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alternate history Archives - Themself
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Tag archives for alternate history

alternative

What if? Building an alternate history

Photograph of Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States, with an unidentified officer, at the - NARA - 199243 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Last week I had dinner with a friend who asked me a "what if?" question that set me thinking about building an alternate history for a game and a story. We were talking about SOE in the spring and summer of 1944. The period is rich in possibilities and decisions for players on a game. However there's an awful lot of hindsight getting in the way of being able to properly game the period. The Problem with Hindsight The invasion is inevitable, and even when previous games have given the allies latitude over where and when the German players don't act the way the Germans did. It's impossible to create the same uncertainty in the German High…
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alternative

Dominion by C.J. Sansom [Book Review]

Dominion by Sansom My rating: 4 of 5 stars I was recommended Dominion by a couple of friends after my review of the TV version of SS-GB. Dominion is a huge tome, it's 700 pages long, and my first thought was that it probably needed some more editing. However I found it an easy and compelling read. Sansom's style is more descriptive than others I've read, but the extra detail adds to the flavour of the story. The title has multiple interpretations. Britain is a Dominion of nazi Germany, the key protagonist works for the Colonial Office liaising with the Dominions. Dominion - the review Unsmiling, Chamberlain (left) and Hitler leave the Bad Godesberg meeting, 23 September 1938. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Dominion takes a far more believable point of departure for its alternate history than SS-GB does. In Dominion Lord…
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alternative

SS-GB [review] BBC Adaptation of Len Deighton’s SS-GB

I watched the BBC Adaptation of Len Deighton's SS-GB last night. I read the book a long time ago, it was probably one of the first alternative histories that I ever read. I've also enjoyed Young Lions by Andrew Mackay which is also set post-German Invasion of Britain. SS-GB Review The bombed-out ruins of Buckingham Palace as depicted in SS-GB. Image © Sid Gentle Films Ltd. SS-GB has a lot of elements that I enjoy. It's an alternative history, it's a police procedural, it has espionage/intelligence aspects and it's set during WW2. It also has another element that fascinates me. When do you remain loyal and when should you change sides? I was always going to watch this programme. The story is set in 1941, fourteen months after a successful German Invasion of Britain. In the opening shots we are…
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reviews

Book Review – The Summer Isles by Ian R MacLeod

The Summer Isles by Ian R. MacLeod My rating: 4 of 5 stars An alternative history through the eyes of a gay Oxford don. The premise is that the Germans won the First World War, their March 1918 offensive succeeded and the war ended in the August with the defeat of France and Britain. The Peace Treaty strips Britain of a number of colonies and overseas territories in much the same way that the Germans were in our own history. Britain has a violent period in the 1920s and a former corporal, John Arthur, becomes the leader of a Modernist movement. The story starts in the early part of 1940 when the Empire Alliance has been in power for at least a decade. A number of short victorious wars has restored much of the Imperial prestige lost at the end…
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Book Review – Young Lions by Andrew Mackay

A book review of Young Lions by Andrew Mackay, the first in a series of four books featuring the two characters so far. Overview Young Lions is an alternate history set in a WW2 where Operation Sealion worked and the Germans managed to invade the UK. The book followed two teenage boys that are members of their school's cadet force and get involved in both the initial fighting and then the British Resistance to occupation. Book Review This is a boy's own adventure, with a horrific body count. Andrew Mackay is a history teacher, and it shows in the level of detail in the story. The history is very well researched and the detail ensures that the story remains consistent throughout and nothing jars the narrative flow. The Young Lions of the title are both teenage boys in their fourth…
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