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Old November 10th, 2017, 10:20 AM   #11
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One kind of litterarure that we may ar first think of as the opposite of historical fiction is the kind of books about the future. They could be written by some tech gurus or political or wconomic "proohets" and they present themselves as non-fiction.
But I think some of that kind also existes way back in the past and could be used as part of historical fiction. As a way to make readers think about eventual value of such expectations and forecasting.
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Old November 10th, 2017, 11:53 AM   #12
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Also stories dealing with once widespread ideas of politics or religion or scientidic theories later anandones or expelled to the perifery could be used.

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Old November 10th, 2017, 02:01 PM   #13

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I did enjoy novels set in Mesopotamia , Aztec , Egypt or such exotic setting
for the effort to set a mental picture of the people in the context of an alien society
as usual a finely drawn background is what make the difference .
as for Sci fi , I'm a big fan , less for the gadgets but for the exploration of human behavior in worlds where some limitations are changed
Philip K. Dick spring to mind
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Old November 11th, 2017, 11:12 AM   #14
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There could be advantages both of very remote and "exotic" periods and topics on the one hand and of more recent on the other.
At the moment I think I would favor some topic where there are as much that is in some way familiar as there is "exotic" elements. So a world the same as mine in many ways, yet still in other ways very different. Making it possible to get different perspectives than the usual on something not completely alien.

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Old November 11th, 2017, 12:35 PM   #15

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.Some form of alternate history would fit the bill
Some possibles , on an receding timeline

- the Wall doesn't fall , after a bout of repression , soviet order is re-imposed in the Deutsche Democratic Republik by the leadership of a young colonel of the KGB stationned in Dresden

- during the 1983 Able Archer exercise a serie of missile test trigger a Soviet response , then an American all out launch
40.000 nuclear warheads are launched in three successive waves ,
North America and Eurasia are devastated , the world economy collapse , banks and central governments disappear , food trade is cut by three quarter , the less developed countries starve , world wide chaos , piracy , predatory warfare and massive epidemics of all the infectious agent reappear , including the few smallpox strains kept in military research labs , the population is defenseless mortality rate reach 40%

- After the successful mission of Rudolph Hess , churchill is removed from parliament due to health reasons , lord Halifax the new prime minister negotiate the " Peace of the century " operation Barbarossa is a success ,
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Old November 12th, 2017, 06:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky View Post
.Some form of alternate history would fit the bill
Some possibles , on an receding timeline

- the Wall doesn't fall , after a bout of repression , soviet order is re-imposed in the Deutsche Democratic Republik by the leadership of a young colonel of the KGB stationned in Dresden

- during the 1983 Able Archer exercise a serie of missile test trigger a Soviet response , then an American all out launch
40.000 nuclear warheads are launched in three successive waves ,
North America and Eurasia are devastated , the world economy collapse , banks and central governments disappear , food trade is cut by three quarter , the less developed countries starve , world wide chaos , piracy , predatory warfare and massive epidemics of all the infectious agent reappear , including the few smallpox strains kept in military research labs , the population is defenseless mortality rate reach 40%

- After the successful mission of Rudolph Hess , churchill is removed from parliament due to health reasons , lord Halifax the new prime minister negotiate the " Peace of the century " operation Barbarossa is a success ,
Alternative history is admittedly a field I have not cultivated much.
I imagine what could get me interested most: Some alternatives that include different developments in one or more of the following fields:
"general way of thinking/ mentality", technology, science, "world system".
So if a life of some historical person is described in a counterfactual way I would also read about what eventual consequences. Say Columbus die early.What could that mean for the following history of the americas and the world, if it woumd have any significance? If Newton dropped science, what would that have meant?If some young promising scientist, inventor or else did not die in battle X or during epidemic Y or had got better support in any situation:would that have meant a faster development in relevant fields?
But then again:I know little about it so I could be surprised finding entirely different topics of value. And is not after all every work of historical fiction in some sense "alternative"?
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Old November 12th, 2017, 02:37 PM   #17

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Historical novel usually present a past in an understanding way to a modern audience

as for alternative history , I do suspect history has a natural flow and any change in events tend to be cancelled in later times
if Columbus hadn't made his voyage , other , later , would have ,
as New Amsterdam and the thirteen colonies demonstrate , eventually the Historical flow went back to its proper course
It's one of the greatest question in the studie of history ,
does it follows it's own laws or are humans able to really change it
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Old November 13th, 2017, 01:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
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.
Historical novel usually present a past in an understanding way to a modern audience

as for alternative history , I do suspect history has a natural flow and any change in events tend to be cancelled in later times
if Columbus hadn't made his voyage , other , later , would have ,
as New Amsterdam and the thirteen colonies demonstrate , eventually the Historical flow went back to its proper course
It's one of the greatest question in the studie of history ,
does it follows it's own laws or are humans able to really change it
The "alternative historian" cannot, of course, in any true sense remake what happened to test the possibillity of his version.
But he is not wirhout any tools to find out in particular cases.
If he want to say it would not have made any big diference if a certain person for some reason is"withdrawn" from history,I think he should make his history including the alternative person(s)that could have made the same(who could have spread the ideas of evolution if we think Charles Darwin out? What if Wallace was alone? Could contemporaries of Newton get at the same ideas? well, some did, and had to confront him(Leibnitz, Hooke). Who did at the time of Edisson work with something of the same tech? There was some patent disputes making it likely orhers could have found out many of the same inventions( maybe they even dis in some cases?)Did the Wrights really invent aviation?
But I think it is going too far to just state that there could never be examplea where individuals would have made the difference.If so we
base our understanding more upon our personal beliefs and preferences, withot sound reasons.
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Old November 13th, 2017, 04:40 AM   #19

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Ideas are around , some guy get the credit

but if one dig a bit , often enough there were a bunch of other working on the same idea
printing was an evolving technique in Europe , Venice was at the forefront when Gutenberg was developing movable metal type .

the Germans would vociferously argue that Liebniz was the genius of the century and invented the calculus

evolution was an ongoing debate , Cuvier and Lamarck were arguing about it's causes a generation before
Lamarck held for behavior as a motor , Cuvier for sudden massive extinction
when Darwin published , the French were amazed , it was circular thinking of the worst kind
the survival of the fittest was defined as "if you survive you are the fittest " or "if you are the fittest , it's because you survive " the slow imperceptive change didn't make much sense either

as for great men emerging from revolution , there always is great men emerging from societal disasters , if it's not one it would be some others
Napoleon was not the best bet in 1794 , Hoche was ,but he died young

the wright brothers used the concept of controlling surfaces using the works of the Australian Hardgarve ,
the name aviation come from the "Avion" of clement Ader the first heavier than air to have lifted in ( uncontrolled) flight .

Edison was exceedingly prolific as an engineer , but this was in a period of exceedingly prolific times

I would be truly grateful to be made aware of one "bolt out of the blue" original invention , there got to be one !
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