Writing alternate history fiction

Some critics believe that the references to a counter-earth suggest that the world portrayed in Ada is a delusion in the mind of the hero another favorite theme of Dick's novels. If Burgoyne had won at Saratoga work so well; they are in essence magic tricks where the reader is fooled into concentrating on the places where the author wants their attention.

He can certainly destroy all things that have been made, so that they do not exist now. On the one hand they can dedicate themselves to informing their reader. When we write alternate histories or even historical fantasies there is an understandable temptation to shoe-horn massive amounts of research into the text.

Definition[ edit ] The Collins English Dictionary defines alternative history as "a genre of fiction in which the author speculates on how the course of history might have been altered if a particular historical event had had a different outcome.

Forstchen have written a novel,in which the U. This idea can also be found in Asimov's novel The End of Eternity. Depending again on the genre, an inaccurate or poor understanding of history can affect how credible your Alternate History is.

Fatherlandby Robert Harrisis set in Europe following the Nazi victory. Heinlein in his novelette Elsewhenin which a professor trains his mind to move his body across timelines.

Henry Moseley applies this theory to "degauss the effects of cold iron and release the goetic forces. What if the South triumphed at Gettysburg?

Kennedywho survived the assassination attempt on him in Some posit points of divergence, but some also feature magic altering history all along. In one novel of this type, H. World War II produced alternate history for propaganda: Several writers have posited points of departure for such a world but then have injected time splitters from the future or paratime travel, for instance James P.

But in a world very similar to our own, where the tiniest of changes happened, they were. An Alternative Evolution by Dougal Dixona book chronicling the world had the dinosaurs not died out 65 million years ago but instead had kept the mammals in small rodent -like forms.

Casting Director In Spite of a Nail 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 Richard Nixon.

Alternate History

The second is how believably the events of the story lead into each other. Federal Government after Albert Gallatin joins the Whiskey Rebellion in and eventually leads to the creation of a libertarian utopia. Because of this, the AH author who wishes to experiment with WWII timelines can be relatively assured that their audience possesses enough knowledge to appreciate any changes.

Strikingly, the characters in Ada seem to acknowledge their own world as the copy or negative version, calling it "Anti-Terra" while its mythical twin is the real "Terra.

For example, Metal Gear 2: Such "paratime" stories may include speculation that the laws of nature can vary from one universe to the next, providing a science fictional explanation—or veneer—for what is normally fantasy. It was quite a striking image, but in a sense was rather too generic for the book.

Earlier inthese two trends came together. In Eric Flint 's seriesa small town in West Virginia is transported to 17th century central Europe and drastically changes the course of the Thirty Years' Warwhich was then underway.

Why not try this interesting mix of Alternate History and the Super Hero genre on for size? It allows the reader to imagine that no matter how small their actions seem, they ultimately make a difference in determining how history is formed.

The protagonist, autodidact Hodgins Backmaker, travels back to the aforementioned battle and inadvertently changes history, resulting in the emergence of our own timeline and the consequent victory of the Union instead.

World War II produced alternate history for propaganda: Sprague de Campin which an American academic travels to Italy at the time of the Byzantine invasion of the Ostrogoths.

To be sure, it can come about that from now on and hereafter Rome does not exist; for it can be destroyed. Noticing a pattern, here? A somewhat similar approach was taken by Robert A. However, they differ significantly in that typically the protagonist the time traveler is aware of the divergence or its possibility.But an alternate history novel can easily turn into a disaster of historic proportions, if you don't know what you're doing.

Here are 10 writing mistakes that authors of alternate history fall into. We talked to some of our favorite alt-history authors, to find out what classic mistakes bother them.

Here's what they told us. Sep 15,  · I'm writing an alternate history science fiction book. That means that I have to pick and choose what historical facts I'm going to keep, and which I'm going to toss out in favor of the new history I'm creating.

Alternate History Fiction: 3 Useful Rules You Should Know

Alternate History (sometimes abbreviated AH) is the most frequently used term for the fictional genre which often presupposes a change of a minor historical event that produces an incredible series of changes in the world, diverging it from Our Timeline (OTL) and creating a new, alternate and.

Techniques in Writing Alternate History. by Chris Gerwel on February 22, If futuristic science fiction is about imagining a possible tomorrow, then alternate histories are about imagining a possible present.

This at once constrains our world-building. Alternate History Alternate history is a subgenre of speculative fiction (or science fiction) and historical fiction that is set in a world in which history has diverged from the actual history of the world. This is because alternate history fiction is concerned with stories stemming from real life.

An AH story begins with a single fact that differentiates the world of the story from our own, and goes on to detail the events that might have occurred if this fact was true.

Writing alternate history fiction
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