ALTERNATE NOTIONS (Miscellaneous Thread for ‘Books and Media’

Should there be a ‘Miscellaneous’ thread for this forum?

  • Yes please!

    Votes: 15 93.8%
  • No thank you

    Votes: 1 6.3%

  • Total voters
    16
I'm ashamed to admit that it's taken me this long to fix on EARTH VS THE LIZARDS (perhaps EARTH VS THE LIZARDS FROM SPACE!) as an umbrella title for the WORLDWAR/COLONISATION/HOMEWARD BOUND series by the most learned Harry Turtledove.
 
Also, I keep wondering what the image of a North & South America settled by humans before Europeans arrived would look like as conjured up by Speculative Fiction types from the world of A DIFFERENT FLESH? (Where Homo habilis got the Americas and Homo sapiens seems to have been confined to the Old World ... and Oceania); for some reason the image of an Americas settled by herdsmen of a sort comparable to the Saami occurs to me.

Actually, I'd be surprised if Speculative Fiction types didn't pay more attention to the notion of an Americas where Humans & sims co-existed (amicably or more probably less than amicably) before the Jamestown colonists arrived; almost as morally-certain as I am that any Norsemen paying a flying visit to this version of the Americas would have dubbed sims "Trolls" on sight.
 
Last edited:
ALSO ... I would dearly love to see the artist Simon Roy illustrate either A DIFFERENT FLESH or the ATLANTIS series and one can't decide which would be cooler; look up his DINOSAUROIDS if you want to see why.

...

Now that I think on it, he'd be pretty darned good for the WORLDWAR (ahem, EARTH VS THE LIZARDS!) series to boot.
 
It just struck me that THE TWO GEORGES timeline might be an excellent venue in which to mount a dramatisation of the consequences to a successful Irish Home Rule Bill that was actually implemented - a profoundly Anglophilic setting which nevertheless has plenty of room for an undercurrent of tension between a Pro British establishment and an Anglophobic counterculture.

I wonder if it’s the Irish Republicans or the Ulster Provincialists who cause more problems for Royal Ireland?
 
Also, one would be lying if the mention of a “novel of
Imagination” called THE UNITED COLONIES TRIUMPHANT didn’t make me smile - despite one of it’s major elements being an Independent America where slavery lingers on into the days of Industrialisation - as it’s always interesting to wonder what Alternate History as imagined by a parallel timeline looks like.
 
The notion that THE TWO GEORGES timeline is "Earth Downton Abbey" has just occurred to me and I can't quite decide if this nickname actually fits the subject (It makes me laugh, in any case); perhaps Earth DUE SOUTH might be equally plausible?

In any case, it's much easier to make a case for the key theme of this particular timeline being "There are worse things in life than being British" (I'm sure quite a few historians, international patriots and the odd British citizen would disagree with me, but THE TWO GEORGES setting manages to be both visibly flawed and one of the most civilised places Doctor Turtledove has ever written).
 
The notion that THE TWO GEORGES timeline is "Earth Downton Abbey" has just occurred to me and I can't quite decide if this nickname actually fits the subject (It makes me laugh, in any case); perhaps Earth DUE SOUTH might be equally plausible?

In any case, it's much easier to make a case for the key theme of this particular timeline being "There are worse things in life than being British" (I'm sure quite a few historians, international patriots and the odd British citizen would disagree with me, but THE TWO GEORGES setting manages to be both visibly flawed and one of the most civilised places Doctor Turtledove has ever written).
Playing this song while reading Two George’s has been known to increase the verisimilitude of the reading experience by 200% 😃

 
So I recently discovered on Reddit a sort of reboot of the old United States of America and Oceania timeline,done by a user named NK Ryzov. It is amazingly well-done.
 
I shall have to look it up then - this would be "Oceania" as in "George Orwell" rather than Australia & neighbours, am I correct?
 
One and a bit books into my re-read of Doctor Turtledove's DARKNESS novels and it has only now struck me that the Marquis Skarnu is, more or less, a French Marquis who happens to be a member of the Maquis ... and in French, those two names are pronounced more or less identically.

Just when you think Harry Turtledove couldn't possibly be more plain-spoken, he sneaks up on you with an acutely cunning play on words (and given his demonstrated appetite for that sort of thing - c.f. EVERY INCH A KING - I'm quite convinced that it's entirely deliberate).
 
By the way, EVERY INCH A KING is a hoot; I'm not sure it's for everyone, but if you enjoy films by the late Danny Kaye you'll probably have a grand old time with this novel.
 
Some days I really do wish one had a better grasp of scale on maps; I would love to work out just how large the diverse countries of Derlavai are, based on the assumption that their planet is more or less the size of Earth.
 
Oh, and on one last DARKNESS-related note, it recently struck me that the cleverest thing about these novels is the way in which they allow Doctor Turtledove to explore the War from Points of View marginalised in most pop culture of the Second World War without running headlong into the Gung Ho Anglo-American “We won the war, you chaps!” division and their tendency to grump when obliged to recognise the efforts of nations other than US or British Empire.
 
Reading about Japanese ideas for their ‘Co-Prosperity Sphere’ makes me wonder what sort of story would allow readers a sufficiently interesting glimpse into a less commonly explored side of an Axis Victory scenario.

Perhaps a story set IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMIES showing the Japanese scramble in the aftermath of the Fuhrer’s slump into irrelevance?
 
You know you have an Alternate History problem when you find yourself looking up the grandchildren of the late James Longstreet ... especially when your reaction to discovering that he didn't have very many of them is "Dagnabit, how dare you fail to do your duty to SOUTHERN VICTORY fan fiction?" rather than "Dear me, did General James use up all the family libido and leave none for his boys?".
 
You know CURIOUS NOTIONS (from the CROSSTIME series) struck me on reading it as only a few modifications away from a Timeline 191 sequel - a heavily German influenced USA with a population enduring all the delights of an untrusting administration?

All it would take is for the Socialists to have done less well at the ballot box (or so I suspect).
 
I was able to enjoy a few hours in the library today and was lucky enough to stumble over ... well, it's a long list, but the most immediately relevant find was a book giving illustrated examples of coins from the diverse nations of the 20th Century, which inspired me to wonder how different currency would be in the STORM FRONT/CHOSEN OF THE VALKYRIES/RAGNAROK timeline of Mr Christopher Nuttall.

For one thing I'd bet British currency would still be pre-decimal as late as AD 1985, there not being a European Customs Union the United Kingdom would be willing to join (much less keen to accommodate) when the Third Reich holds the whip hand on the Continent (On a more cheerful note, there's probably still a reigning monarch on Italian currency, so not all the changes are prompted by Fascist B*******).
 
Interesting mental image of the SOUTHERN VICTORY timeline US reading public reading THE WAR BETWEEN THE PROVINCES series - completely unaltered from the version that appeared in our own timeline - and finding the notion of a setting where the ‘King Avram’s’ Army triumphs over the rebels quite the most fantastic, yet appealing element of a setting with floating carpets, unicorn cavalry, swords & sorcery!
 
I wonder what the late Michael Collin’s attitude towards the various parties involved with the Second World War (and the Cold War) might have been, had he lived to see them?

Odd mental image of him being Winston S. Churchill’s friendliest enemy (possibly with a dynamic towards the British Empire a little like that of Jan Smuts, another enemy who wound up doing business with the British in preference to an endless, wasteful struggle - though with more of an eye to Irish independence than “Imperial solidarity”).

It’s certainly interesting to note that Collins’ older contemporary Eamon de Valera (1882-1975) lived to see the moon landing; it’s downright amusing to note that, had General Collins survived to do likewise (at age 79), he might well have been much amused to learn that one of the astronauts on Apollo 11 was an ex-Army brat called Michael Collins …
 
Top