Posts tagged "Alternate History"

People’s Socialist Atlas: A History of the United American Socialist Republics

A thought-provoking feat of world-building.

By (apparently) Rebecca Stirling and Richard Collins? Someone get them a proofreader and publisher, STAT.

Predecessors: there hasn’t been much discussion (in detail) of a fictional socialist USA. It’s played for amusement in “Back in the USSA” by Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman, where much of USSR history is mapped onto the USA.

Terry Bisson’s Fire On The Mountain utilizes precedents of anti-racist activism in the USA to portray a successful slave rebellion in the American south, changing the political landscape forever.

So it’s welcome to see a new spin. Check it out, Comrades.  The UASR’s own internal struggle has lasting impact on the globe as well: no ‘manifest destiny’, no Monroe Doctrine.
As PDF via Dropbox [link]
Reddit discussion on worldbuilding project:

Alternate History Forum Discussion:
Thanks, Metafilter!

Alternate History: The Congo Goes Steampunk

Seattle novelist Nisi Shawl’s engrossing “Everfair” uses the genre of steampunk to re-imagine the horrific history of King Leopold II and the Congo Free State, with a more hopeful outcome.

Shawl’s novel diverges from the historical record when members of the socialist Fabian Society in Great Britain ally themselves with African-American missionaries to purchase from Leopold a territory to be christened “Everfair.” The land is to serve as a utopian safe haven for refugees and former slaves returning from the U.S. Unfortunately, Leopold’s thugs have other ideas, as does Mwenda, the native king of the land.

“Everfair” is a big, complex and engrossing saga, broad in ambition and deep in accomplishment. The time period stretches 30 years, from 1889 to 1919, with each chapter representing a jump of a few days or a few years, lending the story a grand sense of the sweep of history.

The narrative is presented from a variety of viewpoints, including that of an African-American missionary horrified by atrocities he witnesses, a young African refugee able to project her consciousness into animals, and an East Asian engineer capable of inventing machines that will change the world.

Interviews with Nisi Shawl: