Questions tagged [alternate-history]

Fiction set in a world whose history branches off from our own, which may or may not have science-fictional or fantasy elements

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4
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0answers
171 views

Alt-reality film. Being hetero is taboo. People forced to be gay

This was a really bizarre film. I'm not sure if it was a movie, a mockumentary, or a "what if" alternate reality think piece. The premise was that straight people are shunned from society, while being ...
5
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1answer
125 views

What year is the series “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” supposedly set in?

Almost everything in Greendale seems to be vintage 1960's (cars, movies, dress). I assume it is to reflect the original comic book, but I swear I saw Ambrose using a laptop computer in the first ...
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1answer
222 views

What alternate history has Americans salting their tea?

I keep thinking this may be The Two Georges, but I can’t find my copy anywhere. I’m fairly sure this was from an alternate history where the US was still part of the British empire. I think this ...
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1answer
2k views

Looking for a story about how the USA acquired an inland sea

I came across a story ID request here recently, that reminded me of another similar story I've read. So that earthquake, did you check your math? The story I've read, most likely in '90s or the late ...
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142 views

What was the slight flaw in Master Li's character?

In the Barry Hughart Master Li and Number 10 Ox books, Master Li always introduces himself thusly: "My surname is Li and my personal name is Kao, and there is a slight flaw in my character," he ...
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2answers
355 views

Novel about an alternate history of the Aztec empire from a modern day archaeologist time travelling back there

This is a posthumous novel(?) from the 70 or 80s(?) where a modern day archaeologist who is transported back to the Aztec empire on the brink of the conquest, but then changes the course of history à ...
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244 views

Short story where a physics professor goes to a timeline where his son doesn’t exist

The story probably dates from the late 80s to early 90s. I'm almost sure I read it in one of the pulp magazines while researching an article in the early '00s. A physics professor, in a fit of ...
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1answer
206 views

Novel about Soviets winning the Cold War

I don’t remember the plot beyond a few salient points: It was an alternate history in which the Soviets won the Cold War. There was a description towards the beginning of new apartment buildings ...
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1answer
2k views

Book about government-funded research yielding functional teleportation that causes personality changes

I read about 15 years ago a book about teleportation devices and alternate histories, and I have the greatest difficulties to recall its name or its author. The story goes more or less like this: ...
4
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1answer
170 views

Why is steam power acceptable to the ruling Catholic Church in Pavane, but not electricity?

In Keith Roberts’ alternate history fix-up novel Pavane, 1968 Britain is still labouring under a steam-powered industrial revolution. People travel by horse, steam trains transport freight and ...
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200 views

Short story with travel between alternative realities through the London Underground

I think it's a story from the 60s or 70s, set in its present. A British SS from an alternative reality in which Nazi Germany has won the war arrives inadvertently to our reality's London. I remember ...
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1answer
99 views

Help! Book with Double Headed Character Called Neds

This is my first time posting here so please point out any etiquette mistakes I make :) I am looking for help finding a trilogy I read some time ago. I can't seem to remember enough search terms to ...
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1answer
359 views

Did the 9/11 (World Trade Centre) attack happen in the Star Trek universe?

There is evidence that the timeline of Star Trek had already diverged from our own by the middle of the 20th century. Are there any materials, at any level of canon, that describe the fate of the Twin ...
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1answer
136 views

Story identification: Time travel to disrupt Columbus

I'm trying to recall the name of a novel that was set in a dystopian future with time travel. A group sets out to disrupt Columbus and change Aztec culture to be more resistant to European invasion ...
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2answers
960 views

What are the human cultures depicted in the Valerian opening montage?

Relating to this video: and this question: Why this year in Valerian?, @Valorum provided this answer which explains the context and thinking In particular, In ...
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1answer
351 views

Why this year in Valerian?

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets starts with this awesome montage showing humanity's progress through a series of peaceful handshakes as vessels and space ...
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151 views

Short story involving preventing disaster by keeping one key man from doing/not doing something

Read this story 20-30 years ago but it was probably old then. A team of operatives (from the future?) tries to influence the actions of one key man to prevent devastation of earth. In one world this ...
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1answer
160 views

Alternate history/fantasy novel with a woman as Alexander the Great

Can anyone identify a novel, probably from the '80s, which told the story of Alexander the Great but gender flipped to be a woman? The character's name was altered to be Aleksanr Alisond (or similar). ...
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264 views

Short story where time travelers are surprised to see black people

In one of Gardner Dozois anthologies in the last few years had a short story about an alternate time line where the travelers were surprised to see black people as their reality had none. Can anyone ...
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1answer
126 views

Alternative History - Alchemy, crystal faxes, and Jesus Shoes

I recall reading a book that was newly or recently released in the mid-to-late 90s which featured an alternative history where alchemy, not science, was discovered. Many of the prominant characters ...
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What's the Byzantine Empire's next move? [closed]

Spoilers for Flint/Weber's Dance of Time series... Okay, so at the end of the last book, the Byzantine Empire is in a good place. They've made friends with Persia, Axum, and several important Indian ...
6
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1answer
225 views

Short story about an alternate World War One lasting 20 years

This was a story I read a long time ago, I believe from Asimov's magazine in the early 1980s (1982?), about a pilot or soldier in an alternate World War I that lasted much longer than it did in our ...
4
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1answer
119 views

WWII Naval short story

I am trying to locate a short story about a new radar being tested by the US Navy during WWII. The captain of the test vessel encounters a Japanese fleet heading to the west coast and using the new ...
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1answer
234 views

A human has psychic power that makes people forget that he is there. Including his parents

...Spoiler alert... Alternate history where humans have developed psychic powers. A baby is born whose power is that people "forget" about him. Robot nurses feed and change him etc. His parents ...
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77 views

Musician (Guitarist?) finds “muse” at party, but muse is “drained” of energy by musician

... Spoiler alert ... A male musician, possibly a guitarist, in his 20's meets a girl at a party and she is his "muse". However, in this world muses are "drained" of energy by the musician. His ...
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1answer
258 views

Need help identifying - Alternate history - Spanish Armada wins over English

Can somebody help me identify this story which I read in the 1980s(?). What I remember is that in 1588 the Spanish Armada was not destroyed on its way to battle the English fleet and the English ...
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224 views

Short fiction where America is a third world country at war with Canada

Isaac Asimov's Mother's Day, Isaac Asimov's Moons, Isaac Asimov's Fathers Day, Isaac Asimov's Christmas, Isaac Asimov's Utopias, Isaac Asimov's Earth, Isaac Asimov's War and so forth are all short ...
7
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1answer
566 views

What does Mr. Tagomi's assistant say when he opens the door?

In Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, whenever Kotomichi comes into Mr. Tagomi's office, he says something just before he opens the door. It sounds sort of like "Christmas" to me, but presumably it'...
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1answer
95 views

Title/author of fantasy novel — the Puritans visit Ottoman Empire ? Alt. Hist

I'm looking for a female fantasy author who wrote a novel about an alternate reality in which the Puritans always ruled America, and visited the Ottoman Empire, seeking a trade deal. It's a commentary ...
5
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1answer
310 views

How did the Nazis come to invade Britain?

In the BBC drama SS-GB the Nazis have invaded the UK and instigated their rule across the country. The timeline of the first episode appears to happen in 1941. What event was different from our ...
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1answer
234 views

All the Small Wars at Once

Looking for a SF Short Story I read many years ago. Name (although not exactly sure): "All the Small Wars at Once". I believe it was written by Larry Niven (but not sure). Brief synopsis (as I ...
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1answer
266 views

Would it have made any difference if Harry Potter didn't wear glasses?

From this interesting question and with its even more interesting answers, I deduce following: Poor eyesight cannot be healed by even Magic Harry had already been in trouble numerous times due to his ...
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1answer
245 views

Book involving time travel, hordes of Genghis Khan riding Harleys, and Legionaries with anti-tank weapons?

I'm trying to recall the title of a book involving time travel. It included warriors from different time periods being given modern technology. The Hordes of Genghis Khan were like a biker gang riding ...
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2answers
623 views

From whence comes Tolkien's history of the Mûmak (Oliphaunt) and its demise?

It is rather clear from the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring, specifically the "Note on the Shire Records," that the Lord of the Rings account of the third age comes from information primarily ...
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1answer
429 views

Is the Concept of the Multiverse Unique to Superhero Comic Books? [closed]

I'm doing some research into the concept of the multiverse, and I was wondering: Is the concept of the multiverse unique to the genre of superhero literature? Obviously the occasional book or tv show ...
7
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1answer
187 views

What was the series of alternate history stories about a nonhuman apes found in the Americas?

This was some decades ago, maybe as far back as the 80’s. One of the major SF magazines (Analog or Asimov’s) published a number of stories set in a universe where the Americas were found to be ...
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6answers
7k views

What's the most recent specific historical element that is common between Star Trek and the real world?

It is well known that there appears to be some divergence between the events of the Star Trek universe and ours (in particular, the Augments and Khan Singh, etc.) Related: Has Star Trek ever ...
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1answer
358 views

Identify this alternative history short story about a pilot refusing to drop a bomb

I'm trying to remember the name of an alternative-history short story, can anyone help me? It is about a man who refuses to drop a bomb because he feels that he would be responsible for the deaths ...
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1answer
249 views

“Flint age”, alternate history scifi with racist native americans

Around 2005 or 2006 I read a novel that had a number of interesting concepts, and I would like to find it again. What I remember: The title was something like "the flint age". The priest were the ...
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2answers
281 views

What major real-earth historical events had a different outcome because of Marvel Supers?

I am interested to know if any past event (let’s only consider Earth's timeline up to World War II, for the sake of brevity — the events from WWII to the present are well-covered in the comics). We ...
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2answers
1k views

Why exactly do the Twin Towers still stand in the Kermit-less world?

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is about Kermit the Frog exploring a world where he had never been born, It's a Wonderful Life-style. It came out in late 2002. At one point, the Twin Towers ...
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1answer
217 views

I'm trying to find a fantasy novel that is set in an alternative medieval, alpine Europe

The plot involves a beer or lager being continuously brewed and tapped at various heights in the vat. the bottom level has special powers. The wilds outside the towns are inhabited by mythical ...
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6answers
2k views

Did Edith Keeler really have to *die*?

In the Star Trek TOS episode 28, "The City on the Edge of Forever", we find that McCoy's drug-fueled tear through the past caused serious and far-reaching effects on the space-time continuum; to wit, ...
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5answers
13k views

Does the Starship Troopers movie take place in an alternate future where the Nazis won?

The parallels seem pretty obvious, especially when you see Neil Patrick Harris' costume near the end of the film: Has there ever been any official word? And is there more that I've missed? I'd just ...
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1answer
145 views

Does anyone know the book “The Eagle Flies Over England”?

In 1969, visiting my aunt in the Netherlands, I saw and read a book in her library which I seem to recall was titled The Eagle Flies over England. It supposes that the Buonoparte family fled Corsica ...
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1answer
342 views

In “The Difference Engine,” why did the completion of the Difference Engine lead to a balkanized USA?

In The Difference Engine, by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, the point of departure is that Charles Babbage got the funding to make his proposed Victorian calculator, the Difference Engine. Now, in ...
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1answer
154 views

Mid 20th century post-apocalyptic novel which utilized the term “the Mysteries”?

"The Mysteries" were descriptions of past cultural traditions such as religion or ethnicity which became mangled when half-remembered by survivors of an apocalyptic war or pestilence. I especially ...
11
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1answer
333 views

Can you identify this time-travel/alternate history novel? [duplicate]

I read this sometime in the 2000s, in another state, so I can't go back and check the shelves. A scientist discovers time-travel, or something like it -- it's a time-sea. Swimming in it causes ...
3
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1answer
84 views

Christopher Priest, *The Affirmation*: “Who is Alice Dowden?”

This is from page 160 of the Gollancz "SF Masterworks" edition (2011) of Christopher Priest's slipstream (or at any rate elusive) novel The Affirmation (1981). In an alternate reality (later explored ...
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3answers
455 views

Pre-1978 sci-fi novel involving life under an Asian occupation of US

Just in case: it's not the "Man in the High Castle"! ;) -- which was published much earlier. This science fiction story (may have been a novella), from what little I recall, involved the aftermath ...