Monday, April 14, 2014

Alternate History 101

All of us wonder what our lives would be like if we'd made one decision instead of another. If we'd asked Jenny to the prom instead of Christine. If we'd chosen Army instead of Navy. College instead of North Sea gunrunning. Steak instead of chicken.

Running what-ifs through through an imaginative mind can change your whole world, literally. And those are just the changes on the level of a few lives. Suppose large-scale historical events played out a little differently. Suppose they played out very differently. Now, those changes could blossom out and change your hometown, your home state, your whole country. Even the world. Hell, maybe all of human history. Doesn't that sound like fun?

A lot of authors sure think so, this one included. Few are the wordsmiths that don't dabble along alternate timelines in one form or another. Countless movies, novels and short stories have explored this theme and there are some great examples of each. Fatherland and Cast a Deadly Spell come to mind for cinema, the latter tossing magic into the mix.

In the prose world, Harry Turtledove is just about untouchable. His Worldwar series is one of my favorites.

I played on that playground once or twice myself. Most recently in the Altered America anthology from Martinus Press, released in late March. Editor Martin T. Ingham included my story, "Goodbye, Norma Jean," along with twenty others - full Table of Contents below.

Gotta go. Phone's ringing. Caller ID says its that guy from North Sea Importers again. Why does he keep calling me?

Rio Grande by Jackson Kuhl
We the People by Dan Gainor
A Single Decision by Bruno Lombardi
What If... The Louisiana Purchase Never Happened by Edmund Wells
The Orthogonian by Sam Kepfield
Revolution 1865 by Brad Hafford
Ship of Souls by Erik Bundy
End of the Rainbow by Dusty Wallace
The Loyalist Washington by Owen Morgan
Guns of the Green Mountains by Ryan McCall
The Shining Path by Jason Sharp
The Union Forever by Sean Menken
Goodbye, Norma Jean by William R.D. Wood
Wild Blue by Jeff Provine
Avoid Seeing a Mouse by James S. Dorr
Thomas Edison Visits Selwood by Martin T. Ingham
Divided States of America by Lauren A. Forry
A Girl’s Best Friend by Cyrus P. Underwood
The Lights on Broadway by Charles Wilcox
The Black Blizzard by Philip Overby
The Road Was Lit With Moon and Star by Bruno Lombardi

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