Update on Shattered Nation Sequel

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Anaxagoras, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Dan Greenhouse Member

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    I am about 1/2 way through the 788 pages. I have read hundreds of alt-history books and stories going back to 1963 when I read the famous Look Magazine alt-history articles in the 8th grade. House of the Proud is different (so far) because it more of a exciting novel set in a different timeline. If James Patterson would ever wright an alt-history novel it would read a lot like this, as opposed to total battle action like Turtledove to move the plot along or textbook style narratives. Character development is excellent, especially Judah Benjamin., the brains of the confederacy.
     
  2. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    Some spoiler free thoughts
    • I quite enjoyed Breckenridge
    • The world needs more Judah P Benjamin
    • I have no idea how Toombs was in real life, but I love his characterization in the book
    • Poor Cleburne :(
     
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  3. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Definitely love the nascent formation of Confederate politics and how it meshed so well with the overarching plot in general. I look forward to the next installment.
     
  4. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Bit of a shameless promotion, but I've now happily read and reviewed both Shattered Nation and House of the Proud for anyone who is interested. As a small warning there are minor Shattered Nation spoilers in my House of the Proud review, but I have tried to be as spoiler free as possible.

    In short, they're great books, and I highly recommend them.
     
  5. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    honestly, my first thought when reading this was wait wha they made a sequel to that 2005 game? But honestly nice work good work I'll probably pick up soon
     
  6. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    I'd quite forgotten about that videogame personally. Now my nostalgia is kicking in :p
     
  7. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    If you want a quick run through the key is to just spam heavy tanks forever.
     
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  8. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    There was a game called Shattered Nation?
     
  9. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    You won't think so after a future installment, though perhaps not the next one.
     
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  10. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    The USA breaks up and you play various factions (I remember the EU and Texas as factions) and reunite America Command and Conquer style!

    Excellent! You alluded to his future but didn't say anything specific. I was missing his PoV from the first book.
     
  11. GDIS Pathe Well-Known Member

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    Yep America breaks up cause evil Russians and their election tampering and nuking D.C no seriously that is the actual plot for why the US Balknaises and then you have to reunite the country through War CnC style
     
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  12. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    Personally I'm hoping we see more of John Hunt Morgan in Egypt! But more Cleburne is a plus, and I really want to know whether Seward or Chase became the next Republican in 1868 and ousted McClellan.
     
  13. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    I'm toying with the idea of a novel featuring Morgan, Cleburne, and Garnet Wolseley (among others) set in Egypt, but I haven't really outlined it in any way. I intentionally left the door open for something like that at the end of House of the Proud. As far as the 1868 United States election, I doubt I will have a whole novel for it, as I want to move on to later decades and the 20th Century, but I might include it in a set of short stories I am planning on writing.

    Some day.
     
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  14. EnglishCanuck Blogger/Writer/Dangerous Moderate

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    I'd love to see a story set in Egypt featuring that gang. It sounds like a story that almost writes itself! The ideas for short stories in this world are vast I think, especially with all the hints around the edges, and your epilogue from the 20th century.

    However, it will be great to see who features next in your next installment. Chronologically I think you mentioned somewhere that it would be set in 1899 for the next full novel?
     
  15. Dan Greenhouse Member

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    I am curious why you chose to write your epilogue. I have never seen it done in any other AH novel that intended on writing further novels in the series. Aren't you concerned that your "future" might hamstring you when you begin writing your next book in the series?
     
  16. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    Not really. I have the outlines of the three remaining "sequential" novels already well planned out.

    But it may be some time before I revisit the Shattered Nation stories.
     
  17. Dan Greenhouse Member

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    One last question. About 25 years ago I read Eli Evans biography of Judah-Judah P. Benjamin The Jewish Confederate and I don't recall any mention of Judah's "personal attractions". Where did you come by that information?
     
  18. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    There is admittedly no smoking gun on this. There was chatter among the Richmond gossip crowd that Benjamin preferred the company of men and that this was why his wife left him. There have also been some suggested, though no hard evidence, that he was kicked out of Yale after being caught in an act the authorities dared not speak of. There have been few major scholarly works on Benjamin, so the question has never been as deeply explored as it should have been. William C. Davis, perhaps the foremost biographer of Confederate figures, is among those who has concluded that he was probably gay. But unless some surprising evidence is discovered in some forgotten archive chest in a library somewhere, we will never know for sure. It gives the novelist a bit of wiggle room.

    Benjamin was a man of secrets. He was very careful NOT to leave a paper trail for historians to follow. I have always found it fascinating that, despite being the closest counselor of Jefferson Davis throughout the entire war, and serving in no less than three crucial Cabinet positions, Benjamin is mentioned exactly twice in Davis's gargantuan memoir of the war years. As a literary character, however, it sort of made sense to go with Benjamin as a homosexual. It seemed to fit, for he was one of those historical figures who seems to be in the world yet not of the world. Just as he was a Jew in a society of Christians, he was also a gay man in a society that would never have comprehended, let alone accepted, such a thing had he ever chosen to put it out in the open for all to see.

    I will say that Judah Benjamin was tied with Garnet Wolseley as the most fun character to write.
     
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  19. Dan Greenhouse Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I remember Evans biography stated that he wrote his book only after Varina Davis's memoirs were discovered in an attic and she wrote quite a bit about how Judah actually ran the government when her husband was so ill that he could not and wanted to keep it secret.Before his flight from Richmond he burned all his paperwork so no one would know the extent of his contributions to the Confederacy. He truly was an anomaly, a politician without an ego.
     
  20. Anaxagoras Vox clamantis in deserto

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    I have envisioned the Shattered Nation books as being centered around five chronological novels. Shattered Nation itself was the first and House of the Proud was the second. The third would be set in the 1890s (or perhaps the early 1900s, or slipping over between the two), tentatively titled Pillars of Sand. The fourth would be set in the 1920s and deal with the involvement of both the United States and the Confederacy in a major European conflict. The fifth would be set in the 1960s and take the form of a spy novel. I have all these outlined rather well and have a good idea how they will go. I also plan some short novellas to flesh out certain aspects of the timeline (Blessed are the Peacemakers has already been published) and at least one collection of short stories. And I have plans for various "sidequel" novels set in 1864 that deal with events of the Civil War in areas other than around Atlanta. The one I have done the most work on thus far is tentatively titled A Consuming Fire and will be set in the Shenandoah Valley.

    I must admit, though, that I am a little tired of the Shattered Nation storyline. In the last nine years, I have put out two very long novels and a novella about it. My writer's mind feels the need to move on to something else. While I have no intention of giving up on the Shattered Nation storyline, I think it's pretty likely that my next novel will deal with something else entirely, perhaps not even involving alternate history at all.