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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7
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0answers
112 views

Einstein “quantum leaps” into young Japanese girl

I recall a short story I read in the 80's or 90's (might be older than that). The premise is that Albert Einstein (pretty sure it was him, might've been another scientist associated with the ...
8
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1answer
128 views

Searching for an SF short story

Looking for a short science fiction story which opens with a seemingly normal family-on-vacation scenario, but where any citizen has a rare random chance of being instantly painlessly killed as they ...
21
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2answers
2k views

What was this book about books that never existed?

I'm looking for a book that's a collection of encyclopedia-style entries about books that were lost/forgotten/alternate versions/never actually written. These weren't REAL lost books, they were ...
20
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0answers
162 views

A story about a doctor who travels to a parallel universe to seek a cure for bubonic plague

Recent news has been reminding me of various things I've read about the Black Death, including a story I believe I only saw once, and never stumbled across again. I encountered it over 30 years ago, ...
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2answers
100 views

Alternative history story from late 70's-early 80s relating to British victory in the American Revolution

Does anyone know the title and author of an alternative history from the late 70s-80s with a plot based on a scenario of British victory in the Revolutionary War? I recall a scene which took place in ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Plains natives happen across a late 1890s airbase

Long ago I read an anthology whose introduction to one story seemed to claim it was the first of its sort. Reading over the Wiki article on alternative history, this appears to be very much not the ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Is Margo Madison in “For All Mankind” based on Margaret Hamilton?

I recently watched the first episode of For All Mankind. A friend of mine who recommended it said that one of the leading characters among the historical ones is Margaret Hamilton, the leading NASA ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Has any version of Marvel's Black Panther ever been able to actually turn into a Were-Panther form?

I know I saw this somewhere, possibly in another reality outside of 616. In that version, T'Challa (the Black Panther) seemed to "shift" into a humanoid panther form, very similar to Wolfbane's "mid ...
8
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1answer
930 views

Did Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie take place in an alternate timeline?

The 1995 film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie plays out like an extended special episode, giving the Rangers new "Ninjetti" powers and Zords based not around the Dinosaurs, but modern day ...
4
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286 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 ...
6
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1answer
174 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 ...
6
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1answer
235 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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2answers
529 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 ...
22
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1answer
351 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 ...
9
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1answer
224 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: ...
5
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1answer
216 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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211 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 ...
5
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1answer
104 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 ...
6
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1answer
510 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 ...
6
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1answer
169 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
1k 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 short, ...
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1answer
372 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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153 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 ...
4
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1answer
187 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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321 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
149 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
237 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
126 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 ...
5
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1answer
244 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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0answers
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
325 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 ...
5
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0answers
268 views

Short fiction where America is at war with Canada

I'm looking for an short-fiction alternate-history book collection where different groups are at war with each other for different reasons. It was probably made during the 1980s or 1990s. In one of ...
7
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1answer
1k 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'...
6
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1answer
100 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
320 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 ...
7
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1answer
290 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 ...
3
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1answer
303 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 ...
8
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1answer
261 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 ...
6
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2answers
664 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
452 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 ...
8
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1answer
213 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 ...
5
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1answer
383 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 ...
10
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1answer
302 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 ...
8
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2answers
291 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 ...
18
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2answers
2k 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
229 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 ...