Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Weekly Update #40.2

Editor's Note

Sorry for the links-only post yesterday.  I had some real life issues I had to deal with so I had to set my virtual life aside for a moment.  I will try not to do it again in the future.

So we surpassed our monthly record...again!  That is the fourth time in a row and our new record is 4,725 page views in a month.  That accomplishment, however, pales in comparison to what a fan of Weekly Update, Tyler Bugg, wrote on our Facebook page:

Hey, I would like to thank you guys for posting that Candlemark and Gleam were looking for submissions for their Alternate History short story anthology: If it were not for you guys, I would not have noticed, and would not have gotten my story accepted by the editors to actually be published in it!
You are welcome Tyler, but more importantly, thank you.  Your statement represents everything I was trying to accomplish when I started this blog last year.  I wanted to keep fans of the genre better informed about the world of alternate history and you have provided evidence that I have been successful with my goal.  Good luck with C&G, and I look forward to reading your short story.

Meanwhile, we got our first readers from Guam, Honduras and Jamaica.  Welcome!

And now the news...

DC Announces Before Watchmen

This summer, DC Entertainment will publish all-new stories expanding on Alan Moore's Watchmen, the alternate history comic book that was also made into a movie. The seven inter-connected prequel mini-series, called Before Watchmen, will build on the foundation of the original story.  Writers and artists on the project include Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, John Higgins, Adam Hughes, J.G. Jones, Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert, Jae Lee, J. Michael Straczynski and Len Wein.

Each week, a new issue will be released, and will feature a two-page back-up story called Curse of the Crimson Corsair, written by original series editor Len Wein and with art by original series colorist John Higgins. There will also be a single issue, Before Watchmen: Epilogue, featuring the work of various writers and artists, and a Crimson Corsair story by Wein and Higgins.

Will Before Watchmen live up to the hype?  Probably not.  Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons are not involved in the project and Moore is firmly against it.  More importantly, I have experienced first hand what a prequel series can do to a great story (if you do not believe me, go watch Star Wars: Episode I when it comes out in 3D).  I could go on, but Tim Callahan makes a better argument against the series then I ever could.

Will I still read it?  Probably.  Though I am going to wait for it to come out in graphic novel form.

Is J. J, Abrams Ripping Off S. M. Stirling?

NBC has picked up a new drama pilot from the Star Trek director J. J. Abrams and Warner Bros. TV. The new show is called Revolution and it will be written by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.  The logline: “A high octane action drama from J. J. Abrams following a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.”

Huh...I could swear that I have seen this before...

Of course!  S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series, where alien space bats change the laws of physics and thus wipe out modern civilization.  So is Stirling on the phone with his lawyer?  Well according to Guadalupe Lopez-Gutierrez (Kier Salmon) on the S. M. Stirling Appreciation Society:

We are discussing this... but the concept of no more power is one used in many books, Ariel, Here be dragons, and others. It's the actual characters locations and solutions that would make a copyright violation.
So it looks like the Stirling camp is in wait and see mode. Whether Revolution even classifies as alternate history also remains to be seen, but perhaps a good post-apocalyptic series is just what network television needs.

Resources to Help You Get Published

If you already have published your own steampunk story, you might be interested in submitting your previously published work to Steampunk Revolution.  This new steampunk anthology is being edited by Ann VanderMeer for publication in Fall 2012.  Deadline for submissions is March 1.

Not a published author yet?  Well I have a few resources to share with you.  Those hoping to submit a story to Dark Moon's Zombie Jesus and Other True Stories should check out this interview, which gives a writer some idea about what the editors are looking for.  Meanwhile, those looking to improve their writing ability should check out these two writing seminars I found.  The first is called Tweaking History: Steampunk And Other Tales Of Alternate History and it is being presented by Beth Daniels.  The seminar begins Feb 13 and costs only $25 ($15 if you are a premium member of the website).  The second is called Superstars Writing Seminar which will last from April 30 to May 2.  Lecturers include Kevin J. Anderson (The Trinity Paradox, Alternitech) and Eric Flint (1632).

As always, good luck.

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Mitro is founder, editor and contributor of Alternate History Weekly Update. When he is not busy writing about his passion for alternate history, he spends his time working as a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois and dreams of being a published author himself one day.


  1. One thing that bothers me about Revolution (and Emberverse by extension) is that all energy ceases to exist, wouldn't the sun shut down as well? Just sayin' because it's a giant nuclear furnace. :P

  2. It is possible the changes could be localized to a small area (say a planet)...I mean it is sci-fi, it does not always have to make sense. Just chalk it up to some insanely advanced alien space bats. Though Stirling does attempt to explain some of the changes in the Emberverse: http://hem.bredband.net/b108107/stirling/stirling_faq.html (you will need to scroll down).

  3. In Stirling's Emberverse series, early on scientist types come to the conclusion that 'this was done to us'. At the tine the event happened, all conscious humans all had the same headache. At least that's how I remember it.

    1. Yes, everyone saw a bright white light, even the blind, and they all experienced intense pain, but the pain went away just as soon as it was gone. Yet I don't think a traditional scientist came to this conclusion. Most felt it was god(s) who did it, though Ken Larsson did make mention of ASBs and in his spare time tested the boundaries of the new rules. He was still more of an engineer then a true scientist.


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