It’s day one of the 2019 A-Z Blogging challenge and for today’s post, I will write about Alternate History.

Alternate History is the retelling of factual events but changing what actually happened with a different course of events. There seems to be a fine line as to whether this falls under science fiction or fantasy, so I imagine the fictional elements will define what genre a particular book slips into. For a book to be considered Alternate History there should be three elements:

  • Real world history
  • A critical change in real-world history
  • The consequences that follow this change

A particularly common era for Alternate History seems to be the second world war – books such as the Man in the High Castle and Fatherland deal with the consequences after a change in history, whereas D-Day Repulsed and Disaster at Stalingrad detail the change(s). 

If we were to examine these books based on the elements listed above, the question arises as to whether the first two are truly Alternate History, as neither features the critical change, but that is a post for another day. 

So, I did quite a bit of reading on Alternate History while writing this post, and despite my best efforts to write about fantasy books/genres, it would appear this one leans towards sci-fi. (I’ll do better tomorrow).

For anyone interested in further reading though, I found an interesting site which discusses what is and is not Alternate History in far more detail: http://graemeshimmin.com/what-is-alternative-history/

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