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The List Of Alternate History 198X Conventional World War IIIs

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
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Nu Yawk
#1
One of the biggest eye-openers when I read and reviewed a lot of books for Fuldapocalypse was seeing just how few "Icelandic" World War III books were actually written. So I figured I'd see how many published (even self-published counts) novels there were that...

1: Featured a mostly conventional World War III
2: Took place in an alternate history and not in a contemporary setting when the books were written. (And followed this unambiguously-I don't want to wiggle books in)
3: Had a POD/setting date after 1980. (They're in a different setting from the "Just After WWII" types of WW3 AH)

I'm going by series and not individual books (to prevent one with lots of entries skewing)

-Harvey Black's "Effect" series
-William Stroock's World War 1990 series
-The Bear's Claws by Russell Phillips
-Northern Fury H Hour (Reviewed on SLP)
-John Agnew's Operation Zhukov
-Brad Smith's World War III 1985
-Martin Archer's War Breaks Out
-James Burke's The Weekend Warriors
-John Schettler's Kirov series.
-Mark Walker's Dark War series

There's undoubtedly ones that I've missed, and this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list. But still, only ten entries.
 

Skinny87

haha no don't make me review Queensway!!!
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#2
Man I really hope the next Northern Fury book comes out soon, that's a damn good series

And I should review the second Dark War novel as well, while I'm at it
 

Skinny87

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#3
Oh, also consider Ian Slater's WWIII series, read that alongside Seal Team Seven when I was a teenager
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#4
Oh, also consider Ian Slater's WWIII series, read that alongside Seal Team Seven when I was a teenager
Slater falls into the "contemporary setting when the books were written" category, although it's a slightly tough call due to him having simply no concept of continuity.
 

Skinny87

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#6
Stroock I'll no longer touch with a hundred-foot bargepole, but Harvey Black's stuff is quite enjoyable from what I read
 

Jared

fatal softener
Published by SLP
Location
Over the rainbow
#7
Slater falls into the "contemporary setting when the books were written" category, although it's a slightly tough call due to him having simply no concept of continuity.
Ian Slater: "If my readers don't care about continuity, why should I?"
Rest of the reading world: "That's because you've driven off anyone who cares about continuity, so they're no longer your readers."
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#10
Apart from the above, which gives me archive panic just thinking about it, I have heard of none of these. You are a sadist, Colin.
To be fair, I wouldn't have expected you to. After all, this combines two niche genres at once, which is why I wasn't really that surprised to see the number be so low (contemporary settings simply have a much greater appeal-which is why Walt Gragg turned what was obviously a 1980s cold-war hot scenario into a "contemporary" one with ridiculous plot twists in The Red Line).

The reason why I thought it was much bigger at first was due to wargaming (which does have a large number of conventional WWIIIs, and understandably so) and the now long since passed WWIII TL boom on the other place.
 

Skinny87

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#11
You know, this has me musing because you only seem to have two distinct time periods for WWIII breaking out - immediately after the Second World War, and then the mid to late 1980s

You don't seem to see many, if any at all, books or series that take place in the 50s, 60s or 70s
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#12
You know, this has me musing because you only seem to have two distinct time periods for WWIII breaking out - immediately after the Second World War, and then the mid to late 1980s

You don't seem to see many, if any at all, books or series that take place in the 50s, 60s or 70s
I've thought about this a lot and have come up with what I think are the biggest reasons.

  1. Simple precedent following in the wake of the classics, which did take place in the (then-contemporary) 1980s.
  2. A sense that somehow it'd be more "balanced" compared to the earlier periods where the Soviets would win easily. Regardless of how true, that sense is often there.
  3. More of a sense of novelty-no late 1980s equivalent to the Korea/Vietnam/October Wars that did have all the technology of the time shown off.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#13
A sense that somehow it'd be more "balanced" compared to the earlier periods where the Soviets would win easily.
Depending on story, it'd surely work for many if the West is getting hammered easy - though I guess that leaves the problem of how the West or at least a country doesn't lose* without readers going "bollocks".

* unless the point is the Soviets win or you're doing a tale in occupied West Europe ala 2000AD's Invasion
 

The Red

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#14
You know, this has me musing because you only seem to have two distinct time periods for WWIII breaking out - immediately after the Second World War, and then the mid to late 1980s

You don't seem to see many, if any at all, books or series that take place in the 50s, 60s or 70s
No-one was allowed to see it until the 80s so I'm not sure if it really counts but there is a scene in The War Game where you see a brief conventional war in Germany play out from the perspective of a reporter talking to American forces in the midst of a firefight. It's mainly just detailing how a strategic nuclear exchange might begin with tactical nukes and how a conventional war will almost inevitably resort to both sides using tactical nukes however. I suppose it does get a little bit technothriller-y in that an American officer describes what an Honest John is and how powerful its blast would be when carrying a nuclear warhead but that's kinda overshadowed by the fact there's one firing off the launchpad in the background.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#20
It's the sort of energy and pace I had fifteen years ago when doing fanfiction. It feels vaguely wrong for adults writing 'proper stuff' to be doing it.