Sunday, November 20, 2022

Oda Nobunaga Finishes Unifying Japan, A More Plausible Draka Timeline, and an Uglier Tanker War

It's been awhile since I've posted about alternate history. Here are some scenarios from the public sections of the forum I used to be a regular member of that you might find interesting.

Nobunaga's Ambition Realized: The Dawn of a New Rising Sun-In real life, warlord Oda Nobunaga was betrayed by one of his own commanders and committed suicide to avoid captured and execution. His efforts to reunite feudal Japan were continued by others, including Tokugawa Ieyasu. The latter brought peace to Japan, but at the price of isolating the country from the world, the functional extermination of Christianity, and establishment of what sounds like an early modern police state. In this timeline, Nobunaga avoids the coup attempt and continues his historical course. He ultimately reunites Japan as the new shogun (a military dictator who rules in the emperor's name), but his government pursues very different policies. Although his successor Hideyoshi's war with Korea is avoided, he and his successors do successfully colonize Taiwan, and Christianity remains a tolerated faith even if some of the excesses that provoked the Tokugawa crackdown (slave-trading by foreign priests, Catholic lords forcing peasants to convert) are firmly dealt with. It looks like Japan is on the way to becoming a major power in Asia rather than turning inward. And this is already having some effects, most notably on China...

Snakedance: A Plausible Draka TLIAM-The author wants to have this whole timeline completed in a month (hence the title) and she seems to be making good progress so far. For those not familiar, here is the canonical Draka timeline through the 1950s. Although it's not particularly plausible, the fiction is entertaining and it's one of the founding texts of modern-day alternate history. The author is focused on the early Draka expansion in southern Africa and depicts the natives putting up a more realistic and much better fight that they did in canon and avoids the Draka's too-fast early industrialization. She also emphasizes sports, the arts, and culture among the Draka, something that is often overlooked in alternate history, and seems like she's planning on emphasizing class conflict among the Draka elite more than canon does.

(The first book Marching Through Georgia has female lead Sofie Nixon pondering the social gap between herself, the daughter of a dock foreman and granddaughter of a Scottish mercenary, and her commanding officer and love interest Eric von Shrakenberg, but I don't recall very much from the later books. The Citizen caste seems rather united on most issues of importance and the points of disunity are limited to grousing, like the urbanite-dominated Security Directorate sneering at the planter-dominated military as living in the past.)

Crushed In Infancy-In this timeline, the "Tanker War" phase of the Iran-Iraq War escalates into a series of direct battles between the United States and the new Islamic Republic of Iran. The Islamic Republic soon goes into a different, more US-friendly direction, after some events I'm not going to give away for spoiler reasons. This in turn leads to some very different politics in the United States, the declining Soviet Union, and a China that is just starting to liberalize after the death of Mao. We're looking at a very interesting late 1980s and early 1990s here.

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