Suggest Alternate history fic books.

Inspired by the other trhead of similiarity, I was wondering what good Alternate History time line books are out there, any particular era is okey dokey by me.

There are several on the south winning the war. One I recall reading, but forget the title, had Cuba joining the confederation, to escape Spain, as well as some of the Caribbean nations that had a plantation background.

Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague De Camp

Roman era–time travel is a plus.

I like 1632 and sequels, by Eric Flint. A West Virginia town ends up transported back to Germany during the Thirty Years War, and history changes from there.

The author H. Beam Piper, dead for over forty years, wrote both alternate time line stories and stories in which people traveled between the multiple timelines that existed.

If you can find it read his short story “He Walked Around the Horses”. Based on the actual disappearance, in 1809, of British diplomat Benjamin Bathurst, it purports to tell what “actually” happened to him. Told as a series of letters, the signature on the last letter is priceless, if you know your history! This is one of my favorite short stories ever. If you can’t find it, I’ll send you a paperback that includes it, if you’d like.

I second the recommendation of the 1632 series. The author really knows his history, and I believe he plausibly extrapolates what would happen if/when this town from West Virginia suddenly appears in the Germanies of that period. One small detail I thought amusing, the town’s Catholic church, St. Vincent de Paul, ends up having to change it’s name, as you can’t have a church named after a living person!

I’m currently enjoying The Two Georges by Turtledove. I enjoy most of his stuff.

I third the 163_ series rec. Great reads, well-researched, and branching off into some interesting sidelines.

Skip Harry Harrison’s trilogy on the Civil War…total garbage.

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick would be the first book that springs to mind. America loses WWII to the axis powers.

For quick reads there’s the short story collections “Alternate Presidents” and “Alternate Kennedys”.

My favorite story from the Kennedys book is one where Joe gives up on politics and moves the family west to Hollywood where they become a showbiz dynasty. JFK ends up playing Kirk on Gene Roddenberry’s space western series.

Rivers of War series is great

Same auther as the 1632 series, but no Connecticut Yankee stuff. He takes the war of 1812, makes a tweak or two, and has a new operation of free blacks and Cherokees setting up a new nation.

VERY fun.

If you LIKE the Connecticut Yankee stuff, the S.M. Stirling as his Island in the Sea of Time series:

Another vote for the 163_ books. In addition to the novels, there is also The Grantville Gazette, a series of e-books edited by Eric Flint which contain short stories and articles based on the books. Collections of the stories have been published in paperback and hardcover, and they’re quite good.

In addition to the Alternate Presidents and Alternate Kennedys books mentioned by Push You Down, there is also an Alternate Generals book edited by Harry Turtledove, The Best Alternative History Stories of the 20th Century edited by Turtledove and Martin H Greenberg.

On review, I second Algher’s recommendation of the Rivers of War Series. I can’t wait for the second one to come out. I haven’t read the S. M. Stirling books yet, but they’ve been highly recommended.

You also might want to check out, which is a list of Alternative History fiction and essays.

If you have a more littery bent, The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth is good. It imagines America in the early 40s, after Charles Lindbergh became president.

Also by S. M. Sterling are Conquistador, which involves a world where Alexander didn’t die young, and the Dies The Fire books, which involve the same universe as his Islands In The Sea Of Time trilogy…sorta. While you’re at it, get his The Peshawar Lancers as well. It deals with a British Empire after a disasterous meteor shower in 1878.

Better than the 1632 series (imho) (although I enjoyed it also) is Island in the Sea of Time by S M Stirling, in which the island of Nantucket, circa 2000 or so, is transplanted backwards to 1000 BC or so. It’s a 3-book-series. Then there’s an also-excellent follwup series about what would happen to the modern world if all technology stopped working forever, and sequel series to that (whose first book just came out) 20 years further into the “post-change” future, which starts to hint at what might be behind all of these weird events. (Alien Space Bats? we might find out…)

The Paratime stories; very good stuff. I strongly recommend the novel Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. Also, Roland Green & John F Carr wrote a pretty good sequel called Great King’s War.

Another series I recommend is the Belisarius series by Eric Flint & David Drake. A supercomputer ( named Link ) and a sentient crystal ( named Aide ) are sent back from millions of years in the future to India & the Byzantine/Roman Empire; Link to change the future in the name of the Naziesque “New Gods”, Aide to stop Link. It’s the Roman Empire and allies against the incredibly evil Malwa Empire of India. With more and more technological innovations as time goes on.

Several of the 163x books, Belisarius books and Great King’s War are legally available for free at the Baen Free Library.

I really loved this book. I read the Berg biography of Lindbergh shortly after reading Roth’s book and it really left an impression. I have rarely thought so much about a book as I have about those two and about what Lindbergh would have been like as president. He was such a driven, honorable, decent man, who was just so goddamn wrong on one issue that I find myself rooting for him to become president in an alternate universe, see the light, and turn against Hitler.

I’m rather fond of The Difference Engine, by Stirling and Gibson. Intricate detail, classic steampunk. It actually feels like a Victorian society—albeit an altered one—in the midst of a technological boom, not just “The Flintstones” with steam-powered computers.

Fatherland by Robert Harris was a best seller a few years back and is well written. It’s about a German police officer working on a war-related murder in a world where Germany won WWII. Resurrection Day by Brendan DuBois isn’t as well known but it had a very similar feel - a murder mystery with political connections set in an alternate history - except this book was set in the United States a decade after the Cuban Missile Crisis led to a nuclear war.

Fox on the Rhine by Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson is good. It’s set in late World War II after Hitler is successfully assassinated. It’s essentially straight forward military fiction but it’s unusual because due to the alternate history element you don’t have any preconceived expectations about who will win.

One personal favorite of mine is The Divide by William Overgard. It’s set in Axis-occupied America in 1976. It’s light but it’s fun. Unfortunately it’s out of print but you can find used copies around.

DuBois has a new one out regarding a UN peace keeping mission in the US after some suitcase nukes set off a mini civil war.

Not as good as Resurrection day.


I recommend The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. A great book that presents its alternate reality as fact, never really going into detail about what happened to make the new reality. I love the spice of being allowed to surmise the history around the setting.