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'The War in the Air' and the Cult of the Airship

Alex Richards

A musical Hubble Space Telescope
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
That's a very good insight - I wonder how many other things we could say the same for, and what things we currently regard with trepidation will be considered quaint window dressing of our era when it is reimagined.
Automation and/or AI feels like it could be one, depending on how that goes.


A hand job, not a hand out
Little Beirut
Great article. A couple years back I went to a panel discussion where Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad (which is sort of like fantastical AH), had some similar thoughts. He said that the first obligation of alternate history or historical fiction authors should be to "do their duty to the past" by not overlooking or minimizing unpleasant realities. I don't think that a fun AH romp with airships is a bad thing to write, but knowing the attitude contemporary people held towards airships would definitely help with the story's verisimilitude.


Conſiderable Perſon
Published by SLP
I was talking about this article with a friend of mine who read it and he described Wells' fears of airships as being "not the atomic bomb but the suitcase nuke." That's a perfect way of describing it.
Good point - we forget at the time that people's mindsets would not have involved the expectation of something like radar, so surprise attacks from the air (like the fear of 'the bomber will always get through' from the 1930s) would have loomed larger than the scale of the damage any particular attack could do.