The game Crusader Kings 2 has an interesting DLC called the “Sunset Invasion”. The idea is that in the late 1200s, shortly after being crippled by the Mongolian hordes, the Europeans are threatened by the Aztecs landing in massive numbers on the coast of Western Europe and North Africa with superior technology to Europe and begin colonizing and conquering. Along with them, they brought an unknown plague that sweeps across Europe. Being a game, there’s not much more story than that – they’re just a powerful nation.
I thought it was a pretty interesting premise, however. Are there any (preferably good) pieces of fiction where something similar occurs? It doesn’t have to be point for point the Sunset Invasion, but anything reasonably similar where a nation of New-World origin begins invading the old world and wins due to technological superiority/spread of disease/exploitation of political tension/whatever.
I’m not asking for any fiction where, in contemporary times, they rebel and win. For instance, in Shadowrun as soon as magic comes back into the world a large number of first nations rebel because their shamanism is very powerful. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m more looking for a reversal of what actually happened, though a book where they defeat the colonial Europeans and turn the tables, crossing the Atlantic in retaliation could be acceptable.
This seems like it has to have been done before. Hell, with some modification it sounds like a decent Twilight Zone episode.
An issue of Alan Moore’s Tom Strong superhero comics featured villain from an alternate reality where “Cortez was met on the beaches with machineguns.” The Aztec empire in that reality proceeded to conquer the world, and, when their tech had progressed enough, alternate worlds. According to their high priest, theirs was the only world they’d found where the native Americans conquered Europe.
That’s not really the point of the story, though, which is more about how Tom used the Prisoner’s Dilemma to overthrow a multiversal fascist empire ruled by an insane blood cult.
Stephen Baxter had a story in the anthology Other Earths (paperback, 2009) called The Unblinking Eye.
I felt sure Robert Silverberg did a novel on this theme in the 1990s but looking through a list of his books, I can’t see it. I thought it had giant rafts sailing acrosss the Pacific… Must be somebody else.
Silverberg wrote Two Hawks from Earth, which isn’t quite the same concept as the OP — in this book the Americas don’t exist so the Siberian migrations turned westward and colonized Europe from the east.
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card.
Time viewing researchers determine that Columbus had been influenced to “discover” America (instead of liberating the Holy Land from the Moslems) by a Time-travelling message from another alternative. In the original timeline, Columbus went to the Middle East, and the European discovery and subjugation of the Americas did not occur. By about 1600, the conquering war fleets of the Tlaxcalan Empire had overrun Europe, ushering in centuries of blood sacrifice.
S. M. Stirling’s Conquistador is not quite like that, but you may find it interesting. A portal to an alternate Earth is controlled in this world by a group of wealthy secretive families. They exploit that Earth for their own financial gain. But on the alternate Earth, Alexander the Great lived to be an old man, Europe and Asia Minor stagnated under his rule, and the Americas were left alone. By the time the 20th century rolled around, the North American continent is an unspoiled animal preserve, for the most part, from coast to coast.
It’s at a tangent, but I believe a group of Native Americans visited England in the 1970s, during the peak of activism, and generally behaved like “explorers” and “settlers,” staking out their flag in London and claiming the new territory for their nation.
Very much “sorta-kinda” – but, Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt. Alternative history – premise, the 13th-century Black Death basically wipes out the Caucasian race in Europe. The world becomes divided from then on (with much strife between the different “partings”), between the Muslim culture, which occupies Europe as well as its “our time-line” areas; that of the Indian sub-continent; that of China; and that of the Amerindians of North and South America, who stoutly hold their own in both parts of said continental mass – doing much better, than befell them in OTL.
Not quite what the OP is looking for, but in L. Sprague deCamp’s Aristotle and the Gun a time traveler, hoping to fix some of Aristotle’s science-stifling ideas (as the TT saw them) actually succeeds in retrogressing European technology, with the result that the American Indian nations are able to put up a higher-tech and more united front against the Europeans, and retain their hold on the Americas.
They don’t conquer Europe, though.
GURPS Alternate Earths had a setting where North American Indians, Aztecs and Africa were dominate and Europe was barbaric and fractured into tribes.
Similarly but not exactly, the Novel Lion’s Blood had a North America colonized by Black Africans with white European Slaves.
The problem with these settings is disease. European plagues killed as much 95% of the Native American population in North America. GURPS solved this by having some Europeans come over much earlier and fail but give NA a chance to develop immunities to their diseases.
Stephen Baxter’s Northland trilogy supposes that the North Sea never got flooded and a pastoral civilisation continued there for millennia, trading both with the rest of Europe but also with North and Central America, with traders and diplomats, etc. travelling regularly between the continents.
No actual invasion from the west, though, and the bulk of the series is set on the European side of the Atlantic…
Robert Silverberg’s The Gate of Worlds doesn’t have an American invasion of Europe, but a primitive Europe that was crushed by a worse than reality Black Death followed by invasion by the Turks. The Incan and Aztec nations are world powers, far more advanced than England.
In other words, totally not what the OP asked for, but it came to mind and I hadn’t thought of that book in probably two or three decades.
I looked that up and it’s not the book I was thinking of (it’s much earlier than I was remembering) but there was a belated sequel of sorts called Beyond the Gate of Worlds which is the one I was trying to remember back at post #4.
T. L. Morganfield’s short story Night Bird Soaring features a world in which the Aztec empire was not conquered but instead developed into a high-tech culture. The Aztecs haven’t conquered Europe, though (Europe is mentioned only in passing, with no reference to its government or its state of technological development).