History SoYouWantTo / WriteAnAlternateHistory

19th Oct '16 4:44:19 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''TheDifferenceEngine'' by Creator/WilliamGibson and Creator/BruceSterling. Charles Babbage successfully builds a mechanical computer in the early 19th century, leading to an information revolution through the proliferation of steam-powered difference engines and a much more powerful British Empire. The plot itself is tied together by a search for a set of computer punch cards which could have drastic ramifications for the future of technological development. Most notable for being the GenrePopularizer of SteamPunk.

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* ''TheDifferenceEngine'' ''Literature/TheDifferenceEngine'' by Creator/WilliamGibson and Creator/BruceSterling. Charles Babbage successfully builds a mechanical computer in the early 19th century, leading to an information revolution through the proliferation of steam-powered difference engines and a much more powerful British Empire. The plot itself is tied together by a search for a set of computer punch cards which could have drastic ramifications for the future of technological development. Most notable for being the GenrePopularizer of SteamPunk.
10th Jun '16 8:01:51 PM nombretomado
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* The TV show ''{{Sliders}}'', a rare example of Alternate History on television and, unfortunately, widely considered to be an unsuccessful type. Although the first two seasons are quality television, with relatively plausible alternate worlds and interesting twists placed on old standards, it's largely agreed that it fell apart in later seasons due to bad writing, implausible plots that tended to [[FollowTheLeader resemble whatever was tops at the box office that month]], and a ''nasty'' case of ExecutiveMeddling[=/=]ScrewedByTheNetwork.

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* The TV show ''{{Sliders}}'', ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', a rare example of Alternate History on television and, unfortunately, widely considered to be an unsuccessful type. Although the first two seasons are quality television, with relatively plausible alternate worlds and interesting twists placed on old standards, it's largely agreed that it fell apart in later seasons due to bad writing, implausible plots that tended to [[FollowTheLeader resemble whatever was tops at the box office that month]], and a ''nasty'' case of ExecutiveMeddling[=/=]ScrewedByTheNetwork.
10th Nov '15 5:58:06 PM nombretomado
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Conversely, InSpiteOfANail is also quite important; it's often easier for writers and readers to imagine how differently the world might have gone if they're able to see something that's familiar to them slightly altered, despite how unlikely it would be that this element would even exist in the Alternate History. It also enables commentary, satire and parody on the actual world, by framing notable figures, events and locations in different light. For example, ''[[Creator/HarryTurtledove The Two Georges]]'' features RichardNixon as [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman a used car salesman]] in a world where America never gained independence from Great Britain; despite it being very unlikely that Nixon would even have been born in this alternate world, his presence allows the reader to see how different things are and to gain both an insight into and commentary on Nixon himself.

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Conversely, InSpiteOfANail is also quite important; it's often easier for writers and readers to imagine how differently the world might have gone if they're able to see something that's familiar to them slightly altered, despite how unlikely it would be that this element would even exist in the Alternate History. It also enables commentary, satire and parody on the actual world, by framing notable figures, events and locations in different light. For example, ''[[Creator/HarryTurtledove The Two Georges]]'' features RichardNixon UsefulNotes/RichardNixon as [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman a used car salesman]] in a world where America never gained independence from Great Britain; despite it being very unlikely that Nixon would even have been born in this alternate world, his presence allows the reader to see how different things are and to gain both an insight into and commentary on Nixon himself.



InSpiteOfANail aside, it can be quite effective having historical figures appear in your story in drastically different contexts to demonstrate how the world is different; the aforementioned President Joe [=McCarthy=] for example, or used-car-salesman RichardNixon. Again, make sure that they're accurate and appropriate for the historical setting, and keep in mind what's credible; Roman Emperor [[RichardNixon Richardus Nixonus]] is possibly stretching things a bit too far.

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InSpiteOfANail aside, it can be quite effective having historical figures appear in your story in drastically different contexts to demonstrate how the world is different; the aforementioned President Joe [=McCarthy=] for example, or used-car-salesman RichardNixon. UsefulNotes/RichardNixon. Again, make sure that they're accurate and appropriate for the historical setting, and keep in mind what's credible; Roman Emperor [[RichardNixon [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Richardus Nixonus]] is possibly stretching things a bit too far.
8th Oct '15 7:54:00 PM jormis29
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** To see an example of this in action, try ''ExMachina'', in which a superhero partially averts 9/11. (Only one of the Twin Towers is destroyed.)

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** To see an example of this in action, try ''ExMachina'', ''ComicBook/ExMachina'', in which a superhero partially averts 9/11. (Only one of the Twin Towers is destroyed.)
17th May '15 11:16:34 AM nombretomado
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Conversely, InSpiteOfANail is also quite important; it's often easier for writers and readers to imagine how differently the world might have gone if they're able to see something that's familiar to them slightly altered, despite how unlikely it would be that this element would even exist in the Alternate History. It also enables commentary, satire and parody on the actual world, by framing notable figures, events and locations in different light. For example, ''[[HarryTurtledove The Two Georges]]'' features RichardNixon as [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman a used car salesman]] in a world where America never gained independence from Great Britain; despite it being very unlikely that Nixon would even have been born in this alternate world, his presence allows the reader to see how different things are and to gain both an insight into and commentary on Nixon himself.

to:

Conversely, InSpiteOfANail is also quite important; it's often easier for writers and readers to imagine how differently the world might have gone if they're able to see something that's familiar to them slightly altered, despite how unlikely it would be that this element would even exist in the Alternate History. It also enables commentary, satire and parody on the actual world, by framing notable figures, events and locations in different light. For example, ''[[HarryTurtledove ''[[Creator/HarryTurtledove The Two Georges]]'' features RichardNixon as [[RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman a used car salesman]] in a world where America never gained independence from Great Britain; despite it being very unlikely that Nixon would even have been born in this alternate world, his presence allows the reader to see how different things are and to gain both an insight into and commentary on Nixon himself.



* ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', HarryTurtledove; the epitome of the "What if the South won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar?" stories. Actually, just about anything by Harry Turtledove, from ''Ruled Britannia'' to the recent ''The Man with the Iron Heart''. Ward Moore's ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' is perhaps the most prominent "classical" example of this theme.

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* ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', HarryTurtledove; Creator/HarryTurtledove; the epitome of the "What if the South won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar?" stories. Actually, just about anything by Harry Turtledove, from ''Ruled Britannia'' to the recent ''The Man with the Iron Heart''. Ward Moore's ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' is perhaps the most prominent "classical" example of this theme.
30th Apr '15 1:18:27 PM nombretomado
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* ''TheGunsOfTheSouth'', HarryTurtledove; the epitome of the "What if the South won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar?" stories. Actually, just about anything by Harry Turtledove, from ''Ruled Britannia'' to the recent ''The Man with the Iron Heart''. Ward Moore's ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' is perhaps the most prominent "classical" example of this theme.

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* ''TheGunsOfTheSouth'', ''Literature/TheGunsOfTheSouth'', HarryTurtledove; the epitome of the "What if the South won UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar?" stories. Actually, just about anything by Harry Turtledove, from ''Ruled Britannia'' to the recent ''The Man with the Iron Heart''. Ward Moore's ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' is perhaps the most prominent "classical" example of this theme.
15th Aug '14 10:13:30 AM TheOneWhoTropes
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What if [[AdolfHitler Hitler]] [[TheBadGuyWins won]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]]? What if [[TheBadGuyWins the South triumphed]] at [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Gettysburg]]? What if things [[CubanMissileCrisis went a bit wrong in October 1962]]? What if [[Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} superheroes were real, and the Cold War got worse]]? What if I [[Series/DoctorWho turned left instead of right at the traffic lights]]?

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What if [[AdolfHitler [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]] [[TheBadGuyWins won]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]]? What if [[TheBadGuyWins the South triumphed]] at [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Gettysburg]]? What if things [[CubanMissileCrisis went a bit wrong in October 1962]]? What if [[Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} superheroes were real, and the Cold War got worse]]? What if I [[Series/DoctorWho turned left instead of right at the traffic lights]]?
23rd Jan '14 3:46:41 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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23rd Jan '14 3:46:25 PM TheOneWhoTropes
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What if [[AdolfHitler Hitler]] [[TheBadGuyWins won]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]]? What if [[TheBadGuyWins the South triumphed]] at [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar Gettysburg]]? What if things [[CubanMissileCrisis went a bit wrong in October 1962]]? What if [[Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} superheroes were real, and the Cold War got worse]]? What if I [[Series/DoctorWho turned left instead of right at the traffic lights]]?

to:

What if [[AdolfHitler Hitler]] [[TheBadGuyWins won]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]]? What if [[TheBadGuyWins the South triumphed]] at [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Gettysburg]]? What if things [[CubanMissileCrisis went a bit wrong in October 1962]]? What if [[Comicbook/{{Watchmen}} superheroes were real, and the Cold War got worse]]? What if I [[Series/DoctorWho turned left instead of right at the traffic lights]]?



* ''TheGunsOfTheSouth'', HarryTurtledove; the epitome of the "What if the South won the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar?" stories. Actually, just about anything by Harry Turtledove, from ''Ruled Britannia'' to the recent ''The Man with the Iron Heart''. Ward Moore's ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' is perhaps the most prominent "classical" example of this theme.

to:

* ''TheGunsOfTheSouth'', HarryTurtledove; the epitome of the "What if the South won the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar?" UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar?" stories. Actually, just about anything by Harry Turtledove, from ''Ruled Britannia'' to the recent ''The Man with the Iron Heart''. Ward Moore's ''Literature/BringTheJubilee'' is perhaps the most prominent "classical" example of this theme.
19th Jan '14 10:30:36 PM nombretomado
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* ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', by AlanMoore (and its [[{{Film/Watchmen}} film adaptation)]] begins with the idea of unpowered superheroes turning up in the early 1940s, but when a real-life superbeing emerges in the late 1950s, his status as a weapon of the US Government manages to extend the UsefulNotes/ColdWar far beyond- and far more fiercely- its real-life limits. Combine this with Nixon using superheroes to win UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and assassinate the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal and thereby using his popularity to get ''five'' terms in office... An excellent study in Alternate History, as well as in {{Deconstruction}} of the SuperHero genre in general.

to:

* ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', by AlanMoore Creator/AlanMoore (and its [[{{Film/Watchmen}} film adaptation)]] begins with the idea of unpowered superheroes turning up in the early 1940s, but when a real-life superbeing emerges in the late 1950s, his status as a weapon of the US Government manages to extend the UsefulNotes/ColdWar far beyond- and far more fiercely- its real-life limits. Combine this with Nixon using superheroes to win UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and assassinate the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal and thereby using his popularity to get ''five'' terms in office... An excellent study in Alternate History, as well as in {{Deconstruction}} of the SuperHero genre in general.
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