarch becomes an international obsession whilst a British politician’s off-the-cuff remark results in a major political quarrel between Great Britain and The United States of British North America.

As Africa falls more and more under British control, the formerly closed kingdoms of the Far East have to come to terms with new and pervasive western influences.

The action is panoramic, extending across countries and continents. From Dundee and Glenfinnan to the Pacific, from Pennsylvania and Penang to Timbuktu and from Brazil and Suez to Peking, this ambitious sixth volume of the popular “House of Stuart Sequence” takes us on a journey through a world which might have been.

Volume VII: A State of Unending War
For reasons of political expediency, United Whigs and Tories Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, has persuaded Queen Victoria to accept the title of Queen-Empress of the Stuart realms.

Whilst the great and good assemble at Glenfinnan for the ceremony, vast numbers of Russian troops are on the move. Denmark is attacked; Russian forces capture Norway and the Belgian provinces of the Republic of The Netherlands. As the frontiers of France are threatened, Sweden falls to the Russians without a shot being fired and the Baltic becomes practically a Russian lake.

The Russian onslaught is not confined to Europe. Her troops invade Afghanistan and, as Nipponese troops land at Shanghai, Russian armies occupy the north of China.

New and terrible weapons make their first appearance; Paris suffers aerial bombardment and is placed under siege. Armoured fleets clash in the Aegean Sea and a mighty battleship is sunk by submarine attack. Massed armies cross and re-cross northern France, turning it into a muddy mass graveyard. A global pandemic erupts; the disease will kill millions from the Outer Hebrides to the islands of the Pacific.

Amid political dissent at home and an expansion of conflict into the Balkans, the House of Stuart faces its greatest challenge yet; can peace be restored to a world which has fallen into a state of unending war?

Volume VIII: When the Hurly-Burly's Done
The Great War has been raging for eighteen years.

In celebration of Christmas, Tsar Nicholas II attends the theatre in St. Petersburg but he is not to survive the evening.

His successors determine that taking part in the peace talks which Pope Benedict has mooted may well be to Russia’s advantage. After deliberate delays, they travel to Rheinfelden to meet with British Prime Minister Bonar Law, French President Georges Clemenceau and American Prime Minister Woodrow Wilson.

Representing Russia, both Alexander Kerensky and Leon Bronstein make demands which are not acceptable to the Entente powers and the talks break up.

A resumption of war now seems inevitable and, in an attempt to open up a second front against the Russians outside Europe, Bonar Law sets diplomatic and military matters in motion.

T E Lawrence is sent to Kashmir to set the East ablaze, diplomat John Buchan is sent on an international journey to secure a new ally and to re-invigorate American participation in the Great War. Former American Prime Minister Theodore Roosevelt returns to power in what some term a coup d’état.

Subsequently, the Russians come under attack in Uzbekistan, China and Siberia and suffer humiliating losses.

The Western Front will once again, however, become the major area of conflict; British troops on the Somme make progress but only at horrendous cost and Denmark faces new and terrifying weapons as it struggles to halt the Russian steamroller.

Who will emerge triumphant ‘when the battle’s lost and won’?

Volume IX: The Longest Road
As the 1920’s open, Denmark has fallen; Scandinavia and the whole of Northern Europe are under Russian occupation. The Baltic is a completely Russian lake.

The newly-established Turkish Republic has lost its last foothold in Europe and Great Britain faces airborne and amphibious assault across the North Sea.

In Asia however, Russia continues to lose ground. India becomes part of the Stuart Empire and, although this acquisition has been without bloodshed, nationalist aspirations soon arise across the sub-Continent.

As the Stuarts approach the bi-Centenary of their restoration to the British throne, it is clear that the longest road will be that leading to international peace.

This is the long-awaited final part of the nine-volume “House of Stuart Sequence” of alternative history.

See also the article "An Introduction to the House of Stuart Sequence" by author George Keaton. In this he goes into some interesting points about how the series started - remarkably, with a school musical!

Thande's thoughts: When I first joined AH.com, one of the timelines linked to on the frontpage (anyone remember the AH.com frontpage?) was "A Bonnie Alternative", which began with a successful Jacobite rebellion in 1745 and then went off in unexpected directions. George Kearton's impressively long House of Stuart Sequence evokes memories of that one to me. There are some Stuart sympathies on display but also lots of interesting and unexpected developments in history. Do bear in mind that this is based in an older style of alternate history writing in which tweaked OTL historical figures tend to appear rather than applying the butterfly effect strictly (which also reminds me of that older Jacobite project, which featured a not-Joseph Stalin as President of the not-USA before Turtledove did it!)

And one final reminder that the first book in the series, The Year of the Prince, is still on sale for just 99p on Amazon for a limited time only!
 

George Kearton

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#28
Managed to forget to do this on Saturday once again. Random Factor, do your thing.

The House of Stuart Sequence

View attachment 15577

(Yes, count 'em, nine volumes)

Volume I: The Year of the Prince
The Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is one of those parts of British history that we all think we know a little bit about. The romantic story of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and his gallant Highlanders invading England, only to turn back at Derby and subsequently be defeated at Culloden is part of the cultural glue that holds ‘Great Britain’ together.

But what if things had turned out differently?

Could the Prince and his Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English supporters have reached London, deposed George II and driven him into exile in Hanover? And how would our history have changed if the House of Stuart had been restored to the British throne in 1745?

Presented as a historical text, ‘The Year of The Prince’ tells the tale of a history which might have been and chronicles a successful Jacobite Uprising with many different consequences for Great Britain. It is the first of five volumes in ‘The House of Stuart Sequence’. Future volumes will tell of the ongoing effects of a Stuart Restoration on the history of Great Britain, Europe, the Americas and beyond. The whole series will travel the years from 1745 to 1900 by which time we discover ‘A World Turned Upside Down’.

Volume II: The King Shall Have His Own Again
It is January 1st, 1746.

The victorious Jacobite armies, led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, are entering London.

George II has been forced into exile in Hanover and James Stuart will shortly be crowned as King James III.

“The King Shall Have His Own Again” tells the story of a restored Stuart monarchy up to the year 1800 and how history, as we know it, could have changed.

From French India to Drumossie Moor, from Australia to the Caribbean, from Yorktown to Malta and across a Europe totally changed by The Stuart Doctrine the world is turned upside down. Slavery, Free Trade and Revolutionary politics all come into focus in very different ways.

“The King Shall Have His Own Again” is volume two in “The House of Stuart Sequence”; a six-volume series of alternative history covering the years 1745 to 1900.

Volume one, “The Year of The Prince” which details the successful Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is also available on Amazon as a Kindle Ebook.

Volume III: An Ending of Empires
As the nineteenth century opens, Europe is in turmoil. A foreign King sits on the throne of Spain and France is in the midst of revolution. How will the restored House of Stuart deal with the challenges which abound in Europe and the Americas?

With slave revolts in the West Indies, a military dictator controlling France and old enemies Austria and Prussia forming an alliance there is much to concern Great Britain and British North America. Scottish troops find themselves fighting in North Africa and in Mexico: the French Foreign Legion is caught in a desperate siege in India and the Spanish Empire in South America collapses as a new Royal House takes the throne of Spain.

As the first fifty years of the new century unfold, nationalism and the quest for democracy become major political forces. There is armed revolt in both Wales and Scotland and by 1850 the House of Stuart faces European enemies on two fronts.

This is volume three of the House of Stuart Sequence. Volume one (“The Year of The Prince”) tells the story of the successful 1745 Jacobite Uprising and volume two (“The King Shall Have His Own Again”) follows the Stuart monarchy through the turbulent last half of the eighteenth century.

Volume IV: The General European Wars
1851 – and, as a result of a double Royal suicide, England and France are at war.

The chosen battleground is northern Spain – but this is only the first part of Europe to feel the dreadful effects of The General European Wars.

Conflict spreads northwards, from Tyneside to Dunkirk and into Belgium and the Netherlands.

Denmark is threatened with conquest and, in the east, the Russian Tsar gathers an army of nearly 400,000 men to achieve a long-held desire; to turn the Baltic into a Russian lake.

British secret agents, nomadic Sami tribesmen and marauding Cossacks will all play their parts as Europe is plunged into nine years of bloody war.

A Stuart King will die and a new Stuart King will face challenges both at home and abroad as Kingdoms fall, new nations are created and the map of northern Europe changes almost completely.

Volume V: The Savage Years
By 1861, the General European Wars have ended and the map of the whole continent has been substantially re-drawn.

For the restored Stuart dynasty, the hoped-for peace will not, however, happen.

Over the next ten years, Great Britain will face riots and attempted revolution with parliamentary reform being the only possible remedy.

And British North America will face the prospect of Civil War between East and West.

Karl Marx, Brigham Young, Benjamin Disraeli, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Jefferson Davies, Lord Lucan, George Armstrong Custer, Feargus O’Connor and Louis Nolan will all play their parts in this, the fifth volume of “The House of Stuart Sequence”.

Volume VI: The World Turned Upside Down
As the twentieth century approaches, politics and extreme weather have combined to turn the world upside down and the changes are still happening.

Germany is gone; Central and Western Europe now try to adjust to new realities.

A series of natural disasters sweep across the Stuart realms and an American millionaire’s tendency to seasickness changes the shape of international trade for ever.

Trying to kill the monarch becomes an international obsession whilst a British politician’s off-the-cuff remark results in a major political quarrel between Great Britain and The United States of British North America.

As Africa falls more and more under British control, the formerly closed kingdoms of the Far East have to come to terms with new and pervasive western influences.

The action is panoramic, extending across countries and continents. From Dundee and Glenfinnan to the Pacific, from Pennsylvania and Penang to Timbuktu and from Brazil and Suez to Peking, this ambitious sixth volume of the popular “House of Stuart Sequence” takes us on a journey through a world which might have been.

Volume VII: A State of Unending War
For reasons of political expediency, United Whigs and Tories Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, has persuaded Queen Victoria to accept the title of Queen-Empress of the Stuart realms.

Whilst the great and good assemble at Glenfinnan for the ceremony, vast numbers of Russian troops are on the move. Denmark is attacked; Russian forces capture Norway and the Belgian provinces of the Republic of The Netherlands. As the frontiers of France are threatened, Sweden falls to the Russians without a shot being fired and the Baltic becomes practically a Russian lake.

The Russian onslaught is not confined to Europe. Her troops invade Afghanistan and, as Nipponese troops land at Shanghai, Russian armies occupy the north of China.

New and terrible weapons make their first appearance; Paris suffers aerial bombardment and is placed under siege. Armoured fleets clash in the Aegean Sea and a mighty battleship is sunk by submarine attack. Massed armies cross and re-cross northern France, turning it into a muddy mass graveyard. A global pandemic erupts; the disease will kill millions from the Outer Hebrides to the islands of the Pacific.

Amid political dissent at home and an expansion of conflict into the Balkans, the House of Stuart faces its greatest challenge yet; can peace be restored to a world which has fallen into a state of unending war?

Volume VIII: When the Hurly-Burly's Done
The Great War has been raging for eighteen years.

In celebration of Christmas, Tsar Nicholas II attends the theatre in St. Petersburg but he is not to survive the evening.

His successors determine that taking part in the peace talks which Pope Benedict has mooted may well be to Russia’s advantage. After deliberate delays, they travel to Rheinfelden to meet with British Prime Minister Bonar Law, French President Georges Clemenceau and American Prime Minister Woodrow Wilson.

Representing Russia, both Alexander Kerensky and Leon Bronstein make demands which are not acceptable to the Entente powers and the talks break up.

A resumption of war now seems inevitable and, in an attempt to open up a second front against the Russians outside Europe, Bonar Law sets diplomatic and military matters in motion.

T E Lawrence is sent to Kashmir to set the East ablaze, diplomat John Buchan is sent on an international journey to secure a new ally and to re-invigorate American participation in the Great War. Former American Prime Minister Theodore Roosevelt returns to power in what some term a coup d’état.

Subsequently, the Russians come under attack in Uzbekistan, China and Siberia and suffer humiliating losses.

The Western Front will once again, however, become the major area of conflict; British troops on the Somme make progress but only at horrendous cost and Denmark faces new and terrifying weapons as it struggles to halt the Russian steamroller.

Who will emerge triumphant ‘when the battle’s lost and won’?

Volume IX: The Longest Road
As the 1920’s open, Denmark has fallen; Scandinavia and the whole of Northern Europe are under Russian occupation. The Baltic is a completely Russian lake.

The newly-established Turkish Republic has lost its last foothold in Europe and Great Britain faces airborne and amphibious assault across the North Sea.

In Asia however, Russia continues to lose ground. India becomes part of the Stuart Empire and, although this acquisition has been without bloodshed, nationalist aspirations soon arise across the sub-Continent.

As the Stuarts approach the bi-Centenary of their restoration to the British throne, it is clear that the longest road will be that leading to international peace.

This is the long-awaited final part of the nine-volume “House of Stuart Sequence” of alternative history.

See also the article "An Introduction to the House of Stuart Sequence" by author George Keaton. In this he goes into some interesting points about how the series started - remarkably, with a school musical!

Thande's thoughts: When I first joined AH.com, one of the timelines linked to on the frontpage (anyone remember the AH.com frontpage?) was "A Bonnie Alternative", which began with a successful Jacobite rebellion in 1745 and then went off in unexpected directions. George Kearton's impressively long House of Stuart Sequence evokes memories of that one to me. There are some Stuart sympathies on display but also lots of interesting and unexpected developments in history. Do bear in mind that this is based in an older style of alternate history writing in which tweaked OTL historical figures tend to appear rather than applying the butterfly effect strictly (which also reminds me of that older Jacobite project, which featured a not-Joseph Stalin as President of the not-USA before Turtledove did it!)

And one final reminder that the first book in the series, The Year of the Prince, is still on sale for just 99p on Amazon for a limited time only!
Tom - thank you so much for this - very kind!
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#29
Tom - thank you so much for this - very kind!
No problem. I tried to find that other TL I mentioned (if you're interested) but it doesn't appear to exist online anymore. However, thanks to the magic of the Wayback Machine:

A Bonnie Alternative Part 1
A Bonnie Alternative Part 2
A Bonnie Alternative Part 3
A Bonnie Alternative Part 4
A Bonnie Alternative Part 5

Flags of America
Flags of the World

It's more the flags I remember, especially that American turkey with a crown tricolour...
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#30
I'm pressed for time this week, so just the one book from the Random Factor, and it's one of mine...

1576417445508.png

The Twilight's Last Gleaming

A Victorian Armageddon

Global disaster strikes as an asteroid impact causes a megatsunami in the Indian Ocean and the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano in the United States. The people of the world, reeling from the blow, struggle to survive.

But this is not the present day. This is the year 1886, a crucial moment in time for everything recognisable about our lives. Socialists riot in Chicago, the Irish Question topples British governments, African borders are drawn by ambitious imperialists. Inventions like the car, the electric lightbulb and even Coca-Cola are just dawning. This is an age where the rich still rule but the poor are making their voice heard, when it is still considered the birthright of the white man of Europe and America to dominate the world. Names that would score the pages of history, from Theodore Roosevelt to Mr Marks and Mr Spencer, are but young men ready to rise to a challenge.

How will that society respond to a cataclysm that threatens to plunge the world into eternal winter? Find out in The Twilight’s Last Gleaming.

Thande's thoughts: I actually did a whole 'why I wrote this book' section in this one, so, um, buy it, read it and find out? :p But seriously, this arose from a discussion with @Turquoise Blue about underdone time periods in which to do big disasters. It started out as the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting, but I wanted to do something that was more deterministic than 'it erupts because shut up, the plot requires it'. So I set up a POD where the different decay of a single atom in a Kuiper Belt object on the edge of the solar system eventually leads to an asteroid hitting the Earth in 1886, which ultimately causes the Yellowstone eruption. Because all of that required a long time, this also meant I could cut back and forth between scenes of importance to American history, such as Columbus' discovery of the continent, the American Revolution and so on, while the asteroid slowly and inexorably nears the Earth.

This was also inspired by HG Wells' observations on the San Francisco Earthquake at the start of the 20th century, that the American people had a resilience to disaster and would always look to the future rather than being overwhelmed. Disaster fiction often emphasises the idea that civilisation will collapse and it'll be every man for himself, but what if it didn't? What if governments held on and took action, the ruthless action of 19th century imperialist governments, to save their people no matter the cost? Also, instead of authority dismissing warnings from scientists in that hoary old cliché, what if they actually take them seriously and do something about it? This is largely an American story, but other nations come into it, and I tried to create a global view where we see reactions from China to France, from Kenya to Australia.

I also tried to have fun while doing so. I've never liked post-apocalyptic or disaster fiction, so writing this was well out of my wheelhouse. But I took the opportunity to get in as much quirky fun as possible - random historical trivia, the ancestors of current famous people (including a number of US presidents) and the occasional anachronistic reference for the sake of my own amusement.

This one has proved popular and I've had some requests to do a sequel set years on. I might do, I even have a title for it, but I'd worry it'd be too similar to SM Stirling's "The Peshawar Lancers," which similarly is about the aftermath years later of a late Victorian impact event. Well, one day perhaps.
 

Turquoise Blue

Pinkishly Tibby
Patreon supporter
Location
Kemr, FK
Pronouns
she/her
#31
But seriously, this arose from a discussion with @Turquoise Blue about underdone time periods in which to do big disasters
I'm privileged to have been a part of the creation of such a great story.

I would also definitely read such a sequel. "The Dusk's First Twinkling" perhaps? :p

Or Dawn. Twilight is annoying, the way we use it for two complete different things.
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#32
I'm privileged to have been a part of the creation of such a great story.

I would also definitely read such a sequel. "The Dusk's First Twinkling" perhaps? :p

Or Dawn. Twilight is annoying, the way we use it for two complete different things.
I was going for "The Dawn's Early Light" as the other part of the line from the song, and it would be about icebound civilisation turning a corner and the climate starting to change back.
 

Japhy

You're a real cold sonofabitch, Gunga Din
Published by SLP
Location
Albany, NY
Pronouns
He/Him
#33
I don't want to sound like a giant asshole but I would hope that a sequel would dive a little bit more into the Situation in the Indian Ocean. It was a fun book but it seemed like once the wave hit that everything in India and East Africa was just finished and over.
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#34
I don't want to sound like a giant asshole but I would hope that a sequel would dive a little bit more into the Situation in the Indian Ocean. It was a fun book but it seemed like once the wave hit that everything in India and East Africa was just finished and over.
Well - part of the reason for that was what I was getting at above about being worried about it being too similar to The Peshawar Lancers. I'd have to think about that one.
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
Pronouns
he/him
#36
I agree with Japhy; I said on the original thread that as much as I enjoyed the story, it is a bit of a weakness that once the focus shifts to the actions of the Imperial governments you stop hearing from Indians, Africans and in fact most women.

That being said, I really like the novel. Too many disaster scenarios are interested in total collapse- how people build, rebuild or preserve their civilisation is much more interesting to me.
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#37
Peaceful end to the Raj
Unilateral withdrawal, maybe - very much not peaceful...

I agree with Japhy; I said on the original thread that as much as I enjoyed the story, it is a bit of a weakness that once the focus shifts to the actions of the Imperial governments you stop hearing from Indians, Africans and in fact most women.

That being said, I really like the novel. Too many disaster scenarios are interested in total collapse- how people build, rebuild or preserve their civilisation is much more interesting to me.
I did take that on board at the time and really tried to see if I could get more viewpoint characters in the later parts, but the trouble with how I write is that it's like bricks fitting too cleanly together, I can never get my knife in a crack halfway later.
 

Roberto El Rey

Unelected bureaucrat
Location
Reims
#38
Out of all your AH works, I think this is my personal favorite. I was profoundly impressed by how you managed to give the USA of the 1880s a distinct “feel” that really brought out the differences and the similarities between the America of the Gilded Age and the America of today. I was initially a bit disappointed when the story ended without depicting wider efforts at reconstruction, but in hindsight I think that gives the book a lot of strength because, without the need to devote precious paragraphs to the historical aftermath of the disaster, you’re free to develop a real voice for characters like Grover Cleveland (who don’t get enough love in AH) as well as for characters like Teddy Roosevelt (who get so much love that most authors’ interpretations end up sounding more like walking cliches than human beings).

I’d also like to say that the title of this novel inspired the title of my current AH project (i.e. ripping off a phrase from the national anthem of the country in question).
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#39
Out of all your AH works, I think this is my personal favorite. I was profoundly impressed by how you managed to give the USA of the 1880s a distinct “feel” that really brought out the differences and the similarities between the America of the Gilded Age and the America of today. I was initially a bit disappointed when the story ended without depicting wider efforts at reconstruction, but in hindsight I think that gives the book a lot of strength because, without the need to devote precious paragraphs to the historical aftermath of the disaster, you’re free to develop a real voice for characters like Grover Cleveland (who don’t get enough love in AH) as well as for characters like Teddy Roosevelt (who get so much love that most authors’ interpretations end up sounding more like walking cliches than human beings).

I’d also like to say that the title of this novel inspired the title of my current AH project (i.e. ripping off a phrase from the national anthem of the country in question).
Thanks! The cutoff was very deliberate here - what the reader imagines will always be better than what an author can come up with.

It's similar to how Not An English Word was originally about Harry Church as PM, but I found it way more interesting if it ends with him becoming PM.
 

Thande

The End is Nigh / Eat at Joe's Cafe
Published by SLP
#40
I want to point out that while society on the micro level doesn't collapse, the classic "every man for himself" scenario does play out to a certain extent on the scale of nations, what with
Britain, Germany, and France joining forces to launch an unprovoked invasion of Argentina.

Also, this one currently ranks as my favorite novel *of all time*, so anyone who hasn't should absolutely read it.
Thank you very much! And yes, you're right - there's all the ruthlessness of classic post-apocalyptic fiction, but on the level of intact nations and governments not individuals.


Lots of carol services still to go to, so again only one book this week from the Random Factor - but it's a humdinger. Arguably the reason Sea Lion Press was founded.

AgentLavender.jpg

Agent Lavender by Jack Tindale and Tom Black (@Lord Roem and @Meadow)

Harold Wilson dominated British politics for almost two decades. His political skill saw him make powerful enemies and bitter rivals, both inside the Labour Party and out. Conspiracy theorists, some in very high places, even circulated rumours that he was an agent of the Soviet Union. In reality, of course, there was not a shred of truth to these malicious claims.

But what if there had been?

In Agent Lavender, Harold Wilson flees Whitehall in the dead of night, with MI5 and the police soon in hot pursuit. Taking place in late 1975 in a Britain weary of trade union disputes and fearful of military coups, the Establishment must move quickly to restore order without appearing heavy-handed. But then again, the Prime Minister has just been outed as a communist spy…

Part-historical epic, part-pulpy thriller, and featuring a cavalcade of 1970s public figures from Enoch Powell and Gerald Ford to Jack Jones and Michael Bentine, Agent Lavender takes readers into a maelstrom of intrigue, civil disobedience, satire, Cold War tensions, and downright farce.

The winner of eight Turtledove Awards including Best Story, Best Cold War Timeline and multiple Best Character awards, this acclaimed alternate history novel blends politics with espionage and adds a sprinkle of the absurd.

Click here to buy on Amazon

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Also available in paperback

Thande's thoughts: If you don't already know Black and Tindale's seminal work, you need to. Whether you followed the original AH.com thread through all its ups and downs from its beginning back in 2012, or if you're entirely new to the story, you'll love this published version. A good AH work needs not only an intriguing premise but also a story to support it, and Agent Lavender delivers a gripping, funny, Le Carré-esque plot to support the apparent absurdity of Harold Wilson really being what right-wing paranoiacs thought he was. It unquestionably helps that Black and Tindale are big Labour men in reality and are not writing some piece of wish fulfilment when they depict the catastrophic fallout on the party from Wilson's treason. We also confront the point that the Margaret Thatcher of 1975, recently elected leader of the Conservative Party, is not the Margaret Thatcher of 1979--and is thoroughly unprepared for the power vacuum she is faced with. Who shall step into the breach?

Although it was written before the debut of "The Crown", those who've watched that Netflix series may get more from those familiar 'characters' of history faced with a very different situation.

If you did read the original thread from the start, you should be aware the published version does make quite a few changes, driven by either plot refinement or the authors gaining greater insight/research into their characters. That does mean we lose a few moments I enjoyed from the original version, but we are more than compensated with new frontiers. And, of course, this thread book was also a fountain of memes which get repeated to this day - Enoch Powell's apparent gin obsession (stemming from @The Red 's confusion over a reference to Greenall's), Paddy Ashdown - International Man of Mystery, and the random American commenter who somehow thinks what happens to the episode of Doctor Who broadcast the day of Wilson's flight is more important than all that British political stuff. In many ways, this book made Sea Lion Press what it is today. Check it out!