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The Reveal

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
It's been ages since I read Strata so I just went "Bloody hell how did I miss that even as a kid"

Ironically, I'm reading this article when just late night seen a guy joke that he hopes it turns out all the historical inaccuracies in The Crown is a drip-fed lead-in to telling us this is an alternate history. That would seem to be a really evil thing to spring on an audience, but can you sell this on a general audience watching a historical drama? Horror would seem easier, you're already aimed at a fan of things going worng and accepting paranormal events
 

Gary Oswald

It was Vampire Unions that got us Vampire Weekend
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It's been ages since I read Strata so I just went "Bloody hell how did I miss that even as a kid"
To be fair to me and you as kids it is disguised because the 'new' earth is flat rather than round and is revealed to be a giant computer with robots pretending to be demons so the residents believe in the supernatural and are far more religious/mystic as a result. So even with the fact it has a roman empire and christianity, its still obviously not earth.

Its not until the end where Kin offers to build a new planet for those humans to live in, that our earth is introduced.

But the hints that kins world isnt ours and the one she finds is, are really obvious if you read it as an adult. Reme rather than Rome, because of Remus winning etc.
 

SenatorChickpea

The Most Kiwi Aussie of them all
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This is a delightful article, but also frustrating. I understand why @Gary Oswald doesn't name the films he alludes to - he says he won't, for sensible reasons - but it also makes things a bit vague in places.
It also, amusingly, shows a problem with not naming names when matters of taste are involved. I spent far too long trying to work out which was the "major 2019 film (that) used that reveal to great effect" because I immediately thought of the answer and dismissed it because I thought the reveal had been a total, tasteless failure. Ah, the joys of subjectivity.

This piece also made me think of the wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell which is technically AH, but largely uses it to keep throwing the reader off-balance: it was a book that had a very well-judged sense of how to play with your expectations for the setting and an individual scene.
 

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
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This is a delightful article, but also frustrating. I understand why @Gary Oswald doesn't name the films he alludes to - he says he won't, for sensible reasons - but it also makes things a bit vague in places.
I was able to work out the 2009 film, but I've not been able to work out the other.
 

Avian Overlord

Mystical American Freedom Bird
This piece also made me think of the wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell which is technically AH, but largely uses it to keep throwing the reader off-balance: it was a book that had a very well-judged sense of how to play with your expectations for the setting and an individual scene.
Strange and Norrell is unusual in that both history has always been different, and it has a POD that makes things start changing, even if it doesn't send history completely off the rails. The Napoleonic wars do basically play out like they did in OTL (S&N is also the rare alternate history that helps the winner), with some differences like different people living and dying. Of course, all this probably stands out to me because I edit a web serial that also does all those things.
 

Thande

Catch '22
Published by SLP
Strange and Norrell is unusual in that both history has always been different, and it has a POD that makes things start changing, even if it doesn't send history completely off the rails. The Napoleonic wars do basically play out like they did in OTL (S&N is also the rare alternate history that helps the winner), with some differences like different people living and dying. Of course, all this probably stands out to me because I edit a web serial that also does all those things.
I remember reading that and Temeraire around the same time and thinking "what are the chances of this decade producing two works of background-AH with distant PODs but which feature a familiar, but not quite the same, Napoleonic Wars?"
 

Avian Overlord

Mystical American Freedom Bird
I remember reading that and Temeraire around the same time and thinking "what are the chances of this decade producing two works of background-AH with distant PODs but which feature a familiar, but not quite the same, Napoleonic Wars?"
The Napoleonic Wars are a convenient intersection of old-timey and modern. It allows the authors to have relatively modern politics and issues while still being historical enough to not be urban fantasy. Or to put it another way, it falls between medieval fantasy and urban fantasy.
 

Thande

Catch '22
Published by SLP
The Napoleonic Wars are a convenient intersection of old-timey and modern. It allows the authors to have relatively modern politics and issues while still being historical enough to not be urban fantasy. Or to put it another way, it falls between medieval fantasy and urban fantasy.
Indeed - whereas I found it a bit refreshing to find an example of it instead being done with the mid-1700s in "The Emperor of All Things" by Paul Witcover. Not sure if the sequel to that one ever materialised.
 

FriendlyGhost

Trying to write more than my AH.com alter ego :-)
It also, amusingly, shows a problem with not naming names when matters of taste are involved. I spent far too long trying to work out which was the "major 2019 film (that) used that reveal to great effect" because I immediately thought of the answer and dismissed it because I thought the reveal had been a total, tasteless failure. Ah, the joys of subjectivity.
This piece also made me think of the wonderful Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell which is technically AH, but largely uses it to keep throwing the reader off-balance: it was a book that had a very well-judged sense of how to play with your expectations for the setting and an individual scene.
Not being a film buff, I have no idea which films were referred to - not the 2019 one nor the 2009 one - and I haven't seen most of the others referred to either (Psycho and The Birds being the exceptions). But I understand why no-one wants to name them, so I'm just going to have to remain (only very slightly) frustrated!

Like you, though, when reading the article* I did think of JS&MN - a book which I'm still undecided about - it's very well written, but I can't decide if I really enjoyed it or not** because the characters were so annoying, but they were annoying in such a realistic way!

* which is very good - thanks @Gary Oswald
** any book which makes me think is good, though, so I suppose I tend more towards 'enjoyed.'
 
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