Wednesday, November 13, 2013

More Entertaining Alternate Timelines...

Here are some more entertaining alternate timelines, courtesy of

May 1945: Quisling Makes a Run For It

In real history, the Nazis' Norwegian stooge Vidkun Quisling, whose name has become synonymous with treason, surrendered to the Allies, was tried, and was executed. In this scenario, Quisling, fearing ending up like Benito Mussolini (executed by the Resistance), decides to go on the run. The story follows him on his adventures throughout newly-liberated Europe, the Norwegians hot on his trail. Those who like Villain Protagonist stories (although Quisling isn't malicious or cruel, he did aid and abet Hitler) will like this one, plus since he's not really mean, he's easier for those who aren't villain fans to sympathize with than, say, Eichmann.

Decisive Darkness: What If Japan Hadn't Surrendered In 1945?

In our history, the twin shocks of the atomic bomb and the Soviet invasion of the Japanese land empire were what it took to get the Japanese to surrender in 1945. But even after that, there were some die-hards who preferred death to defeat and they attempted to stage an anti-surrender coup. In our history they failed. In this history, they succeeded. The effects so far include Kokura getting the third atomic bomb and a Soviet invasion of Hokkaido. Given the widespread hunger even after the surrender, this timeline is going to get nasty. Some people have even used the phrase "American Japan" in an annexation sense, which would only be possible with eight-digit casualty figures.

With The Crescent Above Us

In real history, the 1877 Russo-Turkish War was an Ottoman defeat, with the British preventing the Russians from imposing fairly draconian terms. However, the Ottomans had several advantages that (based on the Wikipedia article) they squandered due to making foolish assumptions about how the Russian army would fight. This timeline diverges from our with the Ottoman war minister Hussein Avni Pasha not being assassinated, leaving the Ottomans with a much more effective military leadership. Things go much better for the Turks this time around. The author of the timeline is a Muslim, so he's got an inside perspective.

Bayonets Won't Cut Coal: The Socialist Republic of Britain

Some of my reading for graduate school leads me to believe there were widespread fears of a massive general strike in Britain in late 1914, a strike that didn't happen due to the beginning of World War I. However, sweeping issues under the rug doesn't necessarily eliminate them. In this timeline, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance is renewed and that spawns more changes culminating in massive labor unrest and ultimately a left-wing coup turning Britain into a socialist regime governed by the trade unions, with the old upper class (including no less than Winston Churchill) in exile in the Commonwealth plotting revenge. I'm not really familiar with labor history and I'm generally not sympathetic to hard-left politics, but this is a really interesting situation. It does require a fair bit of bad decisions by the British ruling class and one really bad bit of bad luck to get there though.

And now for a timeline of my own...

Muslim Europe, Christian Middle East

It's not nearly as insane as it sounds, I promise. In our history, the Persians and Avars occupied most of the Byzantine Empire and besieged Constantinople from both sides. The siege failed and both were beaten back, but the slugfest weakened both Byzantium and the Sassanid Empire to the point the new Islamic Caliphate seized most of one and outright devoured the other. The Eastern Roman Empire isn't so lucky this time, which will have its effects, including weakening the little-o orthodox church in favor of the big heresies like Monophysitism and Nestorianism. I wrote this years ago, but I was recently inspired by one of my graduate classes to start writing a story set in this timeline. It'll be around the time of the Battle of the Straits of Messina...


  1. I've been watching Decisiveness Darkness with great interest.

    Interesting idea to swap the regional religions in your TL by the way - the long term effects would be interesting to say the least.

  2. Yep, although I do have some "inside jokes" planned involving a European jihad to reclaim the Arabian Peninsula, which has been occupied by Nestorian horse nomads. :)