• 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

Least favorite alt-history story?

Burton K Wheeler

The G.O.A.T. That Can't Be Got
Location
Tr'ondëk
An article I did about Bryan Gould seems to be the only thing done about his economic policies because someone referenced my own article to me during a discussion on Days Like These on the other place.
I hate bringing up Other Forums drama, but long ago someone cited a Wikipedia article to refute a point, and the person he was arguing with not only had written that Wikipedia article but his PhD thesis was in the references on the page.
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
Published by SLP
Location
France
Ira Tabankin’s latest is out and number one on the Amazon AH bestseller lis, which has me wondering just how loose Amazon’s definition of “alternate history” is given this sounds like a MAGA-themed literary remake of Red Dawn.
China arrives, in the same manner the Soviets used to take over countries, on commercial flights.
Who can forget the great Soviet ruse that had Red Army soldiers seize Berlin by arriving in civilian aircraft?
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
Pronouns
He/Him
Ira Tabankin’s latest is out and number one on the Amazon AH bestseller lis, which has me wondering just how loose Amazon’s definition of “alternate history” is given this sounds like a MAGA-themed literary remake of Red Dawn.
My thoughts:

1: Tabankin is just low-hanging fruit. Like, his books are the equivalent of fruit so close to the ground that you need a microscope to see the gap. Deserving target? Yes. Ridiculously easy target? Also yes.
2: Given how broad the potential definition of "alternate history" is, that the category would be confusing doesn't surprise me at all.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Racial slurs are a thing people have said in wartime, as well as by people outside of wartime to Chinese people, but this feels less "I am warning you that some characters will use dehumanising words about a perceived enemy during a war" and more advertising, like book titles of Severed Faces Stuck To Things: An EXTREME Horror Novel
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
I got curious and read the preview on Amazon. So paragraph three talks about how We Knew The Union Would Fall For Years And Prepared before we know where anyone is, then a high-tech rebel militia attacks a Black Lives Matter convoy of armed technicals. "BLM" are unaware they can't fire RPGs from the inside of a car without burning themselves, which is odd if they have the damn things and this is some time into a war. Many many paragraphs going Huh Huh They Dumb and Even The Chinese Don't Want Them without any real description of anything, also it means there's no real plot (cos the technicals pose no threat) and they have to awkwardly veer into "maybe there IS a threat I have decided". Lots of exposition in dialogue of events over comms waiting for a battle, "the race revolution", the entire West Coast happily surrendered to the Chinese, Starbucks is a "far-left company", EVENTUALLY we get to hear there's nine Chinese tanks coming but our boys have enough Javelins to knock them all out, then "okay there's more", then it openly says China released covid...

At that point I stopped. A big dumb reactionary thing like this should at least have lots of Bang Bang Goes The Gun, like how a number of Americans are fond of Red Dawn cos it's lurid and pulpy and violent, but all of this is chapter 1 before any fighting starts, it's an absence of fighting.

Book 1.
 
I got curious and read the preview on Amazon. So paragraph three talks about how We Knew The Union Would Fall For Years And Prepared before we know where anyone is, then a high-tech rebel militia attacks a Black Lives Matter convoy of armed technicals. "BLM" are unaware they can't fire RPGs from the inside of a car without burning themselves, which is odd if they have the damn things and this is some time into a war. Many many paragraphs going Huh Huh They Dumb and Even The Chinese Don't Want Them without any real description of anything, also it means there's no real plot (cos the technicals pose no threat) and they have to awkwardly veer into "maybe there IS a threat I have decided". Lots of exposition in dialogue of events over comms waiting for a battle, "the race revolution", the entire West Coast happily surrendered to the Chinese, Starbucks is a "far-left company", EVENTUALLY we get to hear there's nine Chinese tanks coming but our boys have enough Javelins to knock them all out, then "okay there's more", then it openly says China released covid...

At that point I stopped. A big dumb reactionary thing like this should at least have lots of Bang Bang Goes The Gun, like how a number of Americans are fond of Red Dawn cos it's lurid and pulpy and violent, but all of this is chapter 1 before any fighting starts, it's an absence of fighting.

Book 1.
Thank you for your sacrifice.
 

Persephone

Mishima Themboy
Pronouns
they/them
I got curious and read the preview on Amazon. So paragraph three talks about how We Knew The Union Would Fall For Years And Prepared before we know where anyone is, then a high-tech rebel militia attacks a Black Lives Matter convoy of armed technicals. "BLM" are unaware they can't fire RPGs from the inside of a car without burning themselves, which is odd if they have the damn things and this is some time into a war. Many many paragraphs going Huh Huh They Dumb and Even The Chinese Don't Want Them without any real description of anything, also it means there's no real plot (cos the technicals pose no threat) and they have to awkwardly veer into "maybe there IS a threat I have decided". Lots of exposition in dialogue of events over comms waiting for a battle, "the race revolution", the entire West Coast happily surrendered to the Chinese, Starbucks is a "far-left company", EVENTUALLY we get to hear there's nine Chinese tanks coming but our boys have enough Javelins to knock them all out, then "okay there's more", then it openly says China released covid...

At that point I stopped. A big dumb reactionary thing like this should at least have lots of Bang Bang Goes The Gun, like how a number of Americans are fond of Red Dawn cos it's lurid and pulpy and violent, but all of this is chapter 1 before any fighting starts, it's an absence of fighting.

Book 1.
Heroes don't always wear capes.
 

Space Oddity

Hold on, hold on, tomorrow will be there.
A big dumb reactionary thing like this should at least have lots of Bang Bang Goes The Gun, like how a number of Americans are fond of Red Dawn cos it's lurid and pulpy and violent, but all of this is chapter 1 before any fighting starts, it's an absence of fighting.
You'd think so, but the modern American Far Right prefers to spend a great deal of time explaining how their opponents are inferior scum and so they've already practically won before the fighting has even started.

Why, one almost get the impression of people desperately compensating for something.
 

ChrisNuttall

Active member
Jesus.

There's always been an undercurrent of AH as personal attack on people you don't like, see 'Dominion' and 'the SNP will collaborate with the nazis just like they are now' or 'Rodham' and 'wouldn't hilary be better off if she just hadn't married that stinking Bill' but that's a new level.
I've always thought of it as cruel. From what little I've heard, he needs help - not torture from internet jerks.

Chris
 

Coiler

Connoisseur of the Miscellaneous
Published by SLP
Location
Nu Yawk
Pronouns
He/Him
The actual TL that has that characterization (Player Two Start/Massively Multiplayer) is also a great example of a few negative tropes that would exist even if that unpleasant moment (and any else involving real living people) didn't happen.

  1. Going on too long. The actual initial premise isn't that bad. Nintendo and Sony don't have a falling out, so they form a video game juggernaut against a reeling Sega. Ideally, a good stopping point would be when Sega, like OTL, stops hardware development, signifying the "defeat" in the console war. But of course it continued, which leads to the second point...
  2. Pop-culture trinketization. Ie, so many "AWESOME VIDEO GAMES" and lots of wish fulfillment media, some of which is implausible, IE Space Jam being a legitimately good semi-serious movie. There's this and there's a snowball of people asking about stuff, which leads to more trinkets, which leads to more asking about stuff...
 

Space Oddity

Hold on, hold on, tomorrow will be there.
Yeah, the American right can't decide if their current preferred boogeymen are a dangerously well-organized army of fanatics or a bunch of limp-wristed effeminate femboys who won't last a second in a fight. Or both at once, Schrodinger's antifa.
That's pretty much old school fascism--the enemy is both decadent weaklings and a strong horde. What makes the Alt-Right and company interesting is the obsession with depictions of ludicrously over the top weakness. No worry must be allowed to exist about their inevitable triumph.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
You'd think so, but the modern American Far Right prefers to spend a great deal of time explaining how their opponents are inferior scum and so they've already practically won before the fighting has even started.
Yeah, the American right can't decide if their current preferred boogeymen are a dangerously well-organized army of fanatics or a bunch of limp-wristed effeminate femboys who won't last a second in a fight. Or both at once, Schrodinger's antifa.
That's rather sad. I wonder if they're enjoying this stuff as much as they're telling themselves or if they feel obligated to go "this is worthy and important", but I'd worry the answer is "no they genuinely love it and don't want Stuff Happening". At least the old sneering reactionaries would go "and because of the comprehensive school system, KILLER CATS KILLED HUNDREDS IN LONDON ESPECIALLY DURING THIS SEX SCENE". It's like how 2000AD's Nemesis The Warlock is awesome because as well as the very left-wing agitprop it's got weirdo aliens and a lead who looks like the Devil and steampunk planets and a demented villain yelling "You're all white men now!" to mankind, but it's not as interesting to just see a panel of a normal-looking human very seriously telling us about how Harvard's Skull and Bones Society and the Masons are secretly manipulating a war for money. "Right, but can something blow up now?"
 

Time Enough

"Enthusiastic Cis Male Partner"
Pronouns
He/Him
looking human very seriously telling us about how Harvard's Skull and Bones Society and the Masons are secretly manipulating a war for money. "Right, but can something blow up now?"
Amusingly, those reasons is also why Savage is both bad but still entertaining as Pat Mills rambles about Ken Livingstone and True Labour, Bomber Harris, indulges in the ‘Stalin Blitzkrieg’ Conspiracy theory and essentially the Norman Yoke.

But then Savage blasts a guy with a shotgun and acts like Get Carter and you go ‘Yeah!’.
 
Top