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Alternate History General Discussion

Aznavour

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Why not?

It’s either as accurate as sources and authorial effort/intent allow, or it’s not, in which case it’s just deviating in terms of motivation or characterization or the development of certain events while the larger historical facts remain the same.

For instance, I wouldn’t count Milady de Winter arranging for Buckingham’s murder or the musketeers trying and failing to save Charles I as properly country factual history.
 

Jared

fatal softener
Published by SLP
Location
Over the rainbow
Where do you draw the line between "historical fiction" and "AH"? It's not an easy one to make.
I base it on author intent. If the author intended it to be actual history, then it was. Even if there's errors in research, it's still historical fiction. If the world is meant to have changed from actual history, then it's an alternate history.

This doesn't help those who subscribe to the Death of the Author model, of course.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Where do you draw the line between "historical fiction" and "AH"?
Just a blunt "is it intentionally saying The History Is Different", really. If I write about the late 1960s IRA learning about a sunken U-boat with Nazi gold on it and they go on a heist to get it to fund operations, that's something that never happened but it's not about anything being different. If I write about the late 1960s IRA learning about a sunken U-boat with Nazi gold on it, they heist it, and then there's a series of much bigger IRA actions due to the gold and it's clearly distorting the real Troubles, then I've written an alternate history because my focus is on what the heist leads to.

(Either way the story is, of course, called Green, White, and Gold)
 

Christian

Well-known member
Small question, just what exactly makes it so that British colonization "good"? I mean, a hell of a lot of fiction I read, and the one that was just posted a while ago makes it seem as if being occupied by the people from that rainy little land would leave good institutions and all that. What makes that so?
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Pronouns
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Small question, just what exactly makes it so that British colonization "good"? I mean, a hell of a lot of fiction I read, and the one that was just posted a while ago makes it seem as if being occupied by the people from that rainy little land would leave good institutions and all that. What makes that so?
Bias and historical ignorance.

But, tbh, this seems like a big 'when did you stop beating your wife' question.
 

Christian

Well-known member
Bias and historical ignorance.

But, tbh, this seems like a big 'when did you stop beating your wife' question.
Oh, sorry if I made that sound bad. I just really find it odd and kind of weird that the fiction I read about a country getting colonized by the British is successful no matter the circumstances it finds itself in. Hell, I read one about them colonizing a bit of South America and its GDP Per Capita was around the 40K mark. I think it was like, New Wales or something.
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
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Oh, sorry if I made that sound bad. I just really find it odd and kind of weird that the fiction I read about a country getting colonized by the British is successful no matter the circumstances it finds itself in. Hell, I read one about them colonizing a bit of South America and its GDP Per Capita was around the 40K mark.
Oh, it's complete nonsense.

Even if you think GDP is a useful indicator, Malawi, South Sudan and Gambia are about as low as you can get on that scale. My gut instinct is that Somaliland isn't too high, either, though it's hard to find figures. There are obviously ex british colonies doing very well for themselves, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, New Zealand etc but there's complicating factors beyond just latin rule =bad, english rule = good. Malawi exists as much as Singapore does. For that matter Macau and Equatorial Guinea, which is a success by GDP standards if nothing else, exist as much as Niger does.

Like I said fiction that plays into the idea that British colonization left countries in a stronger position than other empires is something that can be attributed primarily to bias and historical ignorance, in particular a misunderstanding of the difference between the white dominions and somewhere like Gambia in terms of treatment.

It's just well 'what exactly makes it so that British colonization "good"' is phrased in a way that made it seem like the audience on here would agree with that statement, when we really don't.
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
Sea Lion Press staff
Published by SLP
Pronouns
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The other complicating factor is, of course settler colonisation.

Like Namibia has a high gdp, but massive inequality because it's white settlers who hold most the economic power. Australia is one of the richest countries in the world, but Australian aborigines are poorer now then they were before colonisation.

It's entirely possible to write a story wherein both the colonised country is doing very well and the pre colonised peoples aren't.
 

Yokai Man

Well-known member
There's apparently a thriving russian language ah community, which I've always found fascinating. Lot of focus on the mongols apparently.
Unfortunately most of it is nationalist propaganda and its most famous writers are now being military commanders or ministers in the Russian separatist republics in Ukraine.

And given how they often wrote tons of FH books about Ukraine and its “orange nazis” invading Russia with the aide of THE ANGLO-AMERICAN IMPERIALISTS and then being defeated by a lone squadron of brave Russian soldiers,it’s a little ironic that Russia invaded Ukraine and did the things they accused Ukraine of planning to do in the future.
 
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