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  • Locked thread
Reveilled
Apr 19, 2007

Take up your rifles


Grouchio posted:

I most certainly do not mention this to most people.

I'm just wondering if you've heard of the place.

I've read a few things there on occasion, and there's nothing quite like that on Something Awful, as mentioned, the closest you'll get will be paradox LPs.

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Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Raskolnikov2089 posted:

What, you don't enjoy learning about Wicca every other page in S.M. Stirling books?

I've heard that S. M. Stirling was actually a member of alternatehistory.com for a while, and the highest-profile professional AH writer who's been associated with the site, but then he was banned for racism.

Marshal Radisic
Oct 9, 2012




Metal Loaf posted:

I've heard that S. M. Stirling was actually a member of alternatehistory.com for a while, and the highest-profile professional AH writer who's been associated with the site, but then he was banned for racism.

I used to post on AH.com many moons ago, and all that is true. He also got himself banned from another site I frequent for pretty much the same reason. I think he also had a reputation for starting fights on soc.history.what-if. Dude's a big ol' goon.

Oh, and I believe Tom Kratman also posted on AH.com briefly before getting banned for general asshattery.

Basticle
Sep 12, 2011




My favorite alternate history novel was written by Harry Turtledove and, bizarrely, actor Richard Dreyfus. The Two Georges takes place (IIRC) in the 1970s and assumes that the American Revolution never happened. The US/Canada are one big steam powered zeppelin-flying colony. The best part about this book is its actually more of a mystery novel, with the main characters being Royal American Mounted Police detectives trying to hunt down a stolen painting depicting George III & George Washington.

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


I think The Two Georges was set in an alternate 1989, but it's been quite a few years since I read it.

It has Richard Nixon as one of the richest men in the British Empire, having made his fortune as a used car salesman.

Yvonmukluk
Oct 10, 2012

Everything is Sinister



Marshal Radisic posted:

I used to post on AH.com many moons ago, and all that is true. He also got himself banned from another site I frequent for pretty much the same reason. I think he also had a reputation for starting fights on soc.history.what-if. Dude's a big ol' goon.

Oh, and I believe Tom Kratman also posted on AH.com briefly before getting banned for general asshattery.

Kratman also showed up on another forum I frequent and got in an argument with one of the mods over one of his (non-AH, well your typical rightwing DERE TAKIN' ARE RIGHTS fantasy). Well technically it was Kratman throwing a tantrum when the mod pointed out one of his scenes involving his 'heroes' attack Abrams with bottles of bleach/Ammonia made no sense.

TopherCStone
Feb 27, 2013

I am very important and deserve your attention


Any recommendations on alt-history JFK books? I really enjoyed American Tabloid, which wasn't exactly alt-history but a thrilling fictional account of the assassination and events leading up to it. I'm aware there are sequels to it which are certainly on my list. Also I just finished Surrounded by Enemies by Bryce Zabel which considers a botched assassination and the Kennedy administration thereafter which I loved. I'd be interested to read more along those lines.

Basticle posted:

My favorite alternate history novel was written by Harry Turtledove and, bizarrely, actor Richard Dreyfus. The Two Georges takes place (IIRC) in the 1970s and assumes that the American Revolution never happened. The US/Canada are one big steam powered zeppelin-flying colony. The best part about this book is its actually more of a mystery novel, with the main characters being Royal American Mounted Police detectives trying to hunt down a stolen painting depicting George III & George Washington.

This is a great book. I first heard about it in a thread here complaining about steampunk (which is 99% crap) as an example of a good steampunk novel. I'm a big Turtledove fan, but a good number of his books are pretty lazy, and if you read a lot of them in a row (which I have done on several occasions) you start to find the grid in a way. You can see the pattern he follows and it kind of damps the enjoyment a bit.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


When I was 13 or 14 I read the whole Darkness series, then as much of the TL-191 series as was out.

I followed along the last few of that series, but haven't been able to bring myself to read any Turtledove ever since.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

TopherCStone posted:

Any recommendations on alt-history JFK books? I really enjoyed American Tabloid, which wasn't exactly alt-history but a thrilling fictional account of the assassination and events leading up to it. I'm aware there are sequels to it which are certainly on my list. Also I just finished Surrounded by Enemies by Bryce Zabel which considers a botched assassination and the Kennedy administration thereafter which I loved. I'd be interested to read more along those lines.


This is a great book. I first heard about it in a thread here complaining about steampunk (which is 99% crap) as an example of a good steampunk novel. I'm a big Turtledove fan, but a good number of his books are pretty lazy, and if you read a lot of them in a row (which I have done on several occasions) you start to find the grid in a way. You can see the pattern he follows and it kind of damps the enjoyment a bit.

The Winterberry is a gloomy short story dealing with that very subject.

Nckdictator fucked around with this message at 04:08 on Dec 29, 2014

TopherCStone
Feb 27, 2013

I am very important and deserve your attention


Nckdictator posted:

The Winterberry is a gloomy short story dealing with that very subject.

That looks good, I'll give it a try, thanks!

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

TopherCStone posted:

That looks good, I'll give it a try, thanks!

It's on Google books!

http://books.google.com/books?id=zg...epage&q&f=false

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!



I've seen a lot of alt-history that deals with America never revolting/losing the revolution, but I haven't seen anything about the revolution spreading to England. Does anyone know of anyone has written any decent stories about a monarchy-less England?

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



8one6 posted:

I've seen a lot of alt-history that deals with America never revolting/losing the revolution, but I haven't seen anything about the revolution spreading to England. Does anyone know of anyone has written any decent stories about a monarchy-less England?

Sorry, this is the alternate history thread. Try here instead: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3458502

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Hey, an America that isn't revolting is definitely SF.

Prolonged Priapism
Dec 21, 2007
Holy hookrat Sally smoking crack in the alley!





Ugly In The Morning posted:

Is there any Vietnam-era alternate history out there? Stuff like "What if Kennedy wasn't assassinated", "What if America never went in", "What if it wasn't run by a bunch of idiots". All that. It's one of my favorite eras to read actual history books about.

Super tangential, but Voyage by Stephen Baxter is an alternate history where Jackie dies instead of JFK. It focuses mostly on an alternate-history NASA (and the associated engineers, contractors, scientists, astronauts, etc) that does more moon landings and eventually a Mars mission in 1985. Though one of the astronaut characters gets his start as a pilot in Vietnam.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

Harry Turtledove's new alt-histroy book came out a few days ago. Reviews have been saying it's better then most of his latest work.



quote:

President Herbert Hoover has failed America. The Great Depression that rose from the ashes of the 1929 stock market crash still casts its dark shadow over the country. Despairing and desperate, the American people hope one of the potential Democratic candidates—New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and California congressman Joe Steele—can get the nation on the road to recovery.

But fate snatches away one hope when a mansion fire claims the life of Roosevelt, leaving the Democratic party little choice but to nominate Steele, son of a Russian immigrant laborer who identifies more with the common man than with Washington D.C.’s wealthy power brokers.

Achieving a landslide victory, President Joe Steele wastes no time pushing through Congress reforms that put citizens back to work. Anyone who gets in his way is getting in the way of America, and that includes the highest in the land. Joe Steele’s critics may believe the government is gaining too much control, but they tend to find themselves in work camps if they make too much noise about it. And most people welcome strong leadership, full employment, and an absence of complaining from the newspapers—especially as Hitler and Trotsky begin the kind of posturing that seems sure to drag America into war.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

ASK ME ABOUT MY LOVE OF EUGENICS AND MARIO 3


College Slice

Sighs and unzips his wallet.

Damnit Harry, always dragging me back in.

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


Is this expanding on the Joe Steele short story he wrote a number of years ago?

I don't know if I'll bother. I feel like I'm over Turtledove, to be honest. It's always an interesting setting, though; the Depression (pre-Roosevelt) is probably the closest the USA came to revolution in the 20th century.

KomradeX
Oct 29, 2011


How are the books 1945 and 1945:Red Inferno by Robert Conroy are they any good? I've never read any of his stuff, but seeing what people had to say about 1862 and 1901 I'm getting kind of worried

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


KomradeX posted:

How are the books 1945 and 1945:Red Inferno by Robert Conroy are they any good? I've never read any of his stuff, but seeing what people had to say about 1862 and 1901 I'm getting kind of worried

I haven't read them but my brother has. 1862 is the only novel of Conroy's that I've read (I bought it in a gift shop when I visited Gettysburg on holiday a few years ago) and I didn't think it was very good. I thought the characters were pretty shallow; for instance, I seem to recall it portrays Ulysses S. Grant as a kind of demigod who guarantees victory by being present on the battlefield.

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


KomradeX posted:

How are the books 1945 and 1945:Red Inferno by Robert Conroy are they any good? I've never read any of his stuff, but seeing what people had to say about 1862 and 1901 I'm getting kind of worried

I have both. Red Inferno doesn't really have anything to do with the plot of 1945. 1945 is great because it's a book about the invasion of Japan.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

KomradeX posted:

How are the books 1945 and 1945:Red Inferno by Robert Conroy are they any good? I've never read any of his stuff, but seeing what people had to say about 1862 and 1901 I'm getting kind of worried

Robert_Conroy.jpg





Bonus: Found whatever this is




quote:

The story is based around the British mercenary Burton Cole who has been dispatched on a secret mission by the British government to assassinate Walter Hochburg, the Nazi Governor General of Kongo. This plot occurs against the backdrop of increasing tensions between Britain and Germany which threatens to disrupt the uneasy truce made in 1940.

In September 1952 Burton, posing as an SS surveyor, enters Schadelplatz (named for its plaza of skulls, which Hochburg says is made of "twenty thousand friend of the family skulls" and can accommodate panzers) and gains access to Hochburg's office, having taken the mission at the behest of Ackerman (a representative of Lusaka Mining Corporation), due to his vendetta with Hochburg. Assassinating Hochburg and escaping with the aid of Patrick - an American from the defunct French Foreign Legion - Cole is able to escape the Schadelplatz and meet with his team in a Central African Airlines plane from Rhodesia. However, they are soon spotted and shot down by SS troops (who took over responsibility for German Africa from the Afrika Korps in the mid-1940s), and Burton and Patrick flee for German Aquatoriana, to reach British Nigeria.

In a subplot, Neliah, a Herero living in Portuguese North Angola (Angola south of the Benguela Railway 'appropriated' by the Reich in 1949 for imposing heavy taxation on black marble used in Albert Speer's architectural designs to the fury of Germany) with her sister Zuri and members of the Portuguese (white) insurgency (Resistencia), is sent on a trek to Loanda in the face of a German invasion and, more personally, the potential for deportation to Deutsch Westafrika, colloquially known as "Muspel", to which all African blacks in German territory have been deported as part of Nazi racial purification policy.

Forced to make for Kongo after a failed attempt to steal a Luftwaffe plane from an airbase fighting a Belgian-French insurgency, Burton and Patrick head for their agent in Stanleystadt, the capital of Nazi Afrika (apparently on the site of Stanleyville), a Frenchman named Rougier. They are forced to flee across the roof of his apartment and he falls into traffic before he can inform Cole of Ackerman's identity.

Captured by a German conscription gang while attempting to escape to Neu Berlin, Burton and Patrick are taken south along the Pan-African Autobahn (PAA, or Road of Friendship) to the North Angolan border, where they are separated. Forced to clear a tunnel Neliah's insurgents have destroyed, Burton soon meets Neliah, and they flee, with Zuri, westwards. Patrick, meanwhile, is imprisoned by SS officer Uhrig, in a facility where he discovers the dark secret of the German section of the PAA: the corpses of dead German soldiers, mixed with gypsum and limestone, are ground into the road, as part of Hochburg's ideal of "Aryanising" Africa. Escaping, Patrick meets with Zuri but is recaptured, with Burton and Neliah rescuing them moments before Zuri is gang-raped.

Hijacking an abandoned train, they move along the Salazar Railway to Loanda, but are caught up by German Walkure helicopters. Although they take down three and a troop transport, they are derailed but still manage to reach Luanda, which holds out thanks to an agreement between Field Marshal von Arnim and the Portuguese governors. Heading for the British consulate, Burton makes some discoveries: 'Ackerman' is really from British Intelligence; 'Rougier' is a member of the Gestapo, having testified at the trial of Dolan, a Welshman who was part of the assassination team; Hochburg was not assassinated by Burton—it was a decoy—and finally, von Arnim and the British are collaborating in a phony war in North Angola and Rhodesia, to reduce the influence of the SS, whom Arnim claims had swayed Hitler's mind from reality: for example, the deportation of the blacks to Muspel reduced many plantation owners to ruins, despite their progress.

Hochburg orders the German army forward, and the British consulate destroyed. Entering Loanda's sewers, Burton, Patrick and Neliah make for the docks to get on a tug that will take them to a waiting Royal Navy ship. Neliah, defiant to the end, remains to fend off Uhrig, who has pursued them, presumably dying in the final defence of Loanda. Although Burton and Patrick escape on a tug, they are ambushed by SS motorboat-attackers, led by Hochburg. Burton and Patrick fight them off, and in the end only Cole and Hochburg are left alive. It is revealed why they have a vendetta—Burton, the son of a German settler in Togoland and a British woman, lived in an orphanage in the jungle following the Great War. Hochburg came to them as a missionary, having seen his family brutally killed by tribesmen, the root of his racist hatred. Although Hochburg was taken in, he engaged in an affair with Cole's mother and eloped with her. However, she left to go back for Burton, and was herself murdered by tribesmen. This led Burton's father into a depression, and when Hochburg returned to burn down the orphanage, he remained while Burton fled to join the French Foreign Legion, where he met Patrick whom he saved at Dunkirk (in this reality a "fiasco" where 80,000 were killed and the rest taken prisoner), leading to his mercenary life. As their tug begins to sink, Cole gets into a rowboat and leaves Hochburg to his fate, who gives a Parthian shot as his last words, saying it was because of Burton that his mother died.

Looking back at the spot where his best friend and worst enemy both died, and at the ruins of Luanda, Burton contemplates his return to his lover in Suffolk, Madeleine, and then comes to a realisation after conversation with Ackerman - her husband Jared authorised the mission, which was from the start intended to fail. With this in mind, Burton wills the ship to go faster, as the book ends with a historical note on the background of the story.

KomradeX
Oct 29, 2011


Nckdictator posted:

Robert_Conroy.jpg





Bonus: Found whatever this is



Now that doesn't too awful, but something like a really cheesy B action movie. Is that whats to be expected from his work? Or is there something more insidious I'm missing. Though reading this

quote:

To win World War II, the Allies dealt with the devil. Joseph Stalin helped FDR, Churchill, and Truman crush Hitler. But what if “Uncle Joe” had given in to his desire to possess Germany and all of Europe? In this stunning novel, Robert Conroy picks up the history of the war just as American troops cross the Elbe into Germany. Then Stalin slams them with the brute force of his enormous Soviet army.

does not fill me with high expectations since this would mean the Americans are entering Germany from the wrong direction and why just go out to make the Soviets cartoon evil when you can do Operation Unthinkable, but I guess he jsut had to make those vile commies the aggressor Maybe I'll get around to reading it I picked that and 1945 up a few years ago when looking for Alt History that wasn't Harry Turtledove, but I always end up buying more books than I have time to read so I'm a bit far behind.

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


KomradeX posted:

Now that doesn't too awful, but something like a really cheesy B action movie. Is that whats to be expected from his work? Or is there something more insidious I'm missing. Though reading this


does not fill me with high expectations since this would mean the Americans are entering Germany from the wrong direction and why just go out to make the Soviets cartoon evil when you can do Operation Unthinkable, but I guess he jsut had to make those vile commies the aggressor Maybe I'll get around to reading it I picked that and 1945 up a few years ago when looking for Alt History that wasn't Harry Turtledove, but I always end up buying more books than I have time to read so I'm a bit far behind.

I've read red inferno. WW3 starts because a unit of shermans mistakes some t34s for panzers, firing on them. this sparks a soviet response which ends with the nuking of three soviet field armies and the overthrow of stalin.

KomradeX
Oct 29, 2011


Mycroft Holmes posted:

I've read red inferno. WW3 starts because a unit of shermans mistakes some t34s for panzers, firing on them. this sparks a soviet response which ends with the nuking of three soviet field armies and the overthrow of stalin.

I think I rolled my eyes so hard at that I think I went blind for a bit. Well that can be shifted down to much later on the old reading queue. Bright side I guess is I didn't pay for it so no skin off my back.

Though it's quite surprising how different what happens in the book is to what the amazon description is.

In other news I just did buy a book called Over The Top a collection of what if The Great War had gone differently stories, looks to be one about what if the Germans had just attacked Russia, what if Jutland had been more decisive. I'll probably read that next when I finish the book I'm currently reading.

And to go back to an earlier point of discuss that the field of Alt History stories does seem to be populated by a lot of reactionaries or at least a lot of reactionary thought. I think the philosopher Slavoj Zizke wrote an essay about that I recall reading a few years ago, when I'm not posting from my phone I'll go see if can find it or if I'm misremembering and it was just something he mentioned in one of his books.

Wheat Loaf
Feb 13, 2012

by FactsAreUseless


I think there is a quite strongly reactionary tendency in alternate history; I believe S. M. Stirling and Chris Nuttall (my brother has read his stories; I haven't, but I'm told that they all boil down to the Muslims and/or the French overrunning Britain up as far as Hadrian's Wall, which is then rebuilt to keep them out) were both actually banned from alternatehistory.com for racism at one point.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

KomradeX posted:

I think I rolled my eyes so hard at that I think I went blind for a bit. Well that can be shifted down to much later on the old reading queue. Bright side I guess is I didn't pay for it so no skin off my back.

Though it's quite surprising how different what happens in the book is to what the amazon description is.

In other news I just did buy a book called Over The Top a collection of what if The Great War had gone differently stories, looks to be one about what if the Germans had just attacked Russia, what if Jutland had been more decisive. I'll probably read that next when I finish the book I'm currently reading.

And to go back to an earlier point of discuss that the field of Alt History stories does seem to be populated by a lot of reactionaries or at least a lot of reactionary thought. I think the philosopher Slavoj Zizke wrote an essay about that I recall reading a few years ago, when I'm not posting from my phone I'll go see if can find it or if I'm misremembering and it was just something he mentioned in one of his books.

Actually there was recently a discussion over that on alt-hist.

http://www.alternatehistory.com/dis...ad.php?t=350524

Random observations on alt-hist writers: Harry Turtledove is pretty liberal on social issues but his work like "The Last Article" and "The Man With the Iron Heart" are both fairly hawkish works, the former being a condemnation of nonviolence and pacifism and the latter a bizarre Iraq War analogy set in 1945. Also, in his afterword to "Guns of the South" he writes how he disagrees with the revisionist view of Robert E Lee and that "Lee's own writings prove what kind of man he was" . That's not even getting into his love for gratuitous sex scenes.

Never read any of S. M. Stirling's stuff but he was banned for making this post which most claim advocated genocide, make of that what you will.

http://www.alternatehistory.com/dis...3&postcount=106

quote:

-- well, certainly not their children and other dependents. They're 1innocent bystanders. Mind you, a lot of bystanders got killed in Dresden and Hiroshima, and the long-term results of those wars were good to goodish.

But if you could wipe out, say, every member of the Nazi party in 1940? Sure, why not?

Ditto for most Communists in Stalin's time. Ditto for supporters of al Qaeda and similar groups.

They not only believe bad things, they believe bad things which, if they're sincere, make them a standing danger to everyone else, from Christians to post-Christians to Buddhists (see recent events in Thailand).

Self-defense is a human right, both individually and collectively. If people want to kill you, and have shown they will if they get a chance, the usual inhibitions against knocking them off first don't apply, as the Talmud says (tractate Sanhedrin, if you're interested). Ideas have consequences. Every human action begins as a concept, an imagining.

In point of fact, though, we _can't_ kill everyone who supports Islamist interpretations of the Muslim religion, even though there are a great many of them and they're very dangerous and will become more so as nuclear weapons and weaponized biotech becomes more widely available.

And it would be profoundly stupid and counterproductive to try.

For one thing, separating them from the bystanders (or even a reasonable proportion of the bystanders) would be impossible; and you can go on from there.

That's one of those "magic button" questions interesting only in an academic sense... unless someone thinks they're one of the Guardians At the Gate of Permissable Expression, of course, or are playing usenet-style 'gotcha' games.


Eric Flint's a interesting case in that he's a out and proud socialist who makes it clear he believes in American exceptionalism.

And lastly wouldn't feel right without mention the alt-history board themselves (seeing as their the largest alt hist site around) but their pretty left-wing for the most part.

Tomn
Aug 23, 2007

And the angel said unto him
"Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself."
But lo he could not. For the angel was hitting him with his own hands


Speaking of which, something that's crossed my mind lately - I enjoy alt-history stories which involve a modern or near-modern society going back in time somehow and changing things (Eric Flint's 1632 series, for instance), but it occurred to me that in some ways such stories seem to be a form of acceptable colonialism. It isn't on anymore to beat up on foreigners and take their poo poo by using massively superior technology, but hey, nobody denies that our ancestors were assholes, right? Nothing wrong with beating THEM up and forcing them to live according to our values, which are much superior to their literally backwards ways. And they'll be glad to do so anyways because we're much more progressive and better and democratic than their old leaders, right? So really, we shouldn't feel at ALL bad about mowing their soldiers by the dozen with Gatling guns and the like. Anyhow there's a couple of good ones amongst the lot who recognizes the superiority of our methods and are also coincidentally decent people and smart, too, we just need to put them in charge as our allies and then everything will work out great.

I mean, there's a bit of nuance to it sometimes, and occasionally a degree of assimilation both ways, but a lot of the time the basic logic seems to come down to "the modern man's burden." We can impose our values on the primitives we live amongst because we have the technology to do so, and we should because our values are better and more worthy and they'll come to have better lives under our stewardship. And of course such value imposition needs to come about through military means, because how else are you going to get to jerk off to archaic technological milporn?

Mycroft Holmes
Mar 26, 2010

To the Moon! For Queen and Country!


Tomn posted:

Speaking of which, something that's crossed my mind lately - I enjoy alt-history stories which involve a modern or near-modern society going back in time somehow and changing things (Eric Flint's 1632 series, for instance), but it occurred to me that in some ways such stories seem to be a form of acceptable colonialism. It isn't on anymore to beat up on foreigners and take their poo poo by using massively superior technology, but hey, nobody denies that our ancestors were assholes, right? Nothing wrong with beating THEM up and forcing them to live according to our values, which are much superior to their literally backwards ways. And they'll be glad to do so anyways because we're much more progressive and better and democratic than their old leaders, right? So really, we shouldn't feel at ALL bad about mowing their soldiers by the dozen with Gatling guns and the like. Anyhow there's a couple of good ones amongst the lot who recognizes the superiority of our methods and are also coincidentally decent people and smart, too, we just need to put them in charge as our allies and then everything will work out great.

I mean, there's a bit of nuance to it sometimes, and occasionally a degree of assimilation both ways, but a lot of the time the basic logic seems to come down to "the modern man's burden." We can impose our values on the primitives we live amongst because we have the technology to do so, and we should because our values are better and more worthy and they'll come to have better lives under our stewardship. And of course such value imposition needs to come about through military means, because how else are you going to get to jerk off to archaic technological milporn?

If you've ever read HEY GALs posts in the milhist thread, you would know no amount of diplomacy would convince these people not to kill each other over petty bullshit.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

ASK ME ABOUT MY LOVE OF EUGENICS AND MARIO 3


College Slice

The Man with an Iron Heart I don't think is Hawkish, I don't think he felt the US should have stayed in Iraq but is just work he does because "Hey why not" and "Could be interesting." Seriously, the most eye raising point of order in the book is what are the Soviets doing? What's going to happen there? That kept me turning pages, because without West Germany becoming a socially liberal bastion of democracy in central Europe there's NO NATO. It can't exist and any sort of defence of Western Europe from Soviet interest is compromised from the get go by hundreds of miles of what's basically No-Man's land.

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

Honestly i've never read The Man With the Iron Heart so my views on it are based on reader reactions and reviews and should be taken with a grain of salt.

On another subject I got a copy of Joe Steele from the local library and am really enjoining it.

About halfway through and President Steele has just Had 4 Supreme Court Justices arrested and shot for treason and plotting with Nazi Germany. Coincidentally those were the same justices who ruled against his massive expansion of government power and radical economic reforms. He had Huey Long (his only major critic in the Senate) charged with working with the Justices and then assassinated when he fled. Father Coughlin is also shot as a accomplice of Long and the court. Most of the populace is okay with this, because “He’s putting the people back to work, and he’s putting the rich bastards in their place. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.".

Now the public at large has started getting uneasy as Steele's instituted a chain-gang like system to build up the rural areas of the country and has been making ominous threats against "Wreckers" such as landlords, bankers, and businessmen .


I like how the public is shown to be okay with things like this until it directly starts to effect them, I think that's sadly realistic. My only complaints are minor things like The members of the military tribunal who try the Supreme Court justices are Spruance, Ike, Marshal, and Bradley . That just seems like namedropping for the sake of namedropping. Also a major character is aressted and drafted into one of Steele's work camps where he's given the number 24601 which is a somewhat eyeroll-worthy reference.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Tomn posted:

Speaking of which, something that's crossed my mind lately - I enjoy alt-history stories which involve a modern or near-modern society going back in time somehow and changing things (Eric Flint's 1632 series, for instance), but it occurred to me that in some ways such stories seem to be a form of acceptable colonialism. It isn't on anymore to beat up on foreigners and take their poo poo by using massively superior technology, but hey, nobody denies that our ancestors were assholes, right? Nothing wrong with beating THEM up and forcing them to live according to our values, which are much superior to their literally backwards ways. And they'll be glad to do so anyways because we're much more progressive and better and democratic than their old leaders, right? So really, we shouldn't feel at ALL bad about mowing their soldiers by the dozen with Gatling guns and the like. Anyhow there's a couple of good ones amongst the lot who recognizes the superiority of our methods and are also coincidentally decent people and smart, too, we just need to put them in charge as our allies and then everything will work out great.

I mean, there's a bit of nuance to it sometimes, and occasionally a degree of assimilation both ways, but a lot of the time the basic logic seems to come down to "the modern man's burden." We can impose our values on the primitives we live amongst because we have the technology to do so, and we should because our values are better and more worthy and they'll come to have better lives under our stewardship. And of course such value imposition needs to come about through military means, because how else are you going to get to jerk off to archaic technological milporn?

It's mostly the idealized, circa 2003 view of nation building. Deep down, everyone wants to live in a liberal democracy, and if they don't then they have just been blinded by propaganda and superstition. It is therefore perfectly moral, indeed imperative, that those who hold the people back from achieving their freedom be dealt with with extreme prejudice. After these few reactionaries are gone, the rest of the population will greet you as liberators and allow you to build a perfect modern state that has none of the historical baggage of the old world.

I think it was a review of a John Ringo book that said that a lot of readers of these kinds of stories just want to see something being built, and the idea of being given an entire people and molding them like clay to your image of a perfect society (whether it is communist or anarcho-capitalist or anything inbetween is irrelevant) is extremely appealing to them. And, of course, for the author who gets to lay out his view of an idealized society in lavish detail over 600 pages.

P-Mack
Nov 10, 2007



Tomn posted:

Speaking of which, something that's crossed my mind lately - I enjoy alt-history stories which involve a modern or near-modern society going back in time somehow and changing things (Eric Flint's 1632 series, for instance), but it occurred to me that in some ways such stories seem to be a form of acceptable colonialism. It isn't on anymore to beat up on foreigners and take their poo poo by using massively superior technology, but hey, nobody denies that our ancestors were assholes, right? Nothing wrong with beating THEM up and forcing them to live according to our values, which are much superior to their literally backwards ways. And they'll be glad to do so anyways because we're much more progressive and better and democratic than their old leaders, right? So really, we shouldn't feel at ALL bad about mowing their soldiers by the dozen with Gatling guns and the like. Anyhow there's a couple of good ones amongst the lot who recognizes the superiority of our methods and are also coincidentally decent people and smart, too, we just need to put them in charge as our allies and then everything will work out great.

I mean, there's a bit of nuance to it sometimes, and occasionally a degree of assimilation both ways, but a lot of the time the basic logic seems to come down to "the modern man's burden." We can impose our values on the primitives we live amongst because we have the technology to do so, and we should because our values are better and more worthy and they'll come to have better lives under our stewardship. And of course such value imposition needs to come about through military means, because how else are you going to get to jerk off to archaic technological milporn?

Thanks to the death of the author, you can read Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court as a veiled critique of colonialism and it works pretty well. I have no idea if anyone has ever tried to link that interpretation with Twain's later criticism of US occupation of the Phillipines.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

ASK ME ABOUT MY LOVE OF EUGENICS AND MARIO 3


College Slice

ArchangeI posted:

It's mostly the idealized, circa 2003 view of nation building. Deep down, everyone wants to live in a liberal democracy, and if they don't then they have just been blinded by propaganda and superstition. It is therefore perfectly moral, indeed imperative, that those who hold the people back from achieving their freedom be dealt with with extreme prejudice. After these few reactionaries are gone, the rest of the population will greet you as liberators and allow you to build a perfect modern state that has none of the historical baggage of the old world.

I think it was a review of a John Ringo book that said that a lot of readers of these kinds of stories just want to see something being built, and the idea of being given an entire people and molding them like clay to your image of a perfect society (whether it is communist or anarcho-capitalist or anything inbetween is irrelevant) is extremely appealing to them. And, of course, for the author who gets to lay out his view of an idealized society in lavish detail over 600 pages.

This. I pretty much wanna read a novel version of Civilization V and found the idea of Isaac Newton building a magitek empire in Escaflowne was my gateway drug into that sort of story.

Of course I'm not blinded by some ideal of "2015 Canada is so perfect and awesome lets force some folks from the past to be like me", I'd be perfectly happy with a story that acknowledged that any person going back in time to force their will and ego on a populace is probably all kinds of hosed up and be written appropriately.

Crowsbeak
Oct 9, 2012

Lol. This is nothing like throwing kids in cages. Its just ensuring egotistical freaks like you are eventually kept in mental institutions where you belong. You and your kind have been nothing but a giant waste of time and resources for the left and we know what kind of emotional vampires you are.


Lipstick Apathy

Wheat Loaf posted:

I was keen on Timeline-191 when I was in school, but by the time I'd read them through to the end I realised that a) they weren't really very well-written and b) they were increasingly coming across as though Turtledove had gone through a WWII history book and done a Ctrl+F and Replace to reset the Eastern front in North America.

That being said, it is at least better than Stars and Stripes Forever by Harry Harrison (among other things, the Union and the Confederates instantly make peace to team up against the British, then manage to evade the Royal Navy to mount a land invasion of the British Isles, abolish the monarchy and "introduce democracy" to the benighted British serfdom) and 1862 by Robert Conroy (the USS Monitor can defeat the entire Royal Navy by shooting the rudders off its ironclads, and Ulysses S. Grant can guarantee victory simply by being present on the battlefield).

I enjoy some of the timelines I've read on alternatehistory.com, though my favourite is actually one which parodies The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, except with fictional characters as British prime ministers (so you get Harry Perkins overthrown and replaced by Francis Urquhart, who himself resigns in favour of his protégé, Alan B'Stard).

I think my favorite timeline there is the Male Risnig timeline because of it being a world that is just different from our own in so many ways but it still seems plausible. That and the one where Freidrich the Great dies in battle and a very different North and South America results.

Crowsbeak fucked around with this message at 03:16 on Apr 18, 2015

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

ArchangeI posted:

It's mostly the idealized, circa 2003 view of nation building. Deep down, everyone wants to live in a liberal democracy, and if they don't then they have just been blinded by propaganda and superstition. It is therefore perfectly moral, indeed imperative, that those who hold the people back from achieving their freedom be dealt with with extreme prejudice. After these few reactionaries are gone, the rest of the population will greet you as liberators and allow you to build a perfect modern state that has none of the historical baggage of the old world.

I think it was a review of a John Ringo book that said that a lot of readers of these kinds of stories just want to see something being built, and the idea of being given an entire people and molding them like clay to your image of a perfect society (whether it is communist or anarcho-capitalist or anything inbetween is irrelevant) is extremely appealing to them. And, of course, for the author who gets to lay out his view of an idealized society in lavish detail over 600 pages.

I'm working on a (quite terrible, I'm the worst at writing dialogue) timeline where 2010's country time travels back to 1970's and I'll fully admit it's based on a desire to see the "mistakes" made in the past corrected. It's a fantasy, pure and simple; I realize the idea of a technologically advanced country righting the wrongs of history is silly at best and imperialist at worst but I can definitely see the appeal. It's a desire to see a world where things didn't go so bad.

Nckdictator fucked around with this message at 03:29 on Apr 18, 2015

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



I'm actually curious to see if Turtledove has another WW2 reskinned in him.

I mean he's refought WW2 in America, with aliens, with magic, in the Pacific, starting slightly earlier already.

Come on Harry, just one more twist. It's WW2, but with (not just Polish) bears.

Incidentally if you're wondering why I specified not Polish. Wander over to the Milhist thread in A/T and ask them about Polish WW2 bears, they'll be glad to help!

Deptfordx fucked around with this message at 08:45 on Apr 18, 2015

Tomn
Aug 23, 2007

And the angel said unto him
"Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself."
But lo he could not. For the angel was hitting him with his own hands


Raenir Salazar posted:

This. I pretty much wanna read a novel version of Civilization V and found the idea of Isaac Newton building a magitek empire in Escaflowne was my gateway drug into that sort of story.

Of course I'm not blinded by some ideal of "2015 Canada is so perfect and awesome lets force some folks from the past to be like me", I'd be perfectly happy with a story that acknowledged that any person going back in time to force their will and ego on a populace is probably all kinds of hosed up and be written appropriately.

I really like "Lest Darkness Fall" for that reason - it's a pretty silly story in a lot of ways (good ways, mind you) and it's based on now-outdated views of history, but unlike a lot of more recent time-travel stories it acknowledges the difficulty of convincing people in that time to go along with the crazy time traveler's plans, as well as acknowledging that just because you know guns exist and are a thing doesn't mean you have anywhere near the personal ability to make guns. It's also notable that the key technological revolution that allowed the hero to win his final battle wasn't any kind of weapon at all - it was the telegraph that allowed reinforcements to arrive in time, while the rest of it was down to good old-fashioned generalship. Seems much more spot on than the more common "And now we have invented the early machine gun, let all cower before our hail of bullets!"

Deptfordx posted:

I'm actually curious to see if Turtledove has another WW2 reskinned in him.

I mean he's refought WW2 in America, with aliens, with magic, in the Pacific, starting slightly earlier already.

Come on Harry, just one more twist. It's WW2, but with (not just Polish) bears.

Incidentally if you're wondering why I specified not Polish. Wander over to the Milhist thread in A/T and ask them about Polish WW2 bears, they'll be glad to help!

Someone needs to introduce Turtledove to the gay black Hitler concept.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I have to admit, I'll always have a soft spot for Turtledove's fantasy WWII series. I read it in high school over about six months, and it was the first really sprawling marathon series of novels I'd finished outside of LOTR.

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Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Of all the various retellings. I've read some of the Fantasy, American, Aliens, started earlier versions. I thought the Fantasy was the worst.

I made it through 3? of those books before I gave up in disgust. I mean it really is the most WW2 cut and paste job of all them, yes worse than 191's let's refight Stalingrad in Pittsburgh.

It's the whole series, it's like he really did do a search and replace in an existing WW2 novels text with fantasy equivalents.

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