• Hi Guest!

    The costs of running this forum are covered by Sea Lion Press. If you'd like to help support the company and the forum, visit patreon.com/sealionpress

TL-191 question

Heavy

Smarter than the average bear
#41
Although the way they don't mention this till immediately before 1929 definitely smacked of "wait, hang on, I want to do the Depression the same as OTL but the Socialists are in power, um..." It could have been clever if it'd been foreshadowed rather than feeling like plot railroading.
There's a bit I really distinctly remember where a bunch of characters all start talking about how well their shares are doing and even reading these when I was, I dunno, probably 14 or 15, I could only think, "I wonder if this is telegraphing something?"
 

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#42
There's a bit I really distinctly remember where a bunch of characters all start talking about how well their shares are doing and even reading these when I was, I dunno, probably 14 or 15, I could only think, "I wonder if this is telegraphing something?"
Fair enough, I haven't reread them in years.
 

Heavy

Smarter than the average bear
#43
Fair enough, I haven't reread them in years.
I acknowledge that my own recollection certainly may be faulty despite the vast processing powers of my mighty brain. From my memory, there's a bit when Upton Sinclair is president and he's talking to Flora Blackford about how things are great because the stock market is so strong and how they've made it easy for American workers to have a stake in the companies they work for. The bit I mentioned, where everybody starts talking suddenly about how their share prices are going up, came in a bit later on.

(This is making me think that the most interesting way to do a kind of "American Socialist Party" along the lines of TL-191 would be if its chief intellectual antecedents and influences had been the only socialist theorists that I actually like, Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker.)
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
#44
I can't hold shares against Turtledove because I really enjoyed Ann Colton's crystal ball and ending up back on type by seeing various economic disasters coming. She really was a force of nature and I still can't decide whether her anticlimactic death was a masterstroke or deeply disappointing.

Also the Socialist Party always had a tension with basically being traitors in New York attacking Veterans parades and demanding peace when the rest of the country wanted to finally wipe out the Confederacy. It was a plot point that Flora gets told that her actual honest to god socialism was scaring middle america to death and a lot of the branches outside New York were a lot less radical.

I think the buying shares thing was part of an intentional process of incremental changes as the Socialists fought hard to show they were a respectable and moderate organisation.

At the end of the second Great War they get stomped electorally again ironically for relying on their war record whilst the Democrats pointed out the war only happened because the Socialists played into Featherson's hands completely.


Its kind of funny that the Socialists get consistently fucked by the plot that made them a thing in the first place.
 

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#45
At the end of the second Great War they get stomped electorally again ironically for relying on their war record whilst the Democrats pointed out the war only happened because the Socialists played into Featherson's hands completely.
I assumed that was inspired by the 1945 British general election.
 

libbrit

Well-known member
#46
All of this reminds me when i used to play Victoria 2, on which i never finished a game without cheating massively.

Id invariably start as the CSA only intending to go the Turtledove route and expand into Cuba, Sonora and Chihuahua.

Inevitably, 10 years in id have half the Caribbean, some grim colonies in West Africa, as well as Hawaii and the Philippines in my Empire of Confederate Darkness
 

Japhy

This is the way
Published by SLP
#48
All of this reminds me when i used to play Victoria 2, on which i never finished a game without cheating massively.

Id invariably start as the CSA only intending to go the Turtledove route and expand into Cuba, Sonora and Chihuahua.

Inevitably, 10 years in id have half the Caribbean, some grim colonies in West Africa, as well as Hawaii and the Philippines in my Empire of Confederate Darkness
I never really enjoy playing evil but I'd love to smash such a monstrous state.

Anyway all of this has me thinking about an old 191 "Fix" I wrote up ages ago, I should dig it up and file off the serial numbers.
 

Meadow

Sellout
Administrator
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Location
Balham
#49
I always bought into the 'McSweeney was originally going to be the Hitler analogue' thing, but having given it more than thirty seconds' thought, Featherstone was always a raspy-voiced annoyed NCO who hated black people, and if you're going to do The Americans Carry Out The Holocaust, it's going to be black people and it's not going to be the successor of the Union that does it.

Still, it's a fun theory. And arguably it'd make a more interesting story because you wouldn't be able to fall into the obvious parallelism as closely.

Scipio best girl
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
Patreon supporter
#50
I was hoping that he'd go all in with the USA as the USSR analogue. Not that I think an American socialist party would end up going Stalinist by default or any right-wing lunacy like that, but the image of people like Norman Rockwell going full socialist realism, Frank Capra as Eisenstein, Copland as Shostakovitch...
 

OwenM

Your guess is as good as mine.
#51
I was hoping that he'd go all in with the USA as the USSR analogue. Not that I think an American socialist party would end up going Stalinist by default or any right-wing lunacy like that, but the image of people like Norman Rockwell going full socialist realism, Frank Capra as Eisenstein, Copland as Shostakovitch...
The OTL American Communist Party would probably have made Stalin go "steady on" in power, but I can't really see them being the main ones in power anyway.
 

MAC88

Active member
Published by SLP
Location
WI, USA
#52
I always bought into the 'McSweeney was originally going to be the Hitler analogue' thing, but having given it more than thirty seconds' thought, Featherstone was always a raspy-voiced annoyed NCO who hated black people, and if you're going to do The Americans Carry Out The Holocaust, it's going to be black people and it's not going to be the successor of the Union that does it.
It was a while before I picked up on this possibility, but I think McSweeney was intended as an Alvin York analogue, in terms of his wartime exploits if not necessarily the religious side: McSweeney is much more zealous, whereas there seems to be a bit more ambiguity with York.

During a browse of TL-191 and other AH maps, I came across this one, which seems to show the aftermath of a McSweeney/Hitler TL, maybe emerging from a USA/Central Powers defeat in Turtledove's TL (Not sure who originally created it; if someone here did, kudos!)
 

Death's Companion

General Ugg Apologist.
#53
I don't think McSweeney would ever make it to the top.

He does not read newspapers, he needs to have it pointed out to him that the Army might possibly not want to (or be seen to) fire a Medal of Honor winner who got commissioned and then promoted again for repeatedly doing superhuman feats and has the grudging admiration of his superiors and subordinates alike. He repeatedly pisses off various people and leaves most people he meets wondering if he's a lunatic. He openly loaths anyone of his specific faith (which would have about a third to half the population on his shit list) and he is really bad at personal relationships.

Most of all though he never expresses any political opinions except fighting for the USA is good and Papists are evil.


Featherson has some similarities in admittedly but he's also rather good at talking to someone for five minutes and leaving them with the idea that he is a person worth taking into account. He normally grasps the essential straight away and he's got a personal charm. Finally he had a clear policy agenda from the start, rebuild the CSA, shit on Black people, kick the shit out of the USA and clear out the old Aristocracy of the South and make a country for the average Joe. Its simple, popular, and has some obvious policies attached.
 

Japhy

This is the way
Published by SLP
#54
McSweeny I think would have made a good "Mosley" type figure but if the story had been a jumble of who falls to Fascism, the US or CS I think the Confederacy was always going to be the one. McSweeny would have peaked like Pelley, big in Oregon or some such and then plummeting.

That said I've come to realize over the years one of the fun things about 191 is that it seems almost everyone has some sort of "Fix Fic" version of things in their head which is part of the fun. So I think that's part of why McSweeny as Hitler got so big in convos about the series.
 

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#55
to the next phase of the sequence. He hadn’t expected this. Hadn’t calculated for this. He’d thought of himself as having lost all ties, but he’d selfishly thought only of his own generation. No, he hadn’t forgotten his own kids, of course not—but he thought they’d see it as his story having already ended. He hadn’t considered what it might do to them to lose him, under mysterious circumstances, so soon after their mother.

He almost reconsidered his plan then and there, but he shook his head and forced himself to continue. All the same, he decided to leave things as less mysterious than he had planned. After programming in the last sequence, he loaded up the holo-projector again and recorded a short reply to Mylee’s message. “Hello Mylee. Hello Jill, hello G-squared and Eric and everyone.” Eric, Jill’s husband, was a Backwash, but he couldn’t help it. “This is your Dad, your Uncle Seth—it’s me.” He sighed. “Yes, you’ve figured it out. I love you all, and you were the best son and daughter, and the best in-laws, a man could ever hope to have. But you know where I need to go now. This is the end, and you won’t see me again. This is your story now; make sure it has an ending worth reading. I’m going. GOOD-BYE!” He hit the ‘send’ button.

He leaned back in his chair for a long moment—though the action wasn’t the same without gravity—and pondered his thoughts. Then, finally, he smiled.

Mylee was a bright girl—bright woman in her sixties, he corrected himself dryly. But, unless she was holding her cards even closer to her chest than he thought, she hadn’t penetrated his illusions. This was his favourite rumour, the one he’d sta
To be completely honest the whole "TL 191 had to be rewritten and expanded" theory has never popped up for me anywhere but from posts by you saying it was a thing, Tom.
I'm not sure if it was ever explicitly mentioned in the blurbs in the backs of the books (or the intro at the front), but it was covered I think on his website (the amazingly John Hemming one run by Steven Silver) back in the day. Next time I have access to my books I'll see if I can find reference to it.
I finally remembered to check this out. I can't find an explicit reference to it in my books, but I did find it on the Steven Silver site (in a review):

Turtledove provides many political and personal surprises throughout the novel. While these surprises are introduced, Turtledove does not fully examine their consequences, clearly setting the stage for the final book of the series, The Great War: Settling Accounts (Del Rey, 2001). Although a third novel of a series of four, Breakthroughs is the strongest of The Great War novels in pacing, characterization, and overall writing.
Uchronia also states that The Great War: Settling Accounts was a previously announced title for American Empire: Blood and Iron, which came out in 2001:

1570892312704.png

It's possible that this just arose due to rumours or these reviewers getting the wrong end of the stick, but the fact that Silver explicitly mentions it being the 4th book of 4 (from where? an announcement by Del Rey or Turtledove himself?) makes me think there probably is something to it.
 

Japhy

This is the way
Published by SLP
#56
I finally remembered to check this out. I can't find an explicit reference to it in my books, but I did find it on the Steven Silver site (in a review):



Uchronia also states that The Great War: Settling Accounts was a previously announced title for American Empire: Blood and Iron, which came out in 2001:

View attachment 14157

It's possible that this just arose due to rumours or these reviewers getting the wrong end of the stick, but the fact that Silver explicitly mentions it being the 4th book of 4 (from where? an announcement by Del Rey or Turtledove himself?) makes me think there probably is something to it.
I appreciate the digging on your part, thanks. No real indication though that that means if was ever intended for the CSA to win, especially considering the overall point of It Can Happen Here of the series.

But again, Thanks.
 

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#57
I appreciate the digging on your part, thanks. No real indication though that that means if was ever intended for the CSA to win, especially considering the overall point of It Can Happen Here of the series.

But again, Thanks.
Oh, I'd never heard of the 'the CSA was originally meant to win' thing before I heard it mentioned on AH.com by someone - I've always been sceptical of that one myself. I was specifically talking about the idea that TL-191 was only meant to be 4 books (after "How Few Remain") under the Great War banner.

I've always pictured in my head that the alleged 4th book The Great War: Settling Accounts would be a compressed version of the three American Empire books where it mostly covers Featherston's rise to power, the Depression etc. and ends with him launching Operation Blackbeard. In other words, the excessive parallelism would have been more tolerable if it was just a brief dip-in-and-out summary rather than an attempt to depict every year of the 1920s and 30s, and there's no need to cover the second war because we know how it'll end. However, that part is pure supposition on my part.
 

Jared

Voldemort jnr
Published by SLP
Location
Over the rainbow
#58
Oh, I'd never heard of the 'the CSA was originally meant to win' thing before I heard it mentioned on AH.com by someone - I've always been sceptical of that one myself. I was specifically talking about the idea that TL-191 was only meant to be 4 books (after "How Few Remain") under the Great War banner.

I've always pictured in my head that the alleged 4th book The Great War: Settling Accounts would be a compressed version of the three American Empire books where it mostly covers Featherston's rise to power, the Depression etc. and ends with him launching Operation Blackbeard. In other words, the excessive parallelism would have been more tolerable if it was just a brief dip-in-and-out summary rather than an attempt to depict every year of the 1920s and 30s, and there's no need to cover the second war because we know how it'll end. However, that part is pure supposition on my part.
That theory I can certainly believe, because Turtledove has never been the type to tell a story in one book when seven books will do.