Recommend alternate history series

I’m burned out of the 1632 Eric Flint series, for now.

But not out of the genre.

Steer me somewhere. I have Amazon credit and free time.

I’m sure you know Harry Turtledove wrote several. No recommendations except the bizarre and hilarious “Case of the Toxic Spell Dump,” which might tide you over until you find another full series.

But…but…The Ottomans are invading!! :wink:

I have heard fairly good things about the “Destroyermen” series (WWII-type destroyer gets sent back to an alternative timeline where humans did not evolve, but others did.

Haven’t read it myself yet, so no personal recommendation. I don’t care for Turtledoves’ stuff, but that’s just me.

How about something weird beyond Turtledove?

Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula takes us to London in 1888. Van Helsing & his crew failed to defeat Dracula, who has turned & married Queen Victoria. He’s now Consort & Lord Protector. All the vampires of literature & legend have arrived to partake in the new order. But some resist. Characters from history & literature appear. And keep appearing throughout the rest of the series. Witty & horrid.

If you’re not in the mood for horror, there’s Naomi Novick’s Temeraire series. Imagine the Napoleonic wars–with sentient dragons taking part! Throughout the series, she expands her scope & we see societies around the world & how they relate to the dragons in their midst. Witty in a Patrick O’Brien sort of way…

S M Stirling’s written a bunch of alternate history. My favorite series, The Lords of Creation, consists of two (2) books & a short story. It’s really Alternate Solar System–what if Mars & Venus were the fascinating worlds revealed in Classic SF? Then there’s Peshawar Lancers–only one book & one short story; ripping yarns for those who can enjoy a bit of Kipling. Plus a bunch of other stuff. Islands in the Seas of Time held my interest but its offshoots (still offshooting) have not. (Maybe I’ll try them again some day). There are excerpts at his website!

I like Robert Conroy. He wrote very straight up alternate history - no time travel or supernatural elements. The downside is that while I enjoy his books, I have to acknowledge he wasn’t a great writer - his characters are two dimensional and his plots are full of cliches. I guess he falls into the guilty pleasure category. He also wrote no series; all of his works are stand-alone novels.

I’m giving “Dies the Fire: A Novel of the Change,” a try!

Gotta admit, I’ve got a weakness for his stuff, as well. It’ll never be great, but they’re consistently good yarns.

Try The Fireflies of Port Stanley. It’s an alt-history of the Falklands War.

Of course Turtledove, though I prefer his stand-alone AltHist novels to his series. He tends to lose steam as the series lengthens.

The Lord Darcy stories are fun

IMO the best AltHist premise is in The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. The premise could have happened, had Babbage been ever so slightly less of a jerk.

A stand alone short story “Summer in Paris, Light from the Sky” is IMNAAHO the best AltHist thing ever written. Available online here.

In the same vein of 1632, there is the “Island in the sea of time” series by S.M. Stirling, where Nantucket is send to the bronze age, is good if not IMHO as good as 1632.
Then you have John Birmingham’s Axis of Time trilogy where a 2020’s Carrier battle group ends up in 1942.

Both are very good.

I agree with both of these sentiments. Turtledove’s stand alone books are instant buys for me. But I’ve pretty much given up on his series books.

They don’t actually get sent back in time, just into an alternate universe with a different history. Lots of war and fighting, but the ones I’ve read so far have been pretty good.

And I agree, the Birmingham trilogy was pretty good also. I really liked the English handling of Captain Windsor.

I love Stirling’s stuff but to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend starting with Dies the Fire. It’s the first book in a very long (and not yet finished) series. The series itself is a semi-sequel to Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy. And even devoted Stirling fans like myself have had difficulties with the recent books in the series.

I recommend either starting with the Nantucket trilogy (Island in the Sea of Time, Against the Tide of Years, and On the Oceans of Eternity). Or one of his stand-alone novels like The Peshawar Lancers or Conquistador.

Are you aware Birmingham has written sequels to this series?

Yes but they seem like crap judging by the plot summary and reviews I’ve read, and after reading “Without Warning” where he turns full nut job islamophobe conspiracist (he posits that there is a strong support for Islam in the french government, to the point of having a chance to win a civil war, to implement “Eurabia” and things like that) I doubt I’ll give the man another chance.

The Belisarius series is excellent.


Deadly with a blade, is Belisarius.

A kinda reluctant half-recommendation for Robert Adams Castaways in Time series. Serious cons:

1.) His series are steeped in machismo with almost always a super-capable “Gary Stu” at the helm.

2.) He was homophobic in a sorta disturbing way. Gay men were kinda teacherous, effeminate poofs ( almost always ) and pedophiles( often ). Meanwhile lesbians were either evil and ugly or alternatively hot and sexy, but ready to convert for a good man ( this is all far more overt in some of his Horseclans books ). And he seems to occasionally like writing about hebephilic sex to boot ( always with some barely plausible excuse in story ).

3.) He never really satisfyingly tied up anything IMHO. His series just meander along without ultimate resolution. Ansd since he died decades ago, that’s all you get.

On the other hand the pros:

1.) He’s quite good at world-building ( in certain senses, anyway ) and his world here is fascinating to me, a renaissance Europe where Catholicism and Islam semi-peacefully merged and repelled the 13th century Mongol assaults, Ireland is still independant, etc…

2.) His books are action-packed and he was a deft hand at writing action.

I don’t know - typing that all that out it looks like more cons :D. I liked his stuff as a teenager. If you can see past the dross, they’re interesting 1632-like modern-man-impacting-renaissance-Europe adventure stuff. Couldn’t blame anyone for taking a pass though.

This, word for word. Skip Dies the Fire completely and go for the Nantucket trilogy, which is excellent. But his best is Peshawar Lancers. Although looking up from the keyboard I can see a copy of Conquistador beckoning me for a re-read.

I was going to say exactly this. The only problem with the Nantucket trilogy is the very abrupt ending, because his editors said enough, finish it.

I remember his stuff fondly from my teenage years. Tried it last year and, well, yeah, there are problems there. :rolleyes:

Although he left several springboards for sequels in the last book. Like The surviving Wolf child, the crashed zeppelin, the settlements on the Rio de La Plata, etc.