Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tired of the scenario

You know, I'm as big a fan of alternate history as anyone, but I am getting really, really tired of these iterations of the "What if the Nazis won World War II?" theme.

It's remarkable Germany got as far as it did, mainly because nobody believed Hitler was as unpredictable and aggressive as he was. The unpreparedness of the Allies was also a big factor,

I remarked - half jokingly - during the panel on Alternate History at Ravencon last month that I'm worried there is so much fictional narrative out there about the Nazis winning that I'm afraid one morning I'm going to wake up and find that somehow the accumulated weight of this "The Nazis won" narrative in the public consciousness will have caused some kind of parallel world shift - and we'll all be stuck in a world where the Nazis really did win!

There needs to be an anthology with the theme "They Still Lost", featuring alternate history stories about World War II where the Nazis still lose, but others things happen. For example:

* Enrico Fermi doesn't leave Italy and Mussolini gets the bomb!

* General Patton doesn't get in the car wreck and persuades Truman to turn on the Russians.

* We never use the bomb on Japan and so we can't get them to surrender.

* Hitler hides in the Alps and conducts guerilla warfare against the Allied Occupation.

* The Japanese in Manchukuo don't surrender, hold off the Soviet Army and then influence the coming Chinese civil war.

Of course, I think some of these ideas have already been explored

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:56 PM

    That . . . is not a bad idea. Not bad at all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like you have your next several stories planned out.

    ReplyDelete

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"It’s possible that you haven’t run into the stories of Lou Antonelli. Since 2003, he’s been publishing delightful short tales of alternate history all over the nooks and crannies of the SF world. Thanks to Fantastic Books, we now have 28 of these little gems in one place. "Many of Antonelli’s stories have an unexpected twist ending. And many of them are what he calls “secret history” stories, which aren’t exactly alternate history—they’re set in our familiar history, but there’s always some element that contemporary observers missed. " -

- Don Sakers, The Reference Library, Analog July-Aug. 2014

A better path develops for a distraught man in “Double Exposure” by Lou Antonelli (debut 6/11 and reviewed by Frank D). Jake is about to end it all. He has been trying to keep his high maintenance wife happy for decades and has needed to embezzle to satisfy her spending habits. Now, on the verge of indictment and abandoned by his spouse, he buys a gun. Before he pulls the trigger, he spies a Kodak one-day photo hut. Curious, he pulls up to the window. They are holding pictures of him and his last girlfriend from 30 years before. The package is a lot thicker than it should be. Double Exposure” is listed as an Alternative History story but I would classify it as a Magical Realism tale. It is set as a second chance tale, a look into a life that should have been. The author is inspired by his memories of the old photo huts (I remember them) and of their disappearance. A cool idea (photos of another life), one that I could imagine would make for a great anthology.

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