Who in tarnation is he ?
The Sky Pirate Extraordinaire.
AH.com member hailing from Slovakia. He joined the board in late June 2008 and still feels like an honorary n00b, but seems to be learning quickly…
Lives in the “Far East” of his homeland, on the territory of what was once the proud county of Zemplín. A typical central European fellow with very mixed heritage (yeah, it's a long story). Naturally multiethnic, multilingual and whatnot…
Beware, he is a fierce localpatriot. But with a great sense of humour and irony.
In his free time, he enjoys archery, cycling, reading, bookworming anything about history (or what interests him at the current moment), having fun with his three dogs and lots more…
He's a big fan of the European Space Agency, often jokingly referring to himself as “an avid, jingoistic ESA fanboy”.
Contrary to popular belief, his nickname is not pronounced as “Pet Ike”, but more like “Petty que ?” (“que” as in Spanish for “what”).
Also contrary to popular belief, he is not a mod on this wiki, just one of the most regular contributors. Ian's the only mod you should contact about the wiki, especially the technical side of things.
Favourite historical eras and AH settings
the High and Late Middle Ages (with a preference for central European scenarios)
the interwar period of the 20th century
aviation history (both civilian and military, mainly aircraft from the first half of the 20th century)
the Space Race (the 20th century as well as the near future)
anything related to tiny insular countries with bizarre histories and to lesser known, but equally odd historical wars (and often, a combination of both)
African and Polynesian TLs
attempts at TLs with original and often silly PODs, usually based on extremely obscure or mundane-looking events in history
AH scenarios he hates
the oh-so clichéd and tired Nazi-wank, Soviet-wank, Ameri-wank…
any other over-the-top wank (if it's not intended as a parody)
frivolous apocalyptic global nuclear war wanking stories (I hate them with a passion !)
Favourite activity on AH.com
visiting his beloved “Photos from Alternate Worlds”, “Things that look like Alternate History, but aren't”, “Alternate World Propaganda”, “Flag” and “Map” threads… and contributing to them quite often
taking part in the Weekly Flag Challenge
and being something of an archivist for it. To date, he has taken part in rounds 67, 76, 77, 78, 80, 89, 99, 100, 121, 122, 123, 138, 171, 172, 178, 186, 191, 223 and 225. His first two wins occured in 78 and 138, and both were ties. Then, in 186, he finally won a round on his own. Third time's the charm, ey ? Another win occured in round 223.
trying to act like a bloody darn expert in threads involving scientific fields he (ostensibly) understands
occasionally trying to lure anyone into a debate about medieval central European history
commenting on nearly anything
updating the wiki and generally fiddling around with it. According to Thande
, Petike is apparently the only other member besides himself who even seems to know we have
a wiki anymore.
Writing for AH.com
Petike's first finished pseudo-TL was a short one-shot story written in a single post. It can can be found in the “Worst Timeline Ever” thread. So yeah... It involves an eternal Cold War between tech-wanking Welsh and the merry old Mongolian butcher, baron Sternberg… Oh, and Aztecs… and Churchill… and time travel… and Turtledove's Race… and fish and chips and yorkshire pudding… Another “worst timeline ever” thrown glove was answered thusly. Spoiler: Involves Minoan jump jets, surviving dinosaurs in India, Carthage founding colonies on Pluto, popsicles as a global strategic resource, and ancient Magyars time-travelling out of boredom.
A long time ago, he also had plans to create an ASB clockpunk-wank scenario featuring an early industrial revolution in late medieval Europe, with the help of another member, euio. This timeline would be based on the previous works of both. In Petike's case, it was this silly scenario idea : Those magnificent men in their ornithopters...
One of his currently ongoing projects concerns creating a timeline and comprehensive background to a European version/reimagining of FASA's classic Crimson Skies universe. Homages and pulpy atmosphere galore, guaranteed ! Originally, he wasn't planning to post it on AH.com, but as of spring 2013, he has used the board and its wiki for showcasing some elements of the setting. (See the following section on this page.)
Includes finished works, works on hiatus and planned works.
a.) Timelines (and other longer works)
The Westward Wind
- A timeline of pre-Columbian contact that happens in the early 1400s. Rather than a huge and cocksure fleet of New World conquerors, a small crew of a European fishing ship is carried across the Atlantic in a freak storm, lands on the shores of what we'd know as North America, and starts an uneasy coexistence with local native peoples. A narratively focused timeline, in the manner of a historical novel or robinsonade. Not planned to go too far into the future, and to cover only alternate events from the 15th century.
A Brief History of Nuthekrofívotracu and the Holy Dhaklada Commonwealth
- As with the Hawaiian TL, more of a rough draft or fragment based on the backstory text for a flag contest, rather than a full-fledged TL. Effectivelly a TLIAD
, again, “before it was cool”.
This brief story and history sketch takes the reader into a world where, for some ASB
reason, the Doggerland peninsula never got flooded or submerged after the end of the last ice age. The large new appendage of the European mainland completely alters its northwestern coast, creating a massive butterfly effect that creates a completely different historical development for Europe and the world, despite some OTL
patterns frequently reappearing.
- Petike's other, much shorter and compact Native American timeline / AH story, in three chapters. Imagines a medieval divergence in the 10th century AD, when a native bowyer invents a simple crossbow, independently of other crossbow developments worldwide.
The Sparrow Avengers Universe
- Allohistorical setting
inspired by Jordan Weisman's and Dave McCoy's Crimson Skies
, but set mainly in Europe. Years in the making (since 2008), some glimpses into it have been posted in various parts of the board. For now, the project's page serves primarily as a repository for canon elements of this alternate universe.
Indefinite hiatus / Abandoned
The Fox and the Lillies (working title) - A TL that was conceived in 2010 and has been long in the making, but often suffered delays. Since 2012, it is again in the process of being written. It's meant as an attempt at a comprehensive and realistic timeline. It is not posted on AH.com yet, since the author wants to write a sufficient amount of chapters before fully greenlighting it. The POD concerns queen Mary of Hungary (of the Anjevin dynasty) not dying from a lethal accident in May 1395. Since she was pregnant at the time, she soon gives birth to a son (who died along with her in OTL). The boy becomes the go-to future heir of her husband, Sigismund of Luxembourg (who in OTL only had one daughter with his second wife, Barbara of Celje). And from there on, world history… dun-dun-dun… will never be the same again…
The Sun Sets Behind the High Hill
- A Czechoslovak spinoff
of Protect and Survive
. Originally planned to launch in the summer or early autumn of 2012. As of February 2013, two sample chapters have been posted - read them here
(plus an addendum to the second one here
). Paradoxically, these are the first two chapters of the intended epilogue. Why an epilogue first ? Because you have to know where you're going in order to get there…
b.) Other fiction
Non-timeline fiction. Some of it allohistorical, but often also science fiction and fantasy works, comedic stories, detective stories, AH.com-based fiction, all of the above and none of the above.
Curly and the Captain
- A non-chronologically told, serialised story set in a steampunk/dieselpunk fantasy world, reminescent in terms of development to the early 1900s, and undergoing a golden era of early aviation. Focuses on the travels, adventures and experiences of crew members from the rigid airship Nimrod
, a globetrotting aerial tramp freighter. Though with plenty of action and adventure, the individual episodic chapters have a strong character focus and a focus on more mundane challenges, conflicts and tensions. This is a somewhat vague world (alternate ? post-apocalyptic ? far-future ?), without fantasy races, magic or overt fantasy elements, but with interesting technologies, complicated and multi-faceted humans and an atmosphere equal parts humorous and romantic (in multiple senses). Themes include questions of freedom and authoritarianism, trust and friendship, relations between men and women, mental issues and struggles, the positive and negative potential of early aviation and new technologies, and the joy of travel and exploration. Stylistic influences include everything from the works of Jules Verne, the early 1900s aviation and air pirate fiction boom, real world early aviation history, early Arctic exploration history and pre-WWI and WWI history, to more modern retro-punk works, e.g. Air Power
, the Iron Grip
series, the Mortal Engines
series, Spaghetti Western films, the illustrations of James Gurney (yes, really !) and plenty of other influences. Features the titular C., IMHO
of my best “troubled but determined” female heroines.
Past or concluded projects / Stories on hiatus
- An AH.com and alternate history themed parody of Sherlock
and Sherlock Holmes stories in general.
If Wishes Were Horses...
- A novella about the perils and odd twists and turns of first contact between two civilisations, set in the author's “Carpaverse” space opera setting. Something of a time-hopping affair, told throughout multiple eras of history, from the vantage point of several ordinary characters. Originally written in March 2016, translated to English and gradually posted to the Writer's Forum in autumn 2016.
- A loose sequel to the above Carpaverse story, focusing on the adventures of a ragtag interstellar archaeological expedition, as it searches for an archive of invaluable strategic importance. Features a descendant of one of the main characters from the previous story.
The Guns of November
- A Doctor Who
fanfic, starring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald, set in the early months of the First World War's eastern front. Currently on hiatus (because of writer's block).
Besides the strictly-AH Sparrow Avengers universe, here are a few links to settings appearing in my other fiction projects.
- My science fiction, space opera style universe, intended primarily for written fiction (though I do also have some game ideas
for it). Spans many centuries and millennia, with stories and characters and societies all in various different time periods of a fairly detailed future history. This setting has been in development since the late 2000s, but elements of it go as far back as the 1990s and early 2000s (more on that here
Thick as Thieves world
- My main fantasy universe, set in an early modern style period with an earlier industrial revolution, and some mild “New Weird” stylistics. The earliest inkling for it came in 2011, and it has been in steady development since 2014, primarily for my tabletop RPG project. However, it is also perfectly open as a setting for written fiction, though that's always been a secondary concern. I don't really have a simple name for this setting and its world. See also the Shared Worlds subsection below, for my on-hiatus attempt to adapt this setting into an online RP on AH.com.
- My smaller and newer fantasy universe, of an even more “industrial fantasy” nature. The setting of Curly and the Captain
(see above). Though the geography is (or seems) fictional, the nature of the world is more in line with an early science fiction setting. This setting is intended almost wholly for written fiction, though I could theoretically imagine adapting it for some very specific game projects or even roleplays.
My superhero universe
- On AH.com, technically part of the wider Superverse, but it's always been autonomous on its own as well, as my private superhero setting. I don't really have a name for it. Some of the elements of this setting go as far back as the early-to-mid 1990s, making it older than some of the fine ladies and gents of AH.com !
d.) Shared Worlds projects
The Colonial Office
- Idea for a Shared Worlds roleplaying game
, centered around the early days of a fledgling interstellar colony. The Colonial Office is one of the concepts that ties into the early backstory of my Carpaverse space opera setting.
Thick as Thieves
- A stealth-and-thieving themed roleplaying game
, where you can work on becoming a professional thief and thief guild member in an adventure-filled science fantasy world. Offers more than meets the eye in terms of content and rules.
e.) On the subject of cameos...
If you are a member of AH.com and want to ask for a cameo role in one of Petike's timelines or stories, please apply here.
Appearances in AH.com fiction
Appears in BlackWave's Swarm on the Somme saga as an Austro-Hungarian private helping out a lost group of Australian soldiers on the western front.
Gets a cameo role in Glen's Dominion of Southern America TL as one of the founders of a republican successor state to the Kingdom of Hungary.
A cameo character based on him appears in Thande's Look to the West as a younger member of the RPLC and follower of Moric Benyovsky.
The eponymous character of Petike, a crew member of the MES-1 Allohistory from AH.com Enterprise, is based on him.
Threads started by him that he's most proud of
Petike's humble mini-compendium of AH and FH laws (a.k.a. clichés of the worst kind)
1. For no good reason at all, there will always be an inevitable Kingdom of Hungary, even if it was founded by Avars, Khazars, Slavic tribes or Danish Vikings in, say, 435 AD.
2. The Philippines can only be conquered and colonised by the Spanish, Germans/Prussians and Americans. They are their sacred property and no other country in the world can claim them as their turf.
3. In any ATL with some version of Hungary and/or Austria-Hungary, the aforementioned country is either a starry-eyed über-prosperous, über-advanced and progressive highly democratic monarchistic utopia or an insanely backwards, brutish, jingoistic and economically crippled sh__hole of Europe, rife with ethnic strife á la the Balkans. Never. Anything. In. Between.
4. Whatever happens in central Europe, it doesn't affect anything about the general outcome of world history or even European history. Unless it's the end of the 1930s…
5. If any “near future land war” wanking fantasy found in the FH forum has any nuclear powers involved, they'll nuke themselves (and often the rest of the world as well) to sweet mushroom cloud oblivion sooner or later. Usually very soon… If a FH story like this is written in an eyewitness-style format, expect cringeworthy phrases like “Speak of the devil ! City X and Y has been nuked in a decapitation strike, half a million dead, ZOMG !”
6. Teddy Roosevelt, Roman Nikolai Ungern von Sternberg, Paul Lettow von Vorbeck and Móric Beňovský/Benyovsky can make anything more awesome.
7. If the Germans don't turn into nazis by the 20th century, the French and the Russians are always merrily ready (and conveniently at hand) to take their place. The babbling of pseudoscientific nonsense about “lesser races” and threats of their physical extermination are always welcomed bonus points on the cliché meter of cackling-modern-ebiiil-empireness.
8. Russia and Korea are always effed. Byzantium, the Ottomans and the Brits are always king.
9. Italians always get their arse kicked or are ridiculously militarily incompetent from the 18. century onward.
10. If Czechoslovakia is successfully formed, it will exist within the starting state of its borders for all eternity. What are these ethnic, economic and cultural issues and inner tensions you speak of ? Czechoslovakia is also notable for being as inevitable as the Kingdom of Hungary or the Duchy of Burgundy. No one seems to ever research or take into account that even during OTL WWI, there were at least 3-4 proposed and accepted concepts of what to do with the modern day Czech lands and Slovakia in case the Austro-Hungarian empire would dissolve after the war…
11. If Brits or Byzantines win a war, the result is a world-spanning utopia. If the Spanish, Russians or Germans win a war, the world turns into an insane dystopic hellhole.
12. 90 % of ATLs have something to do with American presidential history, the American Civil War and the Confederate States of America, nazi or Soviet “superscience” (i.e. tank and plane tech wank), or a wank with a never declining British (more rarely French and Dutch) empire.
13. There are always 2 world wars in the first half of the 20th century and, preferably, a Great Depression between them - even if the POD is that the last ice age never ended. Bonus cliché points if the first war happens in the second decade and the second one starts somewhere around the turn of the 1930s and 1940s.
14. Intriguing PODs prior to the 18th century are apparently boooooooooooooring and not worth mentioning.
15. The USA/CSA want Canada and/or Cuba and, dammit, they'll get them !
Bizarrely, nothing ever happens in Switzerland either - since 99,9 % of all TLs just turn it into an unchanging and uninvadable Space Filling Statelet
. It kind of just exists
in its own separate pocket universe, even though every AH map of Europe will trick you into thinking it actually might have some ties to historical processes, whether positive, negative or neutral. And don't you ever dare to redraw its sacred unchanging borders - that's a major no-no !!!
Worst future history cliché: Neo-Intermarium
Just give it a rest already, people. As a central European, I can say without hesitation that Neo-Intermarium is about as plausible as the “Boat People's Caliphate”, i.e. complete and utter rubbish that ignores any and all socio-economic, military and geopolitical realities on the ground.
Relations with other AH.commers
* air piracy (of the properly romantic variety)
* Austria-Hungary's positive legacy
* the importance of central European history
* the need for Austro-Hungarian zeppelins
* the importance of mundane social and cultural details in alternate history works and in fiction in general
* not quotting whole posts and not quotting images
* it's the “Czech Republic” or “Czechia”, never “Czech” !
* everything and anything to do with crossbows
* sense of wonder and sense of humour
* the clockpunk agrodadaist liberation of Franz Josef's Land from the clutches of its boring current status
* insistence on blending insanely realistic with insanely “rule of cool” elements in fictional settings
* gentlemanly and compassionate treatment of women and children
* trams and trains and aeroplanes, oh my !
* the understated sexiness of cute brunettes, short or tall
* generally moderate opinions on almost everything
* historical monuments (especially castles)
* hiking and cycling (if he is in the mood for it)
* good literature and some fine tea to go with it
* subarctic or polar landscapes and environments
* micronations (he is the proud ruler of one)
* archipelagos (his dream is to annex Franz Josef Land to his aforementioned micronation)
* assault rifles with a bullpup configuration
* everything and anything to do with crossbows
* steampunk / clockpunk / otherformulaicnamepunk
* aviation history and vintage aircraft
* photography and amateur forays into filmmaking
* all kinds of barmy humour
Petike describes himself as an altruistic democrat, “conservative liberal” and “liberal conservative”, although some heretics would claim he's a teensy bit more to the right side. But “right” and “left” are silly and long obsolete political terms to him, so go figure… He is predominantly an apolitical person, though, and treats politics as a predictable and entertaining farce.
And in case you're wondering, he HATES any kind of totalitarian ideology, whether overt or veiled. The same goes for arguments in the style of :
“Desperate times… blabla… desperate measures… blabla…” (This can be used to justify virtually anything, regardless of its moral or pragmatic value.)
“You'd do it too, if you were in the same situation/predicament !” (Maybe I would, but I would just hate myself afterward…)
“It's not Fascism/Communism/Chauvinism/Supremacism/Whateverism when we do it !” (Yes it is. Or can be, edging uncomfortably close to that worrying threshold.)
As for revanchism and pointless “who has the right” discussions - if you'll ask him on his opinion about these sort of things, he'll probably just use quotes like “An eye for an eye and the world will become blind.” as an answer and leave it at that.
Petike is a follower of, in his own words, “a syncretic blend of Calvinist Skypirateism and Thandislam”.
AH.com Peerages (?)
Petike is one of the few bearers of post-AH.com Peerage titles. As with all such titles, it has not been approved for official AH.com Peerages. Half-mad aerial warlord that he is, he concocted it himself, revealing it to a blissfully unsuspecting (and indifferent) world on the 1st of October 2016: His Aviatic Majestic Excellency, Petike I., Sky Pirate Extraordinaire, Captain of the Nimrod for Life, (Would-be) Conqueror of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in general and the Zemplín shire in particular, King of Franz Josef's Land, Prince-Elector of Polar Bears and Puffins, and Corsair of Corsairs. Try to put that on a business card, ladies and gents !
“Somebody has been reading/watching/playing (insert name of book/movie/game or author) too much…“ *sarcastic or laughing smiley*
“Thanks in advance !”
“To be honest…“
“(Something, something) …I approve.” or …I concur.” *cool shades smiley*
“It kind of reminds me of…“
“On a sidenote…“
“Something from/In my Sparrow Avengers (European Crimson Skies) Universe…“
“(INSERTNAME), you so funny.” (used to mock turgid official statements made by politicians or celebrities)
“Shush you ! *angry smiley* [insert deliberately illogical or nonsensical statement] It stands to reason that, [insert clearly ironic “defense” of said nonsensical statement] ! *ironic smiley*
“Whatevs…“ (deliberately slang-ish version of “whatever”)
“Oh, snap !” (mostly used for a person, usually a public figure, who has been revealed as a blatant liar or has engaged in duplicitous/dishonest behaviour)
“Good grief !” (universal when he's unpleasantly surprised)
An affinity for including the phrase “Your challenge, should you accept it…“ in Challenge: threads in main AH discussion forums.
As you can see, Petike engages in a lot of, for lack of a better term, “verbal gingerbread”.
The board members are welcomed to write down any other catchphrases that would come to mind…