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The List Of Alternate History 198X Conventional World War IIIs

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#21
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.
It's at least understandable if it's for explicitly commercial reasons, and a lot of thriller writers had/have this potboiler attitude (Chet Cunningham could write a novel in a week to meet a deadline, and you could tell when his heart was in it and when it wasn't).

From what I've seen (with the caveats of inevitable exceptions and a small sample size) this subgenre doesn't lend itself to long series, whether rushed or not. I liked Team Yankee, but Harold Coyle still came across as something of a one-hit wonder to me, and he's one of the best examples. At the other extreme the Kirovs have long since degenerated into lets plays of different wargame scenarios. In the middle, the central book of Black's "Effect" series was the weakest.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
#22
From what I've seen (with the caveats of inevitable exceptions and a small sample size) this subgenre doesn't lend itself to long series, whether rushed or not.
That makes sense. If I wanted to drag out a WW2 series I have six real years and half the Earth to play around in, if it's WW3 I have to find reasons the war's still going on and the nukes haven't flown yet.
 

Dan

Uses they/them for everyone unless asked otherwise
#23
The bugbear I have with James Philips is his use of info dumps which seem like they're in place purely to fill space. I don't need the back story of every incidental character whenever they first arrive. Airey Neave's escape from Colditz gets an average of five mentions per book it seems.
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#24
As for the actual quality, I have...

-Two legitimately good ones, Northern Fury and The Bears Claws. The former I feared would be in a later category, but it actually showed good pacing , developed characters, and didn't come across as just a wargame let's play. The latter has the Soviets winning handily and is focused around this mysterious phenomena called "characterization".

-One (Burke's The Weekend Warriors)- I haven't read yet (though I want to). Especially with Fuldapocalypse having broadened (and me loving it), I no longer feel an urge to automatically read something just because it's "WWIII".

-Three, (Operation Zhukov, Brad Smith's and the "Effect" series) that are kind of what I expected from my internet/wargaming experience-a lot of tanks exploding, lots of hopping between thin "camera characters", being "accurate" in the most nominal and shallow "the tree bark is the right color" way.

-The Kirov series, which has become a set of really rote wargame lets plays tied up in a time travel megaplot spread across over fifty books.

-Two (Stroock and Archer) that are sloppy and "pulpy", the latter considerably more so. Archer in particular reminds me of rather er, "slapdash" contemporary WWIII and thriller writer Ian Slater.

-Dark War, which is a supernatural horror using World War III as a backdrop. While good, it doesn't really fit that much with the others.
 

Skinny87

haha no don't make me review Queensway!!!
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Pronouns
He/Him
#25
Northern Fury is aces, and so good I didn't mind the fact it was like 600 pages - attention to detail and characterisation, and a plot that is genuinely thoughtful and not 'SOVIET GO WAR NOW' made it fly by

Sounds like I need to read The Bears Claws, I'm always scrolling past it

As for Dark War, it's a really good series, but by it's own admission is far more of a background for its RPG/plastic soldier base game, which is essentially 'What if Vampire: The Masquerade but during the Fulda Gap?' though I do still need to review the sequel. Damn good book considering it's a tie-in novel, which are usually lacklustre

Stroock, Archer and Kirov I'm not touching with a barge pole, they're really poor examples of the genre
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#26
Northern Fury is aces, and so good I didn't mind the fact it was like 600 pages - attention to detail and characterisation, and a plot that is genuinely thoughtful and not 'SOVIET GO WAR NOW' made it fly by
Addressing the start of the war is one of those plot devices where you sort of need to be on one end or the other. Team Yankee, Red Army, and The Bears Claws deliberately avoid going into detail on how it started, for good reason. That's one end. On the other you have Northern Fury itself and Larry Bond's books that do have substantial openings that try and justify why and how it started. I'm not as big a fan of that approach, but the effort is certainly there.

Red Storm Rising is in an awkward middle ground where it puts just enough effort into justifying it (blow up the refinery, invade Europe so they can invade the Middle East later), but not enough to actually make the justification work.
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#27
Just read Burke's The Weekend Warriors. It's well-intentioned and the author is a veteran, but it's just very rough in ways ranging from the prose to some anachronisms and a lot of big-picture details. I'd say it's like Chieftains in how erratic and unpolished it is, only a little worse than Forrest-Webb's book.
 
#28
Would the second edition of John Hackett's World War III count? First one was in contemporary times, but was later re-written to make room for contemporary shifts such as the Iranian Revolution.
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
#29
Would the second edition of John Hackett's World War III count? First one was in contemporary times, but was later re-written to make room for contemporary shifts such as the Iranian Revolution.
To me, it's one of those that technically might count, but because it's clearly just scrambling to adapt to changed events, I wouldn't put it on the same list as unambiguous "I wanted to write a conventional WWIII set in the past" books.
 

Geordie

We're going to privatise swans
Published by SLP
Pronouns
he/him
#31
If there's anyone the 'alt-right fash bits' want to get in bed with it's a Jewish guy from New Jersey.
I'm glad to be proved wrong. I've bumped into some rather nasty tendencies in amateur military history over the years. Sorry if I incorrectly lumped you in with such folk.

Welcome to the forum.
 

Burton K Wheeler

you're the wind and I'm on fire
Location
garbage can
#32
If there's anyone the 'alt-right fash bits' want to get in bed with it's a Jewish guy from New Jersey.
I have no dog in this fight and never heard of you until I saw this thread, but the first thing I find when googling your name is this:

https://inforos.ru/en/?module=news&action=view&id=111012

I wouldn't use the terms "alt right" or "fash" lightly, but here you are writing on a literal GRU propaganda platform about how tearing down Confederate statues will lead to Jesus being banned, with a bunch of obvious white genocide fearmongering. In the interest of fairness, the next entry in your blogspot site says in so many words that the Civil War was about slavery and it's good the South lost, but I'm not interested in supporting anyone who's willing to work with foreign intelligence services to stoke racial division in America.
 

Torten

Well-known member
#33
The Last War on the TBOverse has a Third World War between NATO and allies, and the Warsaw Pact and Iraq, set in 2005 after a brutal crackdown in East Germany in 1989 means that the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact hold together. It's currently at about day 17 out of an 80-day war, so it will probably take another 45 years to finish. It's quite well written though it really has too many pov characters.
 
#34
Well if you're reading a lot of white genocide fearmongering into an article that specifically says Confederate Statues should be removed, well, that's on you. I see you've found that WaPo article on Inforos. Inforos is published by Ilyashenko Andrei a man so mysterious and sinister he has his own FB page. I write cultural and political analysis about the US for them. There's no greater Russian stooge than a man whose written a half dozen novels about the Soviet Union getting it's ass kicked. As far as you refusing to support me, look at the sales rankings. I don't need you.
I have no dog in this fight and never heard of you until I saw this thread, but the first thing I find when googling your name is this:

https://inforos.ru/en/?module=news&action=view&id=111012

I wouldn't use the terms "alt right" or "fash" lightly, but here you are writing on a literal GRU propaganda platform about how tearing down Confederate statues will lead to Jesus being banned, with a bunch of obvious white genocide fearmongering. In the interest of fairness, the next entry in your blogspot site says in so many words that the Civil War was about slavery and it's good the South lost, but I'm not interested in supporting anyone who's willing to work with foreign intelligence services to stoke racial division in America.
 

Burton K Wheeler

you're the wind and I'm on fire
Location
garbage can
#36
The article does say "the mob" pulling down statues are after Christianity next. "Religion will be the left’s next target" needs more evidence than a tweet by a grifter (who isn't white btw) that was widely mocked.
I don't think it's worth arguing at this point. He's said his piece, I've explained what I understood Skinny to be talking about, and that's all fine.

For what it's worth, I read his blog a few pages in and the impression I got wasn't far-right, just that he's cranky neocon who's annoyed with these damn kids these days with their blue hair and extra genders. I have a good friend who I haven't disowned who has politics pretty similar to my impression of Mr. Stroock's. My friend remains my friend because he hasn't reached the point of working for Russian military intelligence to own the libs, though. It's way less forgivable in my book to post some mealy-mouthed qualified race baiting for pay than it is to express your own sincere racist beliefs. I can at least have a certain level of respect for someone who's terrible out of principle, I have none for someone who supports Russia's campaign to destroy American civil society out of convenience.
 
#37
I don't think it's worth arguing at this point. He's said his piece, I've explained what I understood Skinny to be talking about, and that's all fine.

For what it's worth, I read his blog a few pages in and the impression I got wasn't far-right, just that he's cranky neocon who's annoyed with these damn kids these days with their blue hair and extra genders. I have a good friend who I haven't disowned who has politics pretty similar to my impression of Mr. Stroock's. My friend remains my friend because he hasn't reached the point of working for Russian military intelligence to own the libs, though. It's way less forgivable in my book to post some mealy-mouthed qualified race baiting for pay than it is to express your own sincere racist beliefs. I can at least have a certain level of respect for someone who's terrible out of principle, I have none for someone who supports Russia's campaign to destroy American civil society out of convenience.