For All Time: circle jerk!

~The Doctor~

Linkies: here, and here.

For All Time is one of the first alternative histories I read on the internet. I loved the depiction of an alternate WWII, the post-war settlements, and the depiction of the USSR slowly encroaching upon the West. Unfortunately, I could never finish it.

Maybe it's best I didn't. Because, from the Sixties onward, the entire World goes bat-shit insane.

Don't get me wrong; it's great reading. I was hooked, quite literally. I sat staring at the screen in horror when the first shipments of "Equatorial Meat" began arriving in Bokasso's France.

But this is whole problem.

Cannibalistic France?

A resurgent Scandinavian Empire?

England, leaving the Union of Great Britiain and Northern Ireland?!

The "Butcher of Rostov", leader of the Soviet Union???!!!

Jim Jones, President of the USA??????!!!!!!

And then a US General performs a coup d'etat, and America occupies Mexico, Canada, and nukes India. Not to mention 35% of Eurasia being infected with AIDs, due to a defective Soviet blood bank (IIRC). Russia and China glow in the dark, Europe is broken into a half-dozen French successor states and a resurgent Germany. Africa is divided between South Africa, the East African Union, and Colonial French states. Oh, did I mention Dr. Evil!Kim Jong-il, who threatens to detonate a 250,000 MT nuke if he isn't given control of Japan and Manchuria.

And L. Neil Smith is US President in 2005.

Personally, I'm wondering what has to say on this work. IMO, it's not bad. But it isn't exactly good, either.:(

(Forgive the n00b. I know there's a discussion thread on this, but it's nearly two years old.)


I think it is meant to be somewhat comical in how horrible everything turns out. Its almost like the Draka universe in that the physical laws have been turned on their head post-POD: in FaT, everything bad that could have possibly happened actually happens. Or at least that's what the author intended.

From a plausibility view, all of this could have happened... except for the part about Kim build his super-nuke. That was impossible. Maybe it was just as a bluff and I'm reading things too literally, and the nuke was actually very small. The point is that Kim could not have created such an enormous weapon with so little time and funds. It would have been more possible for him to make a cobalt bomb that bathes the region in radiation (and even that would be a feat).

As an artistic piece, For All Time is fantastic, but must be lumped with other 'asthetically pleasing but implausible' timelines such as the Domination timeline, TL-191, Worldwar, Red Alert, etc. etc. The professional cadre of alternate historians (which I hope most here agree to belonging to) prefer exploring what happens after a point of divergence with as much realism and plausibility as possible, a more worthy cause, I believe, than trying to get a specific result which often results in implausible assertions.
Never read it, going to now.

I, for one, never got caught up in plausability for the most part. If the story is good, the plausability doesnt mean as much to me. If the story is bad, or its so implausable (Ie: Nazis in 1941 flying spaceships) then its a problem.
The thing is, even if FAN gets really implausible, it's still one of the most comprehensive AHs online. Only a few such as Decades of Darkness manage to match it in terms of size and scope. I guess what I'm saying is that whether you like it or not, go forth and write more alt-hist sagas, people!
Hey, thats the FaT file I uploaded to my blog back in January. The internets a small place after all!

I'm crazy about FaT, wish there was more supplementary material for it and a more fleshed out '80s and '90s, but I consider it an ideal piece of AH fiction...not technical, but enjoyable because of the dark mirror vision of our world it shows us that is eerily plausible.

Speaking of which, anyone know how to get in touch with author Mike Davis/Chester A. Arthur?
Yeah, the name dropping was cool until the late 60s when it became a little ridiculous. I think it's because the author started to take requests... :rolleyes: