A alternate slant on history


Peter @ The Strategist has begun a series of short stories and has published the first two on his blog:

The Doomsday Device

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

I found both stories to be insightful and just the right length to provoke thought i.e. much longer and the reader would develop a serious nagging urge for more, more, more, give me more!! Along with a number of others, I hope that self-publishing via his blog is only the first step and that Peter will take heart from his first two stories to develop more for more formal publication as an anthology….publishing online is nice but it’s not quite the same as a title on the physical book shelf.

Peter has indicated that he would be interested in other short stories on his current themes so out goes the old gauntlet for anyone who thinks that they might be able to string a few words together – no more than 2000 – and spin up a yarn relating to…

What-if Germany won World War One? The circumstance, effects and extent of that ‘victory’ are entirely up to the budding author…I’m personally in favour of anything that involves that great European sport of slicing and dicing up France…

What would happen if civilisation as we know it collapsed? Again the circumstance, effects and extent of that collapse are left to the author to determine…although Aucklanders, please note, being forced to use public transport instead of driving everywhere does not constitute the end of civilisation we anyone knows it…

The one caution I would give is that developing an alternate history is a little more than shaking up the actual timeline and rearranging the characters – that becomes trite and mundane very quickly and you can see examples in the various discussions on building the Birmoverse – from the point of deviation from actual history, the author really has to sit down and consider how that new timeline will develop, identify key milestones and then flesh out the story to link those milestones. It is not outside the bounds of possibility that an alternate timeline might actually rejoin the actual timeline at some point as a story plays out in conjunction with great events.

As with the numerous discussions on developing the Birmoverse in the last few months, considering alternate and future histories can help us understand and place ourselves better in our own timeline but considering events and issues from a new perspective. I enjoyed Peter’s first two stories in their own right and am seriously considering having a crack at some myself. Of course, the last time I wrote any fiction (other than military doctrine!!) was when I had a short short story published in the Sunday Times when I was seven…

One thought on “A alternate slant on history

  1. i was starting to reckon i may possibly be the only person which cared about this, at the very least at present i acknowledge i’m not ridiculous 🙂 i’ll make sure to look into a handful of several other posts after i get my morning caffeine in me, it is challanging to read with out my coffee, adios for now 🙂

    Like

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