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  1. I

    Review: The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

    I enjoyed these (and The Relentless Moon), but more for the "1950s America IN SPACE!" vibe than the "hard" AH (which I hadn't actually noticed, despite President Dewey). I did, unusually for me, listen to them first (actually, I'm not sure I have even read them as words). Audible has Koval...
  2. I

    Things that were invented at the wrong time and in the wrong order

    As a possibly interesting note, I understand that several of the ideas now thought of as "group theory" were also developed (and proven, for certain values of proven) independently in the context of English change ringing (which is quite concerned with the order bells of different notes ring...
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    Prequel Problems: Terry Pratchett’s “Night Watch”

    > Come on to the forum and comment if you want an article series titled something like “Thande Gushes About Discworld for 5000 words” instead… Yes please ;) I have to admit I have very rarely cared about continuity in Discworld, possibly because every* book is a standalone, and possibly...
  4. I

    Prequel Problems: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern

    On the other hand, I may have been wrong about the intro: see https://www.tor.com/2019/02/27/the-fantasy-roots-of-pern-dragonflight-part-one/ (especially comment 26) for discussion. On the subject of McCaffery and prequel / sequels, she also has the Dinosaur Planet -> Planet Pirates sequence...
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    Prequel Problems: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern

    Harper trilogy is how I was introduced to her work (and possibly Sci-Fi as a genre). I think I read the second one (Dragonsong?) first (as you do). Probably a better introduction to the series than Dragonflight (certainly less rape-y).
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    Prequel Problems: Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern

    I'm not sure if the early editions of Weyr Search / Dragonflight etc. had the this-is-a-colony intro. Moretta (and Nerilka's Story, which is set concurrently) has the most discussion of time travelling (and also demonstrates why it was discouraged / forgotten). (It is also has a plague.) Im...
  7. I

    The Advice and The Appellant, by SJ Reynolds

    Yes, I remember enjoying that, too!
  8. I

    The Advice and The Appellant, by SJ Reynolds

    Recently came across https://thishumanwrites.co.uk/the-advice/ and https://thishumanwrites.co.uk/the-appellant/ which seem to have AH-vibes. 2 short pieces of fiction in the form of legal advice / decisions... the laws and people are fictitious. As I enjoy reading real OTL legal advice and...
  9. I

    Chains of Consequences: The Importance of Dating Easter

    I would have no objection to that, any more than I have to those who already celebrate it on the Julian date, or those who celebrate New Year in February. Its just that you (they) wont (or at least might not) get the bank/school holidays to coincide with said celebration...
  10. I

    Chains of Consequences: The Importance of Dating Easter

    Hey, they are talking about virtual committees.. virtual voting (presumably without at least the physical voting lobbies) can't be that far away, huh? And then regularising the date of Easter would be the entirely and utterly logical and justifiable next step. Any! Day! Now!
  11. I

    Chains of Consequences: The Importance of Dating Easter

    I would like to note the 1928 Easter Act, which officially establishes Easter Sunday as the Sunday following the second Saturday in April (at least for UK secular purposes such as the back holidays, etc.). And it will come in to force just as soon as the PM of the day takes in to account the...
  12. I

    What if Gordon Banks had Played

    From what I can tell from google groups (which seems to have disabled access to soc.history.what-if for spam(!), but it will still give you a date if you use the search box), Thaxted - Part 1 was posted 17/06/2001, while WI Gordon Banks had played #1...yet another far right UK TL! was posted...
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    Has anyone read Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy?

    Yes, when they first came out. I generally enjoy Jo Walton's books, and these are indeed quite amusing, if not terribly uplifting (even where the endings are sort-of-happy for the protagonist, the world is not a happy place). I thought many of the details of her Britain were a bit derivative...
  14. I

    Public transport without the bus – a counterfactual meander

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacer_(train) Built cheaply (originally with furniture, doors etc. designed for busses), they do not have a great reputation in UK rail circles.
  15. I

    I just got a book club to read Agent Lavender

    I am reminded of this: http://www.anthonymayer.net/ah/thaxted/thaxteda.html (Though how much that could be described a "useful for actually following the story", Im not sure).
  16. I

    A dark theme is now available

    @Meadow I have just noticed that (at least on the desktop under Chrome), that when using the top menus (forums, What's new, Members), the "selection" under the mouse goes completely black (so I cant actually read which option I am trying to select). Is this intended?
  17. I

    British Republic PODs and Discussion

    Or (perceived as) Catholic. What are the chances of this? Or that they manage to stumble upon a workable constitution during one of the "reforms" to constitutional arrangements which seem to have gone on during the Protectorate?
  18. I

    A dark theme is now available

    I must admit I am in favour of darker backgrounds in general. Easier on the eye and the battery. Looks good so far.
  19. I

    The sliding scale of alternate history hardness

    I would argue that "level of research" is perpendicular to both a) the plausibility of the timeline and b) the amount of detail actually shown. The author may well know the location and TOC of every regiment, but that doesnt need to be spelled out in story. And Azure, for example, would appear...
  20. I

    Alternative by definition?

    The Temeraire series: a really good butterfly net around certain Doctor-whovian fixed points, perhaps? There is, if I recall correctly, a slightly more detailed consideration of how dragons might affect the history of not-Europe, at least in the sense of the future history of the series...