Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two More Alternate History Scenarios...

Here are a couple more alternate-history scenario from my message-board that some of you might find entertaining...

The first one is entitled Up With the Star, by the board member whose handle is Snake Featherston (an allusion to the Confederate Hitler-analogue Jake Featherston from Harry Turtledove's "Great War" novels--the first one is American Front, although Featherston does not achieve Hitlerian power until much later in the series).

The tale begins with Lincoln choosing General Benjamin Butler to be his Vice-President and Andrew Johnson to be his Secretary of State instead.  This means a different commander of the Army of the James and an earlier end to the Civil War that, among other things, sees black Union troops capturing General Lee and some other top Confederate commanders.  This leads to a different Reconstruction in which the Southerners grudgingly acknowledge pre-war free blacks and black soldiers from the Civil War as deserving of the rights of citizenship but pre-war slaves are not, a different World War I in which Hitler abandons much of his anti-Semitism due to the influence of a Jewish colonel who shares in his soldiers' suffering, and ultimately, a World War II where the instigator is a fascistic (but explicitly non-anti-Semitic) Russia under the command of General Lavr Kornilov, who rules through a puppet Czarina Olga (daughter of Nicholas II).

It's a really good, very detailed timeline and Snake is able to update it fairly often.  Plus I'll give Snake credit--he's one of the few people who has ever defeated me outright in an argument.

(It's about the democratic credentials, or lack thereof, of the Confederacy.  It wasn't just blacks being oppressed, who would have been oppressed anyway if the South hadn't seceded.  He knew a whole lot about Unionists and other Confederate citizens getting persecuted, white paramilitaries occupying legitimately-elected state legislatures, and other abuses.  Given how much cheating and shenanigans went on with the Confederate government, one could make the argument that the secession did not have democratic legitimacy even if there is a constitutional right to secede.)

The other scenario is The Caesariad by the user whose handle is EdT.  It's more of a short story with maps than a narrative timeline and it's really interesting.  Basically, although Julius Caesar's daughter Julia dies in childbirth per our history, her son with Pompey Magnus survives.  This keeps the Caesar-Pompey alliance together and "butterflies away" the civil war.  The main story begins with Caesar's grandson having just massacred a Germanic tribe to tighten Roman control of the region suddenly sensing that Julius is dead.  We then bounce to Mesopotamia where Caesar has just died of a stroke after defeating the Parthian king and pouring molten gold down his throat, in the same manner the king had killed Crassus, and securing Mesopotamia for Rome.

His commanders all squabble about who exactly Caesar's successor will be.  One of these commanders happens to be Caesar's grand-nephew Octavian, our history's Augustus...

Right now, it's in the pre-1900s forum and non-members can see it.  I'm going to suggest he do that if he intends to publish the story as a novel because in the general-access forum, it will count as "published" in many publisher's eyes.  If this was just a timeline, I wouldn't bother, but since this looks like it will become a novel, that's a different matter.  I've got to look out for my fellow writers, after all.

This means you all might have only a few hours to read it before you have to join the site.

In a post from several days ago, I linked you all to Europe of the Three Empires.  I think that the situation described in The Caesariad could, assuming Rome isn't permanently fragmented by various real or claimed children of Caesar fighting for dominance, lead to something resembling this scenario--Rome controls Germania and Mesopotamia and isn't likely to simply abandon it, given how it was conquered under the authority of the deified Julius Caesar.  Roman control of Germania eliminates one source of the barbarians who attacked in our history and provides a better border to defend against the rest; Roman control of Mesopotamia greatly weakens Persia, Rome's other great enemy.  Rome is not likely to be seriously challenged, but on the other hand, there could still be internal problems...


  1. Lincoln DID choose Butler to be his Vice President (and Butler turned him down).

    Butler was a fairly awesome human being. His ideas on running the Reconstruction were pretty interesting. Starting with, erase the Confederate state boundaries and start over. Create the Territories (with lines cutting across the old states) of Potomac, Cape Fear, Jackson, Jefferson, Houston and Lincoln.

  2. Maybe that was the POD, that Butler accepted. I read the timeline long before I posted the link and forgot the very beginning.

    I'll have to check out the link you supplied. I know there's the "state suicide theory" that would, if implemented, have led to the creation of new states, but I didn't know Butler was for that.

  3. That was the POD, that Butler accepted the offer. Lincoln was always his own man, and Ben Butler was not the kind of man to overshadow him as his Veep. This is Snake, via an anonymous comment.

  4. Got it. Thanks for the comment.