The Time of Crows is an eerie and mysterious, yet oddly realistic timeline, written by othyrsyde. It explores the aftermath of an apocalyptic plague during the mid-to-late 18th century. It is also told through a rather unconventional medium, specifically through the personal accounts of a young woman, whose consciousness has been flung into a replaying shadow of the TL. Or it could be this poor woman is just suffering from severe delusions…
It won the Best Fantasy Fiction Award in the 2013 turtledove_awards. And has been announced as of May 6th, 2014 to be suspended due to the controversy arising from the Wampanoag Incident.
The Reaping, or Reap, is the name given to the deadly contagion that spread across the globe throughout the second half of the 1770s and into the early 1780s (Also known as the Withering in China); starting in Africa, and quickly spreading beyond. It left victims emaciated, so drained of bodily fluids their skin would crack open, exposing their inflected blood. Immunity to the strange disease has been known, as are survivors; but those who lived through the Reap are often left covered with scars from the damage to their flesh. The plague killed over a third of the human race at the time and undid the social fabric of many cultures and nations, bringing about a very different history from our own.
Maria Rodriguez, a women from OTL (or one close to ours?) suffered a car accident that left her in a coma. She awoke in dark place, where she witnessed several alternate versions of her own life, in vistas she has named flashes. She was then approached by her first and primary guide, who called himself John Doe or J.D.(who the other guides refer to him as); a morbid and clearly inhuman being. He took Maria along on a trip across the Earth, observing the Reaping and the aftermath of it's passing. Maria has had other guides as well; who have had clear ties to the world, and others who seem just as mysterious as John Doe.
When she emerged from her coma, she was quite shocked from what she had witnessed. Her claims of experiencing them, landed Maria in an insane asylum; where she discusses her “travels” with Dr. Jeffrey Goines of the institute. Maria is sure she traveled to the alternate history; but has her doubts.
So far, the timeline has had two different versions:
a.) The original version, now abandoned. It can be read here.
b.) The current, Redux version, which you can read here.
Sessions (chapter lists for both versions)
othyrsyde likes to decide the randomness of fate, especially of OTL figures, through the flip of a coin-such as, did they survive?, how many years/decades did they live after the POD?, etc.