Twelve years ago, when I was still studying for my undergraduate degree at Cambridge, I decided to start writing a little alternate history timeline project I had been pondering for a while, under the entirely spur-of-the-moment title "Look to the West" (see screenshot below for proof, link to a very old thread
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Somehow, this project has grown to a wordcount exceeding "War and Peace" and is still going - in fact I have only just reached the 20th century from the start date of 1727! In that time my grasp of history and of writing has certainly expanded, but it is still humbling to see this work praised by readers, when to me it always felt like a bit of an amateurish side project to my real passion for writing science fiction (and AH but in the narrative prose style). Like Captain Nuttall in the framing device at the beginning, my opinions were divided on whether this world was worth further exploration. But people seem to like it, so it has continued, and long may it continue into the future. (Obligatory shameless plug for my Amazon Author Page
where Volumes I, II and III are available, and IV is currently being worked on.)
You may be wondering why I choose today to celebrate the anniversary and not January 19th when I posted the first part. Well, if you look at that screenshot again, you'll find that the 'far future era' in which I chose to set the framing device - of inter-timeline explorers researching the background history of the strange alternate present they were exploring - was the 18th of April, 2019.
I now know how the writers of Star Trek felt when, from the vantage point of the 1960s, they decided that 1992 was comfortably far enough in the future to set a future World War in, because clearly Star Trek wouldn't still be being made by then...whoops.
Let this be a lesson to you all! Though it actually doesn't matter here because the primary timeline in Look to the West was never meant to be our timeline anyway. But it's still a reminder of how we take the passage of time for granted.
Anyway, now back to editing Volume IV to prepare it for publication...fortunately I've not found many humdinger continuity errors yet, aside from, er, skipping a generation of the royal family at one point...
18/04/2019 (for real!)