Sea Lion Press New Book Releases Announcements Thread

Thande

Donor
Hi everyone. Due to Various Events this thread hasn't been updated for a while, so Meadow has kindly agreed to let me do more regular updates here on SLP's new and previous releases. Fun fact: we now have 94 (NINETY-FOUR) books out on Amazon and alternative suppliers!

Firstly I'll be reproducing the announcement post here on our most recent publications. I intend to keep this thread active in the future by doing (probably) weekly updates covering one of our previous books, as I'm sure there are plenty of people who've joined AH.com in recent years who may be unaware of Sea Lion Press' publication work.

Thande

Link to the page below - use this if you want the links to work, I've just image screencapped it for now!

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An earlier and uncompleted version of CSA All the Way was previously posted in the AH.com Writers' forum by @Fenwick , here: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/csa-all-the-way.430142/

@Nick Sumner has also posted an AH.com thread with some media to support his excellent "Drake's Drum" series, of which this is book 2: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/drakes-drum.469776


User RoAwesomeFace on the SLP forums has also very kindly put together a page on Goodreads of all the SLP releases in one place. If you've read any of our books and liked them, please leave us a rating and/or review - it's much quicker and easier than on Amazon (but we do want Amazon reviews as well if you get time!)
 

Thande

Donor
For those who may not be aware, some months ago we started running AH-relevant articles on the SLP frontpage to help keep the site active and draw new readers/posters.

Recent ones include a World War I series by David Flin, a Thirty Years War PODs series by Alex Richards, a guide to naval history by me, and much more.

Check out our articles on the frontpage here, there's links at the top for an archive of old articles. Some of these have been collected in the book "How to Write Alternate History", available for purchase here from Amazon and other sources.

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Thande

Donor
Thanks to CalBear for retitling this thread (and unstickying the redundant older SLP one) to reflect the regular updates I'll be doing here. I'm thinking of also posting a digest of all the articles posted that week here - any thoughts on that?
 

Thande

Donor
Crossposting my announcement in NPC here:

THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE THANDERONS. WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAR US, AH.COMMERS.

(Thinks: maybe I should have opened with a reference that people who haven't seen a 1960s British Supermarionation show will get. Oh well)

It's now been over 4 years since Sea Lion Press was founded by a group of writers who had cut their teeth posting timeline and story content on This Very Forum. The company is run by @Meadow (Meet the New Boss, The People's Flag, co-writer of Agent Lavender and Shuffling the Deck, etc.) and our smashing 1930s-style minimalist covers are done by @Lord Roem (The Limpid Stream, La Isla Blanca, and the other co-writer of those books above). Other founding members include me (Look to the West, The Twilight's Last Gleaming, etc.) @iainbhx (Arose from Out the Azure Main, published in abridged form as the Dislocated to Success series) and @EdT (A Greater Britain, Fight and Be Right). And I would be churlish if I didn't thank @CalBear for letting me do this announcement thread by mentioning his own wildly successful Festung Europa, the published version of The Anglo American-Nazi War.

Since 2015 we have expanded from the original group to take in many other writers who have produced content on AH.com (and now wished to publish enhanced and cleaned-up versions of their drafts). These include @Nick NWO (whose Lancashire Life has been published to critical acclaim as The Boy in the Storm). We have also gained authors from the AH community who did not go through AH.com, such as David Flin (a true veteran of the community, who was married to the late Alison Brooks of SHWI, who coined the phrase 'Alien Space Bats' many years ago), @Nick Sumner of Drake's Drum fame, and @TB3 (Rhys B. Davies) of the excellent Timewreck Titanic (a sample thread was posted on AH.com here)

My sincere apologies to the rest of our authors for not covering them all here, but in my defence, we now publish NINETY-FOUR BOOKS. (See also the Goodreads list kindly put together by RoAwesomeFace).

For a while, due to Events we haven't been updating the announcements thread for new SLP releases in the Books and Media forum. Because of this, you may have missed some of our new releases. Please be assured I have now taken over this thread, so updates will now be forthcoming. I will also be doing rundowns of our old books periodically, because I know there may well be newer AH.com members who don't know about SLP, or our older books, at all. If so, welcome!

If I can make one cheeky request, we always need more reviews on Amazons and Goodreads to try to raise the profile of our books. A lot of the books were first written on AH.com and mention this in their acknowledgements, so they may well boost the profile of this forum too - you scratch our back etc. etc. If you are a writer on this forum with a TL or story, you can also contact us here to discuss the possibility of publication. We do long novels, scrapbook-style stuff like LTTW, short novellas, collections of short stories of vignettes, AH speculation essay collections, all sorts. About the only thing we tend not to publish is stuff that's heavy on the traditional "DATE: STUFF HAPPENS", but even that can appear in appendices.

We also do AH articles on the front page of the SLP site on an (almost) daily basis, so please check those out! https://www.sealionpress.co.uk/

I won't be continuing this thread here, but it's just here to alert you to the main thread in Books and Media. I hope you all enjoy the world of published AH that SLP, with the help of AH.com, has given birth to!

Numbers 1-7 of 94 on Goodreads...so far!
 

Thande

Donor
I've decided that in between publication phases on SLP, I'm going to post updates here where I look at some of our past books for those who didn't experience them the first time around. I've used an Actual Spreadsheet on Actual Excel to randomise the numbers and then I'll be posting the reviews of whichever five books come up first (see below).

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If I see a book that forms part of a series, such as Andy Cooke's The Fifth Lectern or Ed Thomas' The Blue Lotus, I'll wait and then do a separate update another week covering that series.

These updates will mostly consist of me posting the cover image and blurb from the SLP website, with a link to that page for those who want to purchase the book in question - there will be links to Amazon and alternative publication routes. However, when it comes to books I have a personal connection with, I'll also mention my own thoughts, for those interested in the Thoughts of Chariman Thande.
 

Thande

Donor
The Inaugural Thandean Sea Lion Press Book Review of Books (Trigger Warning, Includes Books)

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By a funny coincidence, the Random Factor (Like A Tractor) has drawn mostly books from our earlier tranches - which is good because that's what I wanted. It does also include The People's Flag, which is one of SLP's more recent releases, but - well, I'll just get right into it. (Click the links on the titles to go to the SLP page for that book which contains the links for Amazon and alternative purchase methods).

The People's Flag by Tom Black (Meadow on AHcom):
1917. The Kaiser declines to resume unrestricted submarine warfare.
1919. France collapses into Syndicalist revolution.
1921. Britain signs the 'Peace with Honour', formally ending the Great War.
1925. An incident involving Welsh miners leads to a General Strike, which soon becomes the British Revolution...

In the opening volumes of this faux-history book, scholars from another timeline come together to write a flowery and officially-sanctioned history of the Union of Britain, a socialist republic on the island of Great Britain. From its fiery birth through to bureaucratic political manoeuvres, this book spans the years 1925 to 1940.

Based on notes from early builds of the Hearts of Iron modification 'Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg', and penned by a former 'Kaiserreich' developer, 'The People's Flag' fleshes out the backstory of the Union of Britain, and offers speculative detail on other radically altered countries in the 'Kaiserreich' universe.

Lovers of 'Kaiserreich' and newcomers to the entire setting alike will love Tom Black's ('Agent Lavender', 'Zonen', 'Meet The New Boss') history book from another world.

Thande's thoughts: I'm actually reading this properly for the first time right now, and enjoying it. @Meadow (Tom Black) started posting it here on AH.com waaaay back in 2010, but this version is obviously greatly improved. I particularly enjoyed Meadow's attempt at mimicking Jeremy Clarkson's writing style, from a TL where he grew up in post-Syndicalist Britain and is mainly train-mad rather than car-mad.
Fun fact: seeing the original thread was my first exposure to Meadow and at the time, I thought he was a filthy casual as a result of some of the odder 'writing decisions', not realising the scenario was based on the Kaiserreich mod for Hearts of Iron and thus he was stuck with trying to justify some AH-questionable stuff that had been put in by other people. Funny how things turn out isn't it, now he's running the world's first AH publisher and publishing my books.



Festung Europa by Jon Kacer (CalBear on AHcom):
What if the Third Reich had managed to defeat the USSR? How would the US and Great Britain have reacted? What would have happened to Europe if Hitler and his evil minions had gotten the change to pursue their mad schemes to Germanize the Continent?

If after an uneasy truce the war had reignited, but with the vastly more powerful weapons of the late 1950s replacing the Me-109s and Spitfires? These are a few of the questions that are examined in this landmark work.

Starting with an overview of the world leading up to the resumption of all-out war between the Allies and Nazi state, we see the all-too possible results of the Nazi Party in control of Europe for an additional decade and longer. This is followed by a detailed examination of the tactics and politics that might well have resulted in a WWII far more destructive than what was experienced in our time.

Written in the style of an actual history of the War done years after its conclusion, Festung Europa approaches one of the great “What Ifs” of alternate history in a unique manner.

Thande's thoughts: This book began as "The Anglo-American/Nazi War", written on this forum by @CalBear . Yes that is meant to be the Nazi flag on Europe, but we want to sell this in Germany, where it was assumed at the time we weren't allowed to depict swastikas (I think this was later clarified). This is one of SLP's most popular releases, though its Amazon review score occasionally takes hits from Nazi fanboys upset that Cal portrays 1960s Nazi Germany as not only evil but laughably incompetent, having long since purged anyone who knows what they're doing. I can't say that's a reader demographic group we particularly want to appeal to.


The Curse of Maggie by Tom Anderson (Thande on AHcom):

Since 1979 just four men and two women have occupied Number Ten Downing Street and the office that comes with it, all but one serving for many years. But things could have been different. By contrast, since that same year of 1979, Japan has changed its Prime Minister 14 times and Italy 22 times. What if we lived in a world where Britain was just as much a land of mayfly Prime Ministers as those countries, where no-one since Margaret Thatcher has successfully held the office of Prime Minister for a full five-year parliamentary term? A world where one might almost think that Number Ten was... cursed.

The Curse of Maggie is the tale of another history, a history where our memories of the last three decades are hauntingly familiar yet subtly different, their events shaped by the decisions of many more men and women at the apex of power — but never for very long.

Thande's thoughts: First posted on AH.com. The first of the books on this list by MOI! My first 'proper' British political TL, after a couple of failed attempts. I picked the title to be deliberately controversial, of course. I really enjoyed doing the worldbuilding in this one, with butterflies stemming from John Major cracking down on paparazzi after they drive Princess Diana to suicide - which saves the careers of some public figures, but also means investigative journalists don't find out a number of abusers and scandals. And yes, the "four men and two women" line in the blurb has now been obsoleted by Events!


Making Murder Sound Respectable by Bob Mumby (er, Mumby on AHcom):

“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

The Fascist and Communist dictatorships left a bloody stain on the 20th Century, leaving tens of millions dead in their wake and a bitter taste in the mouth for hundreds of millions more when they encounter those ideologies. But what if they had never got the opportunity to do that damage?

A world where the Russian Revolution didn’t produce a Communist superpower, and Hitler never found success at the ballot box. A world where the political fears and tensions of the 1930s continued, unmolested by the pressures of total global war.

In Making Murder Sound Respectable, Bob Mumby explores this world through a very different British election night, from the perspective of a group of students watching the results on television. While they worry about what kind of curry they want, events unfold in the background that reveal a glimpse of a radically different world. Communist and Fascist thugs clash in the streets, and foreign commentators pontificate on whether the Union Party has strayed too far from Oswald Mosley’s principles, while far from Britain’s shores the forces which have been contained for a century may yet be unleashed.

Thande's thoughts: First posted on AH.com. Mumby's first outing. I've often wondered what the dark side of the apparently unambiguously positive POD of 20th century wars being averted is, and here we see that there are downsides to certain violent ideologies never having been given a chance to discredit themselves. The election night framing device is great and provided inspiration to me. I just wish it was a bit longer!


The Loud Blast that Tears the Skies by Chris Nash (now writing as Katherine Foy; Agent Boot on AHcom):

1908. The United Kingdom stands upon the cusp of a tumultuous century; a century of far-reaching political, social, and economic change. That change will accelerate rapidly within a few short years, as Liberals found the welfare state and reform the British constitution, and as a Sarajevo gunman plunges the world into total war.

But what if the meteor that harmlessly crashed into remote Siberian forest in the summer of 1908, had instead brought death and destruction to Edwardian London? What if the British Empire, at the height of her confidence and hubris, lost both her capital and her government? What kind of world would have emerged?

In The Loud Blast That Tears The Skies, Chris Nash explores a world where First World War generals rebuilt a shattered Britain, where blood is shed not in the fields of Flanders, but in the streets of London and Glasgow. A world where German engineering put a man on the Moon, and threatens mankind with annihilation. A world where British diaspora preach libertarianism from the American west, and where old Russian revolutionaries are fêted in exile. Told from the perspective of a British political history, it is the tale of a world whose leaders are very different from those we knew – but yet who are sometimes strangely familiar.

Thande's thoughts: First posted on AH.com. This is a great idea for a TL and a good way of constructing it - a mix of the 'leaders list' format with asides in between. I actually saw this very POD discussed by Prof Simon Conway Morris during the Christmas Lectures of I think 1995, but I asked @Agent Boot about (aboot?) this and apparently it's a coincidence. It was also an inspiration to me for "The Twilight's Last Gleaming" which we'll cover later.



~~~

I hope you enjoyed this inaugural rundown - please feel free to ask questions here about any of these books!
 

CalBear

Moderator
Donor
Monthly Donor
The Inaugural Thandean Sea Lion Press Book Review of Books (Trigger Warning, Includes Books)

...


Festung Europa by Jon Kacer (CalBear on AHcom):
What if the Third Reich had managed to defeat the USSR? How would the US and Great Britain have reacted? What would have happened to Europe if Hitler and his evil minions had gotten the change to pursue their mad schemes to Germanize the Continent?

If after an uneasy truce the war had reignited, but with the vastly more powerful weapons of the late 1950s replacing the Me-109s and Spitfires? These are a few of the questions that are examined in this landmark work.

Starting with an overview of the world leading up to the resumption of all-out war between the Allies and Nazi state, we see the all-too possible results of the Nazi Party in control of Europe for an additional decade and longer. This is followed by a detailed examination of the tactics and politics that might well have resulted in a WWII far more destructive than what was experienced in our time.

Written in the style of an actual history of the War done years after its conclusion, Festung Europa approaches one of the great “What Ifs” of alternate history in a unique manner.

Thande's thoughts: This book began as "The Anglo-American/Nazi War", written on this forum by @CalBear . Yes that is meant to be the Nazi flag on Europe, but we want to sell this in Germany, where it was assumed at the time we weren't allowed to depict swastikas (I think this was later clarified). This is one of SLP's most popular releases, though its Amazon review score occasionally takes hits from Nazi fanboys upset that Cal portrays 1960s Nazi Germany as not only evil but laughably incompetent, having long since purged anyone who knows what they're doing. I can't say that's a reader demographic group we particularly want to appeal to.


...

I hope you enjoyed this inaugural rundown - please feel free to ask questions here about any of these books!
Your commentary regarding the negative reviews is pretty much dead on (although the complaints about the early editing were pretty much dead on and entirely my fault). Most of the 1 star reviews are fairly clearly from folks who never read the book or the T/L here since all their bitches are covered, often in some detail, in the text. I do suspect that a couple of the reviews in the single star category are from Banned members who are somewhat unhappy (although at least one of them actually BOUGHT the book before going after it/me, so Fair Play to them).
 

Thande

Donor
Your commentary regarding the negative reviews is pretty much dead on (although the complaints about the early editing were pretty much dead on and entirely my fault). Most of the 1 star reviews are fairly clearly from folks who never read the book or the T/L here since all their bitches are covered, often in some detail, in the text. I do suspect that a couple of the reviews in the single star category are from Banned members who are somewhat unhappy (although at least one of them actually BOUGHT the book before going after it/me, so Fair Play to them).
Yeah, there are some very "special" Amazon reviews out there.
 

Thande

Donor
What ceaser on the Bophrus about and is it good?(I assume so but just checking)
That is an essay collection by Tim Venning about the Byzantine Empire - so bear in mind it's more in the vein of the "What If" series (AH discussion) rather than a timeline/story. I've not read that one myself yet, but his earlier ones on other subjects were certainly well-informed.
 

Thande

Donor
Head's up that the SLP social media (or as they say in Sheffield, SERSHAL MEEDJA) sites will now be updated on a regular basis by me (except the Instagram which is done by a fellow writer).

LIKE COMMENT SUBSCRIBE FOLLOW THUMB'S UP FIVE STARS WHATEVER THE YOUNG PEOPLE SAY TODAY

The Sea Lion Press Facebook (Contains only the finest Nick Clegg)

The Sea Lion Press Twitter (a welcome oasis of content on the World's Worst Website)

The Sea Lion Press Instagram (no idea, doesn't it have something to do with pictures of Cardassians?)
 

Thande

Donor
The next choices by my Random Factor (Like a Tractor) are two books out of AndyC's Fourth Lectern duology and EdT's Fight and Be Right series - so I'll do the whole of those at once now. Two very different series, but both excellent.

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The Fight and Be Right Series by Ed Thomas ( @EdT on AHcom)

Fight and Be Right
Winston Churchill remains one of the most famous figures in modern history.

But if you had asked about Churchill in the late nineteenth century, another political giant would come to mind, one almost entirely forgotten today. Like Winston, he had the ability to coin a memorable phrase and make a great speech; like Winston, he was also a mercurial opportunist with a fondness for drink who delighted in irritating his more genteel colleagues.

Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston’s father, had all of his son’s gifts, perhaps even more; but on the few occasions when history remembers him at all, it is as a tragic figure who died early and never quite fulfilled his vast potential.

So, what if?

In Fight and Be Right, Ed Thomas explores the other Churchill as he shatters the British party system, causes shockwaves in Europe, and brings about a very different 20th century…


The World of Fight and Be Right
In Fight and Be Right, Ed Thomas charted the alternative political career of Lord Randolph Churchill. But what about the strange world that resulted from his dramatic entry and departure from the political stage?

From the ruined streets and totalitarian oppression of Syndicalist London to the Russian ‘Robots’, and from the Jewish homeland in Australia to Longwood, Florida, home of the American motion picture industry, The World of Fight and Be Right explores a completely different, yet strangely familiar, 20th century.


The Blue Lotus
In Fight and Be Right and The World of Fight and Be Right, Ed Thomas explored the strange parallel history that resulted from the unlikely political success of Winston Churchill’s father. There are many stories to be told in this world. This is one of them.

It’s 1934, and as war rages across the globe the city of Shanghai preserves an uneasy neutrality between the rival alliances- until a young journalist is brutally murdered. Can the killer be brought to justice, or is the truth about his death too dangerous to be exposed?

Thande's thoughts: This series is rightly seen as the acme of alternate history. A wonderfully well-developed world evolving in startlingly unforeseen ways, with plenty of fun references for the discerning reader. The trademark of Ed's AH style, which I like to bring up, is to describe an absurdly implausible event and then go to a footnote saying "all of this is OTL so far". The Fight and Be Right books are both an entertaining insight into the late Victorian period and a thought-provoking study of just how different familiar 20th century personalities would have been in a different world. As explored in "The World of", some figures who bestrode the world like colossi in OTL are obscure criminals in TTL - and vice versa. "The World of" sees American journalist Benny Moss (and the reader really feels he or she can pat him- or herself on the back when he or she works out who that is!) interviewing various prominent figures of the peaceful year of 1940 following a great war, such as French President Alphonse Capone, exiled British Royalist 'Blue' leader Harold Macmillan, and the leaders of the Russian 'Robot' movement (which doesn't mean what you think it means!)

Aside from the sheer obscurity of his PODs, Ed's other trademark, as also seen in "A Greater Britain", is to pull the rug out from under the reader. One reads the 1890s chapters of a more successful Randolph Churchill becoming PM and going from strength to strength, taking the British Empire to a successful victorious war over General Boulanger's France - but one can never forget the framing device which tells us that, forty years later, things are looking quite different, and soon all that pink on the map will be a decidedly darker shade of red...

A word of warning that "The Blue Lotus" is a VERY short story, and while it has a commeasurately very low price, SLP would likely not release works of that length as an individual purchase anymore. With that caveat, I highly recommend the whole series.




The Fourth Lectern Series by Andy Cooke ( @AndyC on AHcom)

The Fourth Lectern

What if UKIP were given a lectern in the debates in 2010?

They weren’t, of course. Not in our world. But in a world very similar to our own, where the tiniest of changes happened, they were. And things turned out rather differently.

Ahead of the United Kingdom’s General Election in 2015, the populist right-wing, Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (commonly known as UKIP) was big news. What if their surge had happened earlier, in the dying days of a Labour Government?

What if four-party politics had taken hold in the last election, in the last moments before the campaign began?

What if the BBC, in attempting to close down arguments over whether the SNP and Plaid Cymru should be in the debates without excluding the Liberal Democrats, accidentally opened the door to UKIP?

The campaign would have been rather different. Election night more so. And the aftermath?

Andy Cooke’s counterfactual of a four-way election depicts a world eerily similar to our own.


The Fifth Lectern
What if UKIP were given a lectern in the debates in 2010?

That was the starting point of The Fourth Lectern. That book covered the few weeks around the alternative 2010 General Election, but what would have happened next?

In The Fourth Lectern, the door for the UKIP surge opened in 2010, just before the General Election that year, rather than a few years after it, as in our world. The resulting Government was fragile and a new election seemed inevitable – but was it? For how long could the embattled Prime Minister eke out his time? How long would it be until the next General Election?

And when it was to come around – well, the rules for having a lectern at the debates now seemed clear. And another Party wanted in…

In this full-length sequel to The Fourth Lectern, Andy Cooke continues his story of a world that – had a few ballot boxes arrived on time on a snowy December in 2007 – could have been ours.

See also: An Introduction to the Lectern series (a free-to-read article written by Andy about his thought processes when writing the books - try reading this if you're not sure whether to buy yet)


Thande's thoughts: Andy's a victim of his own prophetic success. These fantastic political thrillers were written in 2011/2012 and imagined the UK political landscape changing rapidly when the then relatively obscure party UKIP manage to inviegle their way into the inaugural British election debates of 2010. This then, however, proceeded to actually happen in 2013-2015, meaning the books are very impressive for those of us who read them BEFORE then, but newer readers may not be able to appreciate just how groundbreaking they were. But this doesn't really matter, because the books are still full of interesting plot twists and turns and well-realised 'characters'. Andy captures the personalities of major British political figures of the last decade very well here, many of whom remain relevant today for non-British readers who want to familiarise themselves with our recent political upheavals. In particular, a common joke is that when Andy has David Cameron outline his 'Big Society' political philosophy at the end of the first book, he does it more fluently than the real Cameron himself ever did! As for the outcomes of the elections in the books - do you want to see what happens when a First Past The Post voting system is strained to its limit? Then read on!


I hope you have enjoyed this Weekly Update of SLP's Catalogue. See you next Saturday!
 

Thande

Donor
Stand by for incoming brand demolition but:

Those of you on The Twitter. I won't pester you to like and share every single thing I post on the SLP Twitter (but please do if you want to) but can I make a general request to everyone on there to like and share the pinned tweet with a link to our Goodreads page (below)? If any of them needs to be seen by a wider audience, it's that one.

https://twitter.com/SeaLionPress/status/1193914332968558592
 

Thande

Donor
I've been posting on the SLP Twitter account (see above) during the election debates to do some bandwagon-jumping, and have successfully sold at least one confirmed book tonight (someone posted a review) - however, the big blue bird is now suspicious of my post numbers and has locked the account until I put in a phone code...and the account is registered to someone else's phone. So word of warning if the updates stop for a bit :p
 

Thande

Donor
It's that time again lads and lasses, so let's unleash the Random Factor (Like a Tractor) and see what it pulls from the Sea Lion Press archives today!

As before, click the blue links to go to the SLP pages if you want to see purchasing options on any of these books.

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Timewreck Titanic by Rhys B. Davies (@TB3 on AHcom)

April 14th 2012:

A fleet of ships have gathered in the North Atlantic to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the most famous maritime disaster of all history. Suddenly, a pulse of light engulfs several of the ships, who find themselves on an open ocean dotted with icebergs. Desperately trying to make contact with the outside world, they detect no satellite or radio signals, except for a single vessel just off to the north, who is sending out messages of distress in archaic Morse code.

Her name is the RMS Titanic. She has struck an iceberg and is sinking.

Displaced a century into the past, the ships of the Titanic Memorial Fleet find themselves suddenly intervening in the very disaster that they had gathered to remember. Can they change the outcome of this night? Should they even try? What will be the consequences of introducing modern ideas and technologies into a world ill-prepared to handle them, on the brink of a century of catastrophic war and change?

And can they ever go home?
Thande's thoughts: This is a really good book. And a really long book. Seeing the paperback on Meadow's shelves was an experience, I'm telling you. It takes an interesting time travel / ISOT concept and really runs with it. You don't have to be a Titanic-head (of which we seem to have a demographically implausible number on the SLP forums) to enjoy this book, although it probably helps, with lots of nods to bits of trivia. It's got a lot of spirit and feeling to it, though I can't go into detail without spoiling plot points. A few things feel slightly contrived for drama in the final part of the book, but it really doesn't matter, we enjoy the ride. The writer's also not afraid to tackle social issues, which naturally has led to a range of Amazon review scores because there is a appears to be a negative correlation between intelligence and willingness to post Amazon reviews, but I thought he did it rather sensitively. Anyway, highly recommended not just as a good AH book or a good time travel book or a good Titanic book, but as - a good book.

Bearfish by John O'Brien (@Haggis on AHcom)

In January 1911, President Taft signed The Useful Animals Appropriation Act, and within months, the first hippopotomi arrived on the Calcasieu River.

In real life, none of this happened. But in Bearfish, John O'Brien offers a deep, amusing and often moving picture of an America forever altered by the introduction of one fateful animal that Americans chose to call the bearfish.
Thande's thoughts: A crazy concept from the crazy mind of Haggis? Well, as so often is the case in AH, this bizarre idea is based on a real bill seeking to import the hippopotomus to Louisiana which only just fell short of being passed by the Congress of a century ago: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippopotamus#Invasive_potential A clever little niche exploration of AH which shows just how weird OTL could have been (and is).

The Boy in the Storm by Nick Peel (@Nick NWO on AHcom)

'The Boy In The Storm' chronicles three days in the lives of a family and a government agent in Nazi-occupied Britain in 1957. This moving and personal tale of human survival under totalitarianism is intertwined with the historical events, starting in 1941, that led to the current situation. Past and present come together to weave a powerful new story from Sea Lion Press.
Thande's thoughts: Originally posted on AH.com under the title 'Lancashire Life', that mundane title underlines how this unique work focuses not on the shooty bangy big panzers and V6 rockets aspect of a Nazi victory timeline, but the very real cost of human suffering for ordinary people under the jackboot. It has met with considerable critical acclaim and strong Amazon sales.

T'Yorkshire Assembly by Jack Tindale (@Lord Roem on AHcom)

Yorkshire, whether you think of it as 'God's Own County', or an uppity region with a Pennine-sized chip on its shoulder, is nevertheless a place with a firm identity, which for many years has clamoured for more autonomy of its own. In the early-2000s, it was one of three regions in the North of England that was mooted for devolution, but a failed referendum in the North-East, coupled with an increasingly ambivalent Westminster, scuppered proposals before they began. Over a decade later, no real progress has been made to give the Three Ridings the powers available to Scotland, Wales, or even Manchester.

In T'Yorkshire Assembly, however, efforts prove a little more successful. In a travelogue across the region, politicians, academics, and journalists review the impact of fifteen years of home-rule for the ancient capital of, um, Bradford.

From rapturous support to entrenched cynicism, from Buffet Bars to Barnsley, and from Leeds to London, T'Yorkshire Assembly gives a look at devolved United Kingdom that is even more of a patchwork than our reality.
Thande's thoughts: As a Yorkshireman I must declare an interest here. This is topical, as Yorkshire devolution is back in the news for the upcoming 2019 UK general election - with firm proposals from the Liberal Democrats, more lukewarm ones from Labour and Boris Johnson saying he is 'mad keen' for a 'mayor of Yorkshire', apparently nobody has told him that's a Lancashire phrase. Which says it all really. Anyway, this is a fun exploration of the idea of New Labour's devolution proposals of the early 2000s being more successful. I well remember seeing the upcoming Yorkshire Assembly referendum advertised on the side of buses in 2003/4 - which never materialised after the Geordies and allied tribes rejected theirs. This story was originally posted on AH.com under the title "Wheer 'as tha been sin' I saw thee?" - you can see why we changed it for the international market. I do take credit for suggesting the glottal stopp'd Yorkshire The (T') rather than a standard English The in the new title. Ironically, Tindale himself has gotten more sceptical about Yorkshire devolution since writing the original story (economic realism's a hell of a drug) and has added an additional chapter for the published version which takes a more critical tone.

Shuffling the Deck by Tom Black and Jack Tindale (@Meadow and @Lord Roem on AHcom)

They’re Prime Ministers. But not as we know them.

Once called ‘the most intellectual parlour game around’, alternate history doesn’t have to be about Nazi zeppelins and steampunk empires. In this dry and witty re-imagining of post-war British politics, the authors take turns to place a familiar Prime Minister in an unfamiliar environment. James Callaghan, the darling of post-war prosperity and Britain’s first ‘television PM’? Anthony Eden, the hero who won the Second World War? To say nothing of the place in the history books held by Margaret Thatcher…

A self-styled ‘bit of fun’, Shuffling The Deck is nevertheless a must-read for alternate historians interested in whether circumstance is more important than ‘great man theory’ would have us believe.
Thande's thoughts: As you can tell from the blurb, "Shuffling the Deck" is one of Black and Tindale's early hits. It is indeed a 'bit of fun', taking the OTL Prime Ministers and changing their order and time period, but it also has a serious point behind it. It's a reminder that the image we have of someone's historical persona is very much driven by the circumstances in which they happen to find themselves. For example, someone who we think of as a great war leader might be remembered as a dull disappointment to people in a timeline where that war never started. There's a lot of very clever, historically literate sidelong references in here. This one helped inspire a number of my own stories, and helped codify the 'expanded list of leaders' style TLIAD format.


If you have read any of these stories and liked them, we greatly appreciate reviews, both on Amazon and on Goodreads. Don't feel you have to give a fifty-page critique, even just 'I liked it, recommended' would be highly appreciated.


See you next Saturday!
 

Thande

Donor
I somehow forgot to put this announcement here as well - whoops!

Dear all authors of AH.com,

Are you interested in the First World War?

Do you like writing short stories?

Do you want to combine these two interests?


Sea Lion Press, the home of Alternate History Publishing (founded by authors who cut their teeth here on AH.com) hereby announces an upcoming anthology of short stories about the First World War.

Thank you to David Flin (author of the many excellent WW1 articles on the SLP blog) for writing the guide below for prospective authors:

OK, it’s fairly self-explanatory. AH stories revolving around the Great War.

What follows is a guide rather than fixed rules.

I’m aiming for a total word count of around 50-70K, and around 10 stories. That doesn’t mean stories of around 5-7K; I expect some to be significantly longer, and some significantly shorter. The story should be as long as it needs to be.

I don’t want the Great War theme to become diluted. This is Alternate History, so clearly it will not be OTL, but it needs to be recognisably an Alternate Great War. Early start, delayed start, different line-up, not a problem. Unexpected locales, not a problem. Political level stuff, fine. One might have a Britain that applied the suggestion made by Flashman in Mr American, of not getting involved in the ground fighting in Europe, but using the Navy to “do things”. There are thousands of options.

That’s not to say that something that’s a bit of a stretch to include as a *Great War story won’t be acceptable, but such a story would need to be exceptionally good and the connection to the Great War should be made apparent within the story.

The second guideline is that I envisage the collection being “Hard” AH. By that I mean that it should pass the “It might have been” test. It might be a very unlikely turn of events; it might be something where the likelihood can be debated. It does, however, need to be something that one could plausibly read as a true story in a world where different events happened.

That means that dragons and time-travel and Titanic being used to bridge No-Man’s Land and so on are out. I don’t have a problem with ghost stories here, but I do have a problem with Vampires. The focus is on the Great War.

Now, there is a place for a Supernatural Great War, where there are Forces of Darkness, and so on. But not in this collection. If in doubt, ask me.

The guideline is: “Could the Great War have been like this?”

Home Front, Western Front, War at Sea, war avoided, Revolutions within the War, other Fronts, overview of a Grand Scheme of Things, very low-level face in the crowd, war in the Air, different technologies, whatever feels right for your story. I'll look closely at things like steampunk - it's a matter of keeping the premise of the collection clear and simple. The emphasis is to be on the Great War, and not on the steampunk chrome. Humour, romance, fine if you can manage it.

If I want to summarise it in a nutshell: Hard AH, Great War.
The 'no supernatural stuff' rule should be considered somewhat flexible, it depends on what the focus of the story is (but that's harder to define in words - just ask if unsure).

If you want an idea of what this collection will look like, why not check out SLP's three existing published collection of short stories - the one most similar to this will be "Fight Them On The Beaches", stories about the planned German invasion of Britain in WW2 (Operation Sea Lion, from which SLP takes its name!)


SLP story collections jpg.jpg


10 Leaders Britain Never Had
Remain Means Remain and Other Stories
Fight Them On The Beaches: Short Stories of Operation Sea Lion


One other point: this collection will be headlined by the story "N'Oublions Jamais", by @Doctor What and myself, which was originally published in the Martinus Publishing collection Altered Europa and reached the shortlist of 4 for the 2018 Sidewise Award for Alternate History Fiction (Short Form). In the end we lost out to Harry Turtledove himself, so no shame there. Martinus has kindly given us permission to reprint it here on SLP as the lead story for this collection.

If you wish to express an interest in submitting a story, as a first point of contact please send a personal message here on AH.com to me (Thande) and we will work out a better way of doing it from then on.

OVER THE TOP!


Addendum: since posting this, I've had so many story submission offers (which is great) that we may end up doing two anthologies...
 

Thande

Donor
I am pleased to announce SLP's three new releases for this month, including the first part of the critically-acclaimed Lands of Red and Gold series by @Jared, which AH.com posters will be long familiar with.

Nov covers jpg.jpg


November is a month of serials here at Sea Lion Press, as one popular series continues, an epic saga concludes, and an esteemed online work publishes its first for-sale volume with us.

The Maltese Defence
continues Simon Brading’s sparky and exhilarating Misfit Squadron series, in which an alternate Second World War rages around the life and loves of a group of Royal Aviation Corps airmen and women with their unconventional attitudes to tactics, authority, and aircraft design. This fifth volume takes the Misfits to Malta, under siege from both the Prussian and Italian air forces, and of just as much strategic importance as in our timeline. It’s available for pre-order now. Haven’t tried the Misfit Squadron books yet? The first volume in the series, The Battle Over Britain, is on sale now for just 99p or the equivalent local price.

The Longest Road marks the end of an era. George Kearton’s House of Stuart Sequence began with a successful Jacobite rising in The Year of the Prince back in 2016. Now, after eight volumes and two hundred years of radically-altered history, the ninth and concluding part of the story is on its way. Denmark has fallen, the Baltic is a Russian lake, and what lies ahead is uncertain.

To mark the release of The Longest Road, the first volume in the series, The Year of the Prince is now available at half price. Buy it today for only 99p in the UK and equivalent prices elsewhere.

Walking Through Dreams is the first volume of Jared Kavanagh’s Lands of Red and Gold series, an extremely well-regarded work in the online alternate history community. Sea Lion Press is privileged to be bringing Jared’s tale of a different aboriginal Australia to a wider audience. This also represents another small landmark in Sea Lion Press’ history – with our first Australasian-focused title now on its way, the only remaining continent not focused on by one of our books is Antarctica. And we may have a plan for that…

The Maltese Defence
is available now for pre-order. Walking Through Dreams and The Longest Road will be available for purchase from Friday 29th November.
 
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