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To some, the Miracle is an act of divine retribution; to others, it is an opportunity to carve out a new empire. Though the style is rich, lucid and literate, the point is dizzyingly abstract… Remarkable. Reviewers describe The Separatio n as both brilliant and confusing, so get ready for a literary puzzle if you dive into this one.

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Researching the war between Britain and Nazi Germany, which ended in May , historian Stuart Gratton becomes intrigued by the enigma of J. Sawyer, an obscure figure who played a key part in bringing the conflict to its conclusion. As he digs deeper, he discovers there were two J. Sawyers—identical twins Jack and Joe, one a bomber pilot and the other a conscientious objector. They are divided both by their love for the same woman and their attitudes towards the war. A military experiment in the year thrusts an American-led multinational armada back to , right into the middle of the U.

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Initial jubilation at news the Allies would win the war is quickly doused by the chilling realization that the time travelers themselves—by their very presence—have rendered history null and void. Celebration turns to dread when the possibility arises that other elements of the twenty-first century task force may have also made the trip and might now be aiding Yamamoto and the Japanese.

This is the first of what should be a hugely and deservedly successful series. The Wild Cards story collections were created by a group of New Mexico science fiction authors, pulled together and edited by Game of Thrones author George R. Martin with assistance by Melinda M. Snodgrass, also a contributor to the series.

There is a secret history of the world—a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces, which were those with superhuman mental and physical abilities.

100 Best Alternate History Novels

Others were Jokers, cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Voyage depicts the manned mission to Mars, possible partially due to John F. Kennedy surviving the Dallas assassination attempt. Clarke Award. Ada, or Ardor takes place on a planet called Antiterra, a parallel to our Earth called Terra. Things have happened there in somewhat similar yet oddly different ways than on Terra earth , including the fact that the Russian and American land masses are connected.

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Ada, or Ardor tells a love story troubled by incest. It is also a fairy tale, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalog. It was therefore quite a surprise to Lucy when she and her husband David found themselves invited to a retreat.

It quickly becomes clear to Lucy that she and David were brought to the retreat in order to pin the murder on him. There are multiple worlds, but moving between them is rare. These Transitionaries are controlled by the Concern, a vast multi-world organization that claims to protect worlds from chaos, but may also hide a greater, darker purpose. Banks fans, take note: this is not a Culture novel, no matter what Amazon says. None of these universes is quite like ours.

Alternate History of Europe (Le destin de l'Europe) -Episode Four-

However, they all have some element or other in common, many of which Pohl develops to satiric effect. Its purpse is to illustrate how crazy the rules of quantum mechanics can be. The Protestant Reformation did not take place. The town of Grantville and its power plant are sent from the year in West Virginia to in central Germany, in the middle of the barbaric Thirty Years War. In this unabashedly positive view of alternate history, American-style freedom and justice are introduced to Europe, and the American Revolution starts much earlier than before.

A group of time-traveling white supremacist members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging from an imagined 21st-century South Africa, who supply Robert E. Their intervention and technologies result in a Confederate victory in the war. Lest Darkness Fall is possibly the earliest and best example of the alternate history genre.

American archaeologist Martin Padway is visiting the Pantheon in Rome in A thunderstorm arrives, lightning cracks, and he finds himself transported to Rome in the year CE. Michael Young is a graduate student at Cambridge who is completing his dissertation on the early life of Adolf Hitler. Leo Zuckerman is an aging German physicist and Holocaust survivor. Together they idealistically embark on an experiment to change the course of history. And with their success is launched a brave new world that is in some ways better than ours—but in most ways even worse.

On the surface, the novel presents an unexceptional pulp, post-apocalypse science fiction action tale entitled Lord of the Swastika.

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However, this is a pro-fascism narrative written by an alternate-history Adolf Hitler, who in this timeline emigrated from Germany to the United States in after the Great War, and used his modest artistic skills to become first a pulp—science fiction illustrator and later a successful science fiction writer, telling lurid, purple-prosed adventure stories under a thin SF-veneer. Le Guin, science fiction author. The Difference Engine is widely regarded as having helped establish the genre conventions of steampunk.

Part detective story, part historical thriller, the adventure in The Difference Engine begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for. The novel takes place in the impoverished United States in the midth century as war looms between the Confederacy and its rival, the German Union.

Forbidden Fruit: Counterfactuals and International Relations by Richard Ned Lebow makes use of what its author is unfortunately inclined to call counterfactuals in an incisive analysis of contemporary history; his Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! Another event seen today as historically pivotal, the invention of the atom bomb, is the basis of two novels by Ronald W Clark : Queen Victoria's Bomb , in which the atom bomb is developed much earlier in history, and The Bomb that Failed ; vt The Last Year of the Old World , in which its appearance on the historical scene is delayed. Following the commercial success of Harry Turtledove 's extensive series of alternate history novels, a number of popular novelists otherwise only marginally related to sf have helped establish the alternate-history thriller as almost a separate genre, related to mainstream sf in a way perhaps analogous to the technothriller; these include Robert Conroy , who has produced eight such novels; John Birmingham , especially with his "Axis of Time" series; and even American politician and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich , who has collaborated on several such novels with William R Forstchen.

Murray Leinster introduced the idea of alternate worlds to Genre SF in "Sidewise in Time" June Astounding , and Stanley G Weinbaum used it in a light comedy, "The Worlds of If" August Wonder Stories ; but the first serious attempt to construct an alternative history in sf was L Sprague de Camp 's Lest Darkness Fall December Unknown ; exp ; rev , in which a man slips back through time and sets out to remould history by preventing or ameliorating the Dark Ages.

This story is set entirely in the distant past, but in "The Wheels of If" October Unknown de Camp displayed a contemporary America which might have resulted from tenth-century colonization by Norsemen. Most subsequent sf stories in this vein have tended to skip lightly over the detailed process of historical development to examine alternative presents, but sf writers with a keen interest in history often devote loving care to the development of imaginary pasts; a later enterprise very much in the tradition of Lest Darkness Fall is Harry Turtledove 's Agent of Byzantium coll of linked stories Robert Silverberg's Roma Eterna , presents a series of episodes over some years depicting the survival of the Roman Empire until the present.

The extraordinary melodramatic potential inherent in the idea of Alternate Worlds and alternate history was further revealed by Jack Williamson 's The Legion of Time May-July Astounding ; rev , which features alternative futures carrying out Changewar for their very existence, with crucial battles spilling into the past and present. Such stories gained rapidly in extravagance: The Fall of Chronopolis by Barrington J Bayley features a time-spanning Empire trying to maintain its reality against the alternative versions which its adversaries are imposing upon it.

The notion of competing alternative histories is further recomplicated in Time-Travel stories in which the heroes range across a vast series of Parallel Worlds , each featuring a different alternative history alternate universes are often created wholesale, though usually ephemerally, in tricky time-travel stories; see also Time Paradoxes. The policing of time-tracks — either singly, as in Isaac Asimov 's The End of Eternity , which features the totalitarian control of history by social engineers see Hard SF , or in great profusion — has remained a consistently popular theme in sf.


The best alternate history stories of the 20th century ( edition) | Open Library

John Crowley 's Great Work of Time in coll Novelty ; is a more thoughtful work about a conspiracy which attempts to use Time Travel to take charge of history. Early genre-sf stories of conflict between alternate worlds tend to assume that our world is better than most of the alternatives. An interesting exception is Budspy by David Dvorkin , where a successful Third Reich is presented more evenhandedly.

One of the most globally ambitious such works is Kim Stanley Robinson 's The Years of Rice and Salt , which covers some six centuries in the history of various world cultures as they developed in the absence of Europe, which was virtually wiped out by the plague. The idea that our world might have turned out far better than it has is more often displayed by ironic satires, including: Harry Harrison 's Tunnel Through the Deeps ; vt A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!

More earnest examples are fewer in number, but they include "The Lucky Strike" in Universe 14 , anth , ed Terry Carr by Kim Stanley Robinson , in which a US pilot refuses to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima, Elleander Morning by Jerry Yulsman , which imagines an alternate history where Hitler was assassinated before precipitating World War Two and the attendant Holocaust which see; also Holocaust Fiction , Stephen Baxter 's Voyage , in which the NASA space program of the s continued through a later mission to Mars , and Kathleen Ann Goonan 's duology In War Times and This Shared Dream , in which a device invented by a brilliant physicist seems capable ot altering timelines from World War Two through the s.

A more ambivalent view of similar alternative timelines is presented in Christopher Priest 's The Separation The "many worlds" interpretation of quantum theory encouraged the widespread exploitation of the theme in late twentieth-century sf, notable examples including Frederik Pohl 's The Coming of the Quantum Cats , featuring hostile interactions between multiple versions of contemporary America; Cowboy Angels by Paul J McAuley , in which an American government seeks to undermine the less "desirable" Americas in alternate histories called "sheaves"; the Young-Adult "Everness" series by Ian McDonald , beginning with Planesrunner and Be My Enemy , in which a boy seeks his kidnapped father through a succession of parallel Earths; and the Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter , beginning with The Long Earth , involving the colonization of a series of parallel worlds, none of which seem to have evolved intelligent human life.