Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Meadow, Mar 24, 2018.
Why do I suddenly feel a mysterious sense of incomprehensible terror?
See link to Jared's announcement on the Lands of Red and Gold thread below:
When Sea Lion Press first got started here on AH.com in 2015, we had just a few titles. Now we're on the cusp of our 100th, all with fantastic covers by @Lord Roem !
(And eight of them are mine, not counting short story contributions!)
Entirely forgot to do an SLP retro book update yesterday due to excitement over the above. Let's send the Random Factor, like a tractor, to find something...
I'm only going to do two books today, because they form a weighty (though sadly as yet unfinished) series...
The Bloody Man by Ed Thomas (@EdT on AH.com)
Oliver Cromwell occupies a unique place in British history. While other great, flawed figures of our past such as Winston Churchill, the Duke of Wellington, Elizabeth I or Henry V are proudly remembered as national heroes, Cromwell – one of England’s finest generals, and the person who arguably did more than any other to establish the foundations of modern Britain -commands no such unanimity.
Some still passionately denounce him as a genocidal dictator, a ‘prototype Hitler’ who introduced military rule to the British Isles, banned Christmas and dancing, and ruled through fear and the ruthless application of force. Others argue that he was a liberator, a noble foe of tyranny and oppression, and the originator of the British tradition for tolerance.
The one thing that can be agreed on is that it is difficult to imagine what might have happened, good or ill, had a certain obscure Cambridgeshire Member of Parliament had not been present to influence the direction of Britain at one of the most tumultuous periods of the nation’s history.
An English Civil War without Cromwell. Let’s speculate.
The Fiery Crucible by Ed Thomas (@EdT on AH.com)
In The Bloody Man, Ed Thomas explored what might have happened had a young Oliver Cromwell emigrated to the New World before he had a chance to make a mark in England. Now, the trilogy continues…
It is 1647, and England is slipping back into Civil War. The King has escaped; London is burning; mad Prophets roam the streets and the Army has mutinied. There are many Bloody Men abroad. As the world’s history increasingly diverges from our own and the British Revolution gathers pace, Oliver Cromwell consolidates his own power in New England, and casts his eyes over a new prize…
Thande's thoughts: "The Bloody Man" is EdT's third major AH work after "A Greater Britain" and "Fight and Be Right". Like those works, it unlocks strange curiosities of a period the reader may have assumed he or she knew well, but is full of surprises. The POD of the always-controversial Oliver Cromwell deciding to leave for the American Colonies before the Civil War is actually fairly well known, as it is brought up in the beginning of the film "Cromwell" (1970, with Richard Harris as Cromwell and Alec Guinness as King Charles I). Cromwell in the early colonies is an interesting topic, but the real meat of this TL lies in revelling in the bizarre circumstances of the English Civil War and its colourful cast of characters. Ed uses some of the lesser-well known ones to great effect, such as the mad false prophet Thomas Totney (AKA ThereauJohn Tany) and the "Ranting Slut of Stepney". Ironic allohistorical false-friend terms are thrown about with gay abandon, such as the pacifist Quakers becoming known as "The Terrorists" and Thereau John's murderous legion of zealots dubbed "The Salvation Army". Featuring a protagonist named Winston Churchill (but not THAT Winston Churchill) is also a nice WTF moment. We also find out about other conflicts touching on the Civil War, such as France's Fronde. One of the most interesting things is how one realises just how a few stray bullets in the Civil War battles would have changed history (just as with the First World War). Figures who in OTL played big roles in Restoration England thirty years later are killed young in TTL, while some who died survive. It's a fascinating story, and I for one hope Ed is eventually able to complete the trilogy.
A reminder that to celebrate the release of new volumes in both the Misfit Squadron series and the House of Stuart Sequence, the first books in both series are currently discounted to just 99p or local equivalent!
The Year of the Prince (first book in the House of Stuart Sequence)
The Battle Over Britain (first book in the Misfit Squadron series)
(NB the Amazon page may still show an older cover for "The Battle Over Britain", which, as always, is Nick Clegg's fault. I have linked to the right book!)
Managed to forget to do this on Saturday once again. Random Factor, do your thing.
The House of Stuart Sequence
(Yes, count 'em, nine volumes)
Volume I: The Year of the Prince
The Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is one of those parts of British history that we all think we know a little bit about. The romantic story of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” and his gallant Highlanders invading England, only to turn back at Derby and subsequently be defeated at Culloden is part of the cultural glue that holds ‘Great Britain’ together.
But what if things had turned out differently?
Could the Prince and his Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English supporters have reached London, deposed George II and driven him into exile in Hanover? And how would our history have changed if the House of Stuart had been restored to the British throne in 1745?
Presented as a historical text, ‘The Year of The Prince’ tells the tale of a history which might have been and chronicles a successful Jacobite Uprising with many different consequences for Great Britain. It is the first of five volumes in ‘The House of Stuart Sequence’. Future volumes will tell of the ongoing effects of a Stuart Restoration on the history of Great Britain, Europe, the Americas and beyond. The whole series will travel the years from 1745 to 1900 by which time we discover ‘A World Turned Upside Down’.
Volume II: The King Shall Have His Own Again
It is January 1st, 1746.
The victorious Jacobite armies, led by Prince Charles Edward Stuart, are entering London.
George II has been forced into exile in Hanover and James Stuart will shortly be crowned as King James III.
“The King Shall Have His Own Again” tells the story of a restored Stuart monarchy up to the year 1800 and how history, as we know it, could have changed.
From French India to Drumossie Moor, from Australia to the Caribbean, from Yorktown to Malta and across a Europe totally changed by The Stuart Doctrine the world is turned upside down. Slavery, Free Trade and Revolutionary politics all come into focus in very different ways.
“The King Shall Have His Own Again” is volume two in “The House of Stuart Sequence”; a six-volume series of alternative history covering the years 1745 to 1900.
Volume one, “The Year of The Prince” which details the successful Jacobite Uprising of 1745 is also available on Amazon as a Kindle Ebook.
Volume III: An Ending of Empires
As the nineteenth century opens, Europe is in turmoil. A foreign King sits on the throne of Spain and France is in the midst of revolution. How will the restored House of Stuart deal with the challenges which abound in Europe and the Americas?
With slave revolts in the West Indies, a military dictator controlling France and old enemies Austria and Prussia forming an alliance there is much to concern Great Britain and British North America. Scottish troops find themselves fighting in North Africa and in Mexico: the French Foreign Legion is caught in a desperate siege in India and the Spanish Empire in South America collapses as a new Royal House takes the throne of Spain.
As the first fifty years of the new century unfold, nationalism and the quest for democracy become major political forces. There is armed revolt in both Wales and Scotland and by 1850 the House of Stuart faces European enemies on two fronts.
This is volume three of the House of Stuart Sequence. Volume one (“The Year of The Prince”) tells the story of the successful 1745 Jacobite Uprising and volume two (“The King Shall Have His Own Again”) follows the Stuart monarchy through the turbulent last half of the eighteenth century.
Volume IV: The General European Wars
1851 – and, as a result of a double Royal suicide, England and France are at war.
The chosen battleground is northern Spain – but this is only the first part of Europe to feel the dreadful effects of The General European Wars.
Conflict spreads northwards, from Tyneside to Dunkirk and into Belgium and the Netherlands.
Denmark is threatened with conquest and, in the east, the Russian Tsar gathers an army of nearly 400,000 men to achieve a long-held desire; to turn the Baltic into a Russian lake.
British secret agents, nomadic Sami tribesmen and marauding Cossacks will all play their parts as Europe is plunged into nine years of bloody war.
A Stuart King will die and a new Stuart King will face challenges both at home and abroad as Kingdoms fall, new nations are created and the map of northern Europe changes almost completely.
Volume V: The Savage Years
By 1861, the General European Wars have ended and the map of the whole continent has been substantially re-drawn.
For the restored Stuart dynasty, the hoped-for peace will not, however, happen.
Over the next ten years, Great Britain will face riots and attempted revolution with parliamentary reform being the only possible remedy.
And British North America will face the prospect of Civil War between East and West.
Karl Marx, Brigham Young, Benjamin Disraeli, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Jefferson Davies, Lord Lucan, George Armstrong Custer, Feargus O’Connor and Louis Nolan will all play their parts in this, the fifth volume of “The House of Stuart Sequence”.
Volume VI: The World Turned Upside Down
As the twentieth century approaches, politics and extreme weather have combined to turn the world upside down and the changes are still happening.
Germany is gone; Central and Western Europe now try to adjust to new realities.
A series of natural disasters sweep across the Stuart realms and an American millionaire’s tendency to seasickness changes the shape of international trade for ever.
Trying to kill the monarch becomes an international obsession whilst a British politician’s off-the-cuff remark results in a major political quarrel between Great Britain and The United States of British North America.
As Africa falls more and more under British control, the formerly closed kingdoms of the Far East have to come to terms with new and pervasive western influences.
The action is panoramic, extending across countries and continents. From Dundee and Glenfinnan to the Pacific, from Pennsylvania and Penang to Timbuktu and from Brazil and Suez to Peking, this ambitious sixth volume of the popular “House of Stuart Sequence” takes us on a journey through a world which might have been.
Volume VII: A State of Unending War
For reasons of political expediency, United Whigs and Tories Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, has persuaded Queen Victoria to accept the title of Queen-Empress of the Stuart realms.
Whilst the great and good assemble at Glenfinnan for the ceremony, vast numbers of Russian troops are on the move. Denmark is attacked; Russian forces capture Norway and the Belgian provinces of the Republic of The Netherlands. As the frontiers of France are threatened, Sweden falls to the Russians without a shot being fired and the Baltic becomes practically a Russian lake.
The Russian onslaught is not confined to Europe. Her troops invade Afghanistan and, as Nipponese troops land at Shanghai, Russian armies occupy the north of China.
New and terrible weapons make their first appearance; Paris suffers aerial bombardment and is placed under siege. Armoured fleets clash in the Aegean Sea and a mighty battleship is sunk by submarine attack. Massed armies cross and re-cross northern France, turning it into a muddy mass graveyard. A global pandemic erupts; the disease will kill millions from the Outer Hebrides to the islands of the Pacific.
Amid political dissent at home and an expansion of conflict into the Balkans, the House of Stuart faces its greatest challenge yet; can peace be restored to a world which has fallen into a state of unending war?
Volume VIII: When the Hurly-Burly's Done
The Great War has been raging for eighteen years.
In celebration of Christmas, Tsar Nicholas II attends the theatre in St. Petersburg but he is not to survive the evening.
His successors determine that taking part in the peace talks which Pope Benedict has mooted may well be to Russia’s advantage. After deliberate delays, they travel to Rheinfelden to meet with British Prime Minister Bonar Law, French President Georges Clemenceau and American Prime Minister Woodrow Wilson.
Representing Russia, both Alexander Kerensky and Leon Bronstein make demands which are not acceptable to the Entente powers and the talks break up.
A resumption of war now seems inevitable and, in an attempt to open up a second front against the Russians outside Europe, Bonar Law sets diplomatic and military matters in motion.
T E Lawrence is sent to Kashmir to set the East ablaze, diplomat John Buchan is sent on an international journey to secure a new ally and to re-invigorate American participation in the Great War. Former American Prime Minister Theodore Roosevelt returns to power in what some term a coup d’état.
Subsequently, the Russians come under attack in Uzbekistan, China and Siberia and suffer humiliating losses.
The Western Front will once again, however, become the major area of conflict; British troops on the Somme make progress but only at horrendous cost and Denmark faces new and terrifying weapons as it struggles to halt the Russian steamroller.
Who will emerge triumphant ‘when the battle’s lost and won’?
Volume IX: The Longest Road
As the 1920’s open, Denmark has fallen; Scandinavia and the whole of Northern Europe are under Russian occupation. The Baltic is a completely Russian lake.
The newly-established Turkish Republic has lost its last foothold in Europe and Great Britain faces airborne and amphibious assault across the North Sea.
In Asia however, Russia continues to lose ground. India becomes part of the Stuart Empire and, although this acquisition has been without bloodshed, nationalist aspirations soon arise across the sub-Continent.
As the Stuarts approach the bi-Centenary of their restoration to the British throne, it is clear that the longest road will be that leading to international peace.
This is the long-awaited final part of the nine-volume “House of Stuart Sequence” of alternative history.
See also the article "An Introduction to the House of Stuart Sequence" by author George Keaton. In this he goes into some interesting points about how the series started - remarkably, with a school musical!
Thande's thoughts: When I first joined AH.com, one of the timelines linked to on the frontpage (anyone remember the AH.com frontpage?) was "A Bonnie Alternative", which began with a successful Jacobite rebellion in 1745 and then went off in unexpected directions. George Kearton's impressively long House of Stuart Sequence evokes memories of that one to me. There are some Stuart sympathies on display but also lots of interesting and unexpected developments in history. Do bear in mind that this is based in an older style of alternate history writing in which tweaked OTL historical figures tend to appear rather than applying the butterfly effect strictly (which also reminds me of that older Jacobite project, which featured a not-Joseph Stalin as President of the not-USA before Turtledove did it!)
And one final reminder that the first book in the series, The Year of the Prince, is still on sale for just 99p on Amazon for a limited time only!
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