Petike's not-so-secret timeline, POD and resource database project

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Petike, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    To mark my 4th anniversary on this board, my recent name day and today's 12th anniversary of my micronation, I've got a minor treat for all :

    Calling all AH.commers ! Calling all AH.commers ! :)

    Do you know of any interesting PODs, POD discussions or sources on OTL history that concern a specific country ?

    Do you know of any timelines on this board that tackled a certain country but were abandoned by their authors or forgotten about, etc. ?

    Would you like to help with bringing them to the fore and help getting them more into the spotlight, so that other members of the board could use them for inspiration (and comparison) for TL ideas of their own ?

    Then I welcome you to my latest AH.com Wiki reform !

    Why am I doing this mammoth piece of work ? Simple answer : To preserve interesting AH ideas and archive them properly, so they won't vanish from the collective memory of AH.com and will be preserved for future generations of members.


    Introducing :

    The List of Countries By Timeline - Ever wondered whether places like Honduras, Angola, Norway, Andorra, Laos or Hawaii could be good settings for allohistorical narratives ? This overview is supposed to answer that question. A rudimentary version was started years ago by Max Sinister, but now, for the first time, it's reached this highly ambitious new iteration. How ambitious, you ask ? It means to cover every single inhabited territory in the world, whether sovereign country or overseas territory.

    The TLs are listed by present day countries, but any TL that took place within their territory - even in a time when the modern country didn't exist in its current form - is worthy of an entry. So, if you know of any TLs that took place in a certain country and you want to prove the cliché of "nothing ever happens here in AH" wrong, you have an excellent opportunity ! Don't be affraid to add an obscure appearance of the country in a TL and don't be affraid of mentioning a more obscure TL ! This list is geared towards equality and comprehensiveness.

    Each country's TL page has the following sections :

    Title (self-explanatory, e.g. French Timelines and Scenarios)
    First heading - Country XY-centered TLs/TLs centered on Country XY
    First list
    - as expected from the above heading, this is a list of TLs that are centered on the country that the page specializes on. What does "being centered" mean ? It roughly means that this country isn't a mere sideshow of the TL, its appearances in the TL are absolutely crucial to the storyline/plot and its appearances are very frequent (i.e. in pretty much every single update/chapter). Can a TL be centered on more than one country ? Absolutely ! For instance, you have a TL where most of the plot focuses on the events in Italy, Canada and Kenya. The last line always contains a PSA-style message encouraging any visitor to add an entry, if he/she knows of any good example. Know of an underrated Kingdom of Italy TL ? Tap Enter at the end of the penultimate line and write down its name, link and author to the newly created line. It's as simple as that.
    Second heading - TLs in which the country makes appearances/TLs in which the territory makes appearances
    Second list
    - on a technical level, this is practically the same as the first list. There is only one key difference : It only lists minor appearances of countries. If, say, San Marino makes a brief appearance once or twice in your 1000-page-long TL, there is no need to list that TL among the TLs centered on San Marino. These are just brief appearances of San Marino, done mostly to add flavour to the world and flesh out the details - but they are rarely if ever crucial to the TL at large. Therefore, use this second list under the second heading to list such appearances. There is, of course, a far higher probability that San Marino will make an apperance in a TL centered on modern Italy, than in a TL about a cold war between the Aztecs and Hellenistic Greeks.
    See Also - the staple of many pages on the Wiki, and the pages on this list of TLs by country are no exception. This section is meant to provide branching links to the following :
    1.) A page with a closer description of the country, available in the offtopic section.
    2.) A backlink to the master list of TLs by country.
    3.) A page with an equivalent of this list, but focusing on PODs by country instead of its appearances in TLs.
    4.) A page with an equivalent of this list, but focusing on resources about the country's history, geography, etc., instead of its appearances in TLs.


    Points of Divergence : Specific countries and territories - this is virtually identical to the List of Countries By Timeline in basic concept. The key difference is that it lists country-specific PODs instead of appearances of countries in TLs.

    Each country's POD page has the following sections :

    Title (self-explanatory, e.g. Points of Divergence : France)
    First heading - First historical period
    Second heading - Second historical period
    etc.

    The generic headings for the eras are these :
    (first heading) Prehistory - prehistoric PODs concerning that country
    (second heading) Antiquity - PODs between prehistoric and medieval ones that concern that country
    (third heading) The Middle Ages - roughly medieval-era PODs concerning the country
    (fourth heading) Early Modern History - early modern PODs in that country
    (fifth heading) 18th and 19th century - 18th and 19th century PODs conc... you get the drill...
    (six heading) 20th century - 20th century PODs concerning the country
    (seventh heading) ASB/ISOT/Geological - ASB PODs in concerning the country, nuff' said

    What is that ? Are you screaming "Foul ! That generic list of eras has a Western cultural bias !" ? Well, do not fear ! It is just a generic, default list of headings, after all. ;) If you know of a universally accepted classification of the country's history into certain eras, go ahead and modify the headings to better fit the country's different historical and cultural context. A good example of this would be the page of Iceland or the pages that were already established long ago and simply incorporated into this new list (since they were that good) : Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Japan, China. As you can see, none of these use the generic template, they have succesfully adopted their own (which better fits their different historical experience as nations).

    Similarly to the PSA-ish messages of "feel free to add a TL to the list on this country's page", each page on the PODs by country list contains the equivalent formulaic phrases : "Know of any PODs or POD discussions ? Feel free to add them."

    See Also - again, this section is meant to provide branching links to the following :
    1.) A page with a closer description of the country, available in the offtopic section.
    2.) A backlink to the master list of PODs by country.
    3.) A page with an equivalent of this list, but focusing on appearances of the country in timelines instead of PODs native to that country.
    4.) A page with an equivalent of this list, but focusing on resources about the country's history, geography, etc., instead of PODs native to that country.


    List of Resources By Country and Region - this works on the same principles as the first two lists, but lists useful historical, cultureal and other resources (either on the board or off-site) that can help you while you ponder about a country's OTL history and what to do with it in the ATL you're writing. These resource pages actually have an even simpler structure than the TL and POD pages :

    Title (self-explanatory, e.g. Resources : France)
    Simple list of links - that's it, really. No headings, nothing, only a list of links to the resources. Just put in a link with an appropriately descriptive title. In addition, you can add a dash after the link, and give a somewhat more detailed description on what the link provides, written after the aforementioned dash. It is advised that you surround both sides of the link's brackets with the double asterisks, in order to make the formatting of the link into Bold script. This will provide better readability of the link.
    See Also - again, this section is meant to provide branching links to the following :
    1.) A page with a closer description of the country, available in the offtopic section.
    2.) A backlink to the master list of resources by country.
    3.) A page with an equivalent of this list, but focusing on appearances of the country in timelines instead of PODs native to that country.
    4.) A page with an equivalent of this list, but focusing on PODs by country instead of its appearances in TLs.


    So, I hope you'll like this minor innovation of mine. As I've said, I've only continued the work started by others years ago and tried to streamline it and expand it as much as humanly possible.

    I'd be happy to see any contributions to this. After all, that's the whole point why I made it in the first place, besides archiving collected board lore. ;)
     
  2. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    Bumpity bump. Absolutely no one interested ? :(
     
  3. Thande Christ RISES! Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Very cool idea. I assume you already know about this database on the wiki, albeit rather less ambitious in scope than yours.
     
    Petike likes this.
  4. Samm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Great idea I ought to be able to put some stuff on it soon.
     
  5. Samm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Just wondering can we list countries like the Confederacy or that never really successfully formed, countries like the Draka that are purely fictional or like Atlantis which never even could have existed; all of which often appear in timelines.
     
  6. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    So far, no - but I plan to amend this by including special pages for distinct defunct countries or empires of the OTL past. There is already something like that in the PODs by country list, but the list of TLs by country lacks such a thing. Though, of course, you can add Ottoman TLs under the Turkish ones for the time being - even though it doesn't do the historical extent of the empire justice (since it wasn't just Anatolia like modern Turkey, of course). So far, a good solution to this would be listing the various smaller countries under the larger one they united or reunited into : For instance, if a TL has both a separate USA and CSA, mention them both under a TL entry in the United States of America TL page. Another example would be the German states from Thande's Look to the West, which I've listed all equally under the same entry on the page reserved for German TLs. Generally speaking, if the country is smaller or has always been within the boundaries of the modern day version of the country, just include it on the page of that country. It doesn't need separate pages, because the list would soon grow to a ridiculous extent and would become barely navigable. However, as I've already said - large and long-existing OTL empires that are hard to pigeonhole into any single country (Byzantines, Ottomans, etc.) will get separate pages.

    I might do something for popular fictional continents like Atlantis, if there's a sufficient amount of ASB/geological PODs for it. Completely fictional countries should just be listed under the territory of the OTL country they started in, even if they achieve to build a global empire - therefore, the Draka series should just be listed under South Africa.

    But there is one important thing I need to add (and I plan to include this rule in the manual of style or FAQ for the pages) : Do not add countries from already popular and well-established works, including the Draka example. I want those lists to primarily promote AH.com timelines or timelines done on other sites by non-published authors. The popular published works have their own wiki pages purely in the Alternate History directory, which is meant as a primer for beginning AH fans or new members of the board. That's why they aren't listed in the master list of TLs and scenarios either (the one that is broken down according to eras on the main page of the TL directory). Besides, these already popular works are known widely enough to be found on various review sites or in databases like Uchronia, which give sufficient amounts of info on the setting and PODs of those books.

    Indeed I do, but I'm not too familiar with it, its structure or its history so far, so I've mostly steered clear of it for now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  7. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    A small PS : So far, not every independent country in places like Africa or Oceania has its own page. The reason for this is rather simple. Their numbers are rather large - on par with Europe or Asia - but they are also less likely to crop up in most TLs. Some African and Oceanian territories seem to be unmentioned in AH altogether. I was therefore a little more careful with these and only included countries with a sufficient amount of known TLs. New country pages will continue to appear gradually - particularly in the case of Africa - but first I'll have to scour the board a little more thoroughly. If you think there is a good TL which partially takes place in some unlisted country - like, say, Swaziland :)D) - you can try to add the page for the country or notify me to do so. If you do it yourself, just copy the template from an existing country page, delete or rewrite entries that don't fit the country of the new page, then save.
     
  8. omega21 Keyboard Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Betwixt an island and a great Kingdom
    This certainly seems like something worthwhile to work on. It might make the site less intimidating for new members who, for example, might just be initially interested to look for TLs about their own country. I'll be sure to drop by and make some additions as and when I find something!
     
  9. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    Yes, it is intended to provide a more friendlier overview of TLs and related stuff outside of the era-by-era and theme-by-theme overviews.

    Believe me, I'll be glad. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  10. omega21 Keyboard Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2011
    Location:
    Betwixt an island and a great Kingdom
    Awright, I made a small change to my home country's page. Will likely be frequenting that nexus of pages, for nationalistic, selfish, haughty reasons. :D Feel free to drop me a PM if there's anything, Peitke!
     
  11. Petike Sky Pirate Extraordinaire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Clockpunk Zemplín Kingdom / Franz Josef's Land
    Update : I've decided to add the rest of the African countries to the list. It's more or less finished now. It won't make the pages any longer than the Asian list, so what the heck...
     
  12. Evan Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness!

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Quiet Resistance, People's Republic of Cascadia
    Bump.

    Thanks, Petike! I've been filling out several pages - specifically, USA, CSA, Panama, Wales, and the Falklands. (Also, the US Civil War, though that's not part of the "countries" project.) I've also added pages for independent Deseret and Texas.

    I'd greatly appreciate help. There're thousands of pages of good discussion out there that're being lost because of no classification!
     
    Petike likes this.