Monday, August 1, 2011

Alternate History

I just finished reading The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century, edited by Harry Turtledove with Martin H. Greenberg. It's a great collection, and I highly recommend it.

For those unfamiliar with the genre, alternate history stories are the ultimate "what if" stories:
What if Hitler hadn't been defeated?
What if the South had won the Civil War?
What if we hadn't landed on the moon?

According to writer Steven H Silver, alternate history requires three things: 1) the story must have a point of divergence from the history of our world prior, 2) a change that would alter history as it is known, and 3) an examination of the ramifications of that change.

While I've never written an alternate history, the fourteen stories in this anthology have sparked my imagination. Maybe once I'm done with the next revision on my novel I'll try my hand at an alternate history short.

A few links for more info on alternate history:

A list of alternate history books for your reading pleasure:

John J. Reilly's Alternate History site

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