Thande

Donor
Apologies for bumping the thread, but I thought today was a day worthy of commemoration - for more details, see the post below (also posted in NPC)

Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on LTTW over the years!

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):

View attachment 454179

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.

Today.

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...

T. Anderson
18/04/2019 (for real!)
 

Thande

Donor
Thanks everyone.

One thing I forgot to mention in my post - another way you can tell it was written in 2007 is that I pulled out a random generic English name for the Director of the institute and came up with "Stephen Rogers". Because, you see, in 2007 Captain America was a fairly obscure superhero for a general audience (I barely knew the name myself) and it would never have occurred to me to think 'maybe don't do that one' in the sense of "Clark Kent" or "Bruce Wayne". Shows how much the world can change...
 
Thanks everyone.

One thing I forgot to mention in my post - another way you can tell it was written in 2007 is that I pulled out a random generic English name for the Director of the institute and came up with "Stephen Rogers". Because, you see, in 2007 Captain America was a fairly obscure superhero for a general audience (I barely knew the name myself) and it would never have occurred to me to think 'maybe don't do that one' in the sense of "Clark Kent" or "Bruce Wayne". Shows how much the world can change...
And I bet that everyone thought of it as a deliberately ironic reference (I surely did, though I read that around 2015 I think).
 

Thande

Donor
A discussion on the SLP forums led V-J to point out that he was sure LTTW was older than 2007. I think he was thinking of the fact that I actually posted random-musings maps in 2006 while planning the TL. Of course, these maps ended up looking rather different to the final product, but see if you can spot which bits were retained (in some way) and which ideas were abandoned!

I think this map is the first thing I ever posted with the "Look to the West" name on it (which was just made up on the spur of the moment for the map, IIRC) and Windows tells me it was made in August 2006 to be posted on the map thread. I suspect it wasn't posted then, though, as I think I didn't have home internet access at that time, only at university and I was off at that time.

upload_2019-4-20_13-53-54.png
 
I remember seeing another old "beta" map of LTTW with a "World Socialist Combine" in South America. I think the map was just of the Americas, and also had versions of the ENA, Superia, and Carolina. Does anyone know where I could find that?
 
Yeah I just had the thread on watched so I had no idea. @Thande should really have bumped this to let all of us know, I mean it would help jumpstart attention and is maybe a good idea for the future.
 
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